Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies

A delightful summer treat.


I recently became obsessed with the blog "Bakergirl, Confessions of a Budding Baketress". If you don't know who I am talking about you may remember her from the AMAZING S'mores Cracker Candy I posted a couple weeks ago. When I found her blog, I went back and read every single post and then proceeded to mark just above every other recipe as a favorite. I was not planning to make these cookies when I did, but it was one of those nights.

I was planning on making a strawberry pie to take back to WV for the 4th of July. I have never made a Strawberry Pie and thought it would be a nice accompaniment to the blueberry pie I was planning to bring. To make the strawberry pie I was planning I needed to pre-bake the crust. I did and when it came out I was not satisfied with how it looked. I tried a new crimping technique and it was just not quite what I wanted. I had extra dough in the freezer so I let Zack eat the baked crust. Of course I should have just used the first crust and it was silly of me to be so persnickety. I proceeded to roll out the second crust (after it thawed), noting it had an odd smell. I went ahead and put it in the oven only to see the oddest things happen. Half the crust cooked, a third shrunk, and a third stayed completely raw. Not to mention that the odd smell I noticed when I rolled it out had now amplified and stunk up the entire kitchen. Apparently my pie dough recipe does not last in the freezer six months. Note taken!

At that point I knew I needed to make something with my strawberries and in came these cookies. These cookies are quite delicious, but they really MUST be eaten the day they are made. I made too many and ended up tossing most of them because they get soggy on day two. That being said, if you know they will be devoured in one day (and they will because they are delicious) you should definitely make them.

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies
recipe very slightly adapted from Bakergirl

makes approximately 3 dozen cookies

12 ounces strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
scrapings of one vanilla bean
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, stir together the strawberries, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of the sugar; set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, vanilla bean scrapings, and remaining sugar. Rub the zest into the sugar with your fingertips until moist and fragrant.

Add the flour, baking powder, and salt to the zest/sugar mixture and whisk to combine. Using a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour mixture until you have coarse crumbs. Add the cream to the bowl and stir until the dough starts to come together, then very gently fold in the strawberry mixture.

Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto the prepared baking sheet, evenly spaced apart. Sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown. Transfer the pans to wire racks and let the cookies cool. Serve the day they are baked.

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