Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies

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I always seem to have berries in the fridge on the verge of going bad. I think it’s because fruit is on sale (since it’s in season right now) and I always buy 2 of each kind of berries when I’m at the store, whether I need more or not. I get home, wash them and stick them in the fridge, hoping they will be eaten up soon. I know if we don’t eat the berries right away, I can always freeze them. I have these grandiose visions of pies, tarts, shortcakes, all kinds of luscious fruit desserts that I plan to make with my abundance of berries. But with my illness I’m rarely up for cooking, much less baking. I had 2 quarts of strawberries that yesterday required my prompt attention. I froze a quart and decided to make something with the remaining berries. While searching for strawberry-themed recipes, I saw this one on Martha Stewart’s website that intrigued me. They sounded like sweet cream biscuit cookies with strawberries. Few ingredients, short and easy to make--I’m all for it.

The original recipe says it makes 3 dozen. I halved the recipe, slightly adapting the recipe ratios, and it made 12 cookies. I stored them in an airtight container overnight, and the next day they were soft and squishy. Worried that we wouldn’t be able to eat them in a day, and doubting they would hold up at room temp another day, I wrapped each one in cling wrap, put them in a freezer safe Ziploc bag, and stuck them in the freezer, to remove and eat as needed. The taste is great, as you’d expect from a Martha recipe. I polished off two cookies as soon as they were cool. Don’t forget to line your baking sheet with parchment paper, otherwise you’ll be stuck scraping burnt strawberry syrup off your baking sheets, the berries give off some syrup as they bake.

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies
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Yield: ~12 cookies

6 oz strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/4-inch dice (~1 c)
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
¼ c plus 1 Tbsp granulated sugar, divided
1 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp kosher salt
3 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 c heavy cream
Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In small bowl combine strawberries with 1 tsp lemon juice and 1 Tbsp sugar, stir, then set aside.

In a medium bowl combine ¼ c sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt. Using a pastry cutter (or rubbing with your fingers) cut in butter til mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in cream and mix until dough just comes together. Fold in berries (the dough is pretty crumbly at this point).

Using a 1½” cookie or ice cream scoop, place dough on cookie sheet, evenly spaced apart(when I dropped my cookies on the sheet, I gently pinched together any crumbly parts). Sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake about 20 min, rotating baking sheet halfway through cooking, until cookies are golden brown. Cool completely on wire rack. Best eaten same day. Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 1 day at room temperature, or freeze.

Source: slightly adapted from Martha Stewart

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