Friday, July 9, 2010

52 Cookies - Chapter 27

This week's cookie comes a little past strawberry season.  I've had this recipe earmarked for awhile now.  Once again, my good friend Martha Stewart, over at Everyday Food was generous enough to share it with me the world.  And now, I'm going to share it with you!

These are not cookie jar cookies.  They are delicate and won't keep for long, so don't think about making them ahead.  I don't even think freezing them would be a smart idea.  Here's what you do.  Bake them and then eat them all up.  Or, do like I plan to, and give a bunch away.  Some neighbor boys are here today playing with my kids; I'll send some home with them when they leave.  I'm going to see my parents later tonight at Evan's ball game; I'll send some home with them.  Maybe I'll take some out to the mailman if I happen to catch him when he's delivering our mail.

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies...they truly do taste like strawberry shortcake. 

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies
Here's What You Need:
12 oz. strawberries (wash them, hull them and dice them to about 1/4" chunks)...about 2 cups
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon sugar
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
6 Tablespoons cold, unsalted butter...cut into small pieces
2/3 cup heavy cream
sanding sugar for sprinkling

Here's What You Do:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and prepare your cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Combine the diced strawberries with the lemon juice and just 2 Tablespoons of sugar.  Gently toss to combine.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and the remaining 7 Tablespoons of sugar.  Add the butter and with a pastry blender, incorporate the butter into the flour mixture until you have a mixture that resembles coarse crumbs.  Don't over mix, or you'll have tough cookies.  You don't want tough cookies.  Stir in the cream until the dough starts to come together.  Again, don't over mix.  Stir in the strawberry mixture.  Remember to mix lightly...I folded the strawberries in to avoid them getting smashed.
Using a small cookie dough scoop or tablespoon, drop the dough onto the baking sheets, spacing them apart to allow for the cookies to spread.  Sprinkle with the sanding sugar.  I didn't have sanding sugar and wasn't going to make a special trip to the store, so I used regular sugar and it worked out just fine.  The sanding sugar would have look a lot prettier though. 
Martha says to bake the cookies for 24-25 minutes.  I always put the first tray in for a lot less time than recommended, just to get a feel for how long it will take.  You can always stick it back in , but if it's burnt, it's burnt and there's no undoing that.  Trust me.  I ended up baking these for roughly 19 minutes and that took care of business.  Transfer the cookies to a wire rack immediately to cool.  I got about 3 dozen cookies.
The recipe recommends serving the cookies immediately and storing in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day.  Those strawberries are full of juice and will turn the cookies into a soggy mess if they aren't eaten any sooner than that.  Another tip, if you can, I would recommend baking two cookie sheets at a time (I generally bake just one at a time).  I noticed that my cookie dough got soggier and soggier the longer it sat while I did each tray of cookies.

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