Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Strawberry Shortcake - To Go

A few years ago, a recipe for Strawberry Shortcake Cookies was published in a Martha magazine. The description called them "a portable version of a classic dessert." Perfect for a picnic and a creative use for the fresh strawberries coming our way.

Though they are not yet available locally, the organics are starting to hit the stores. The only way to go with strawberries (unless you've picked them yourself) since they are little chemical sponges. Read more about it here. I believe in knowing what's going on with my food - especially where my kids are concerned.

I digress. I gently wipe the strawberries with a damp paper towel rather than running them under water. It's way is easier than drying them and you don't want to put drippy berries in your baked goods. Or in anything for that matter.

These cookies could be described as little strawberry-filled biscuits. Chilled butter is cut into the flour to create a tender crumb. I use my fingers for this but a pastry cutter or two knives work well, too.

Gently fold the berries into the dough. Careful not to smash them and turn the dough pink. It's nice to have a nice bite of berry, too.

Portion with a trigger ice cream scoop since it's a sticky dough. The recipe calls for sanding sugar but I was out so I substituted raw sugar with delicious results.

They are delicate and delicious and unfortunately are best served immediately.

Oh, the sacrifices of strawberry season.

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies
compliments of Martha Stewart

12 oz. strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/4" dice (about 2 cups)
1 t. fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup plus 1 T. granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. coarse salt
3 oz. cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces (6 T.)
2/3 cup heavy cream
sanding sugar, for sprinkling

Pre-heat oven to 3 degrees. Combine strawberries, lemon juice, and 2 T. granulated sugar. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining 7 T. granulated sugar in a large bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, or rub in with your fingers, until mixture resemble coarse crumbs. Stir in cream until dough starts to come together, then stir in strawberry mixture.

Using a 1 1/2" ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, drop dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet, spacing evenly apart. Sprinkle with sanding sugar and bake until golden brown, 24-25 minutes (perhaps it's my oven but I found them to be sufficiently baked much more quickly . Keep an eye on the first batch to check your own timing.) Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool. Cookies are best served immediately, but can be stored in an air tight container at room temperature for up to 1 day.

Yield: about 3 dozen cookies

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