Many cookies reach their height of flavor after they are removed from the oven and cooled completely. Some get better with age. Florida Strawberry Shortcake Cookies buck that trend. Get them out of the oven, let cool enough to handle and eat. Or serve warm with vanilla ice cream. I find this another delicious way to use Florida winter strawberries, which are in season now. There aren’t many cookie recipes that use fresh fruit, another reason I like this one.
This is an interesting cookie. The cookie dough, before diced fresh strawberries are stirred in, is much like shortbread dough. In fact, it’s made in a similar way. Cold butter is cut into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles large peas. The dough comes together with the addition of 2/3. cup heavy cream, looking something like a short crust which also contains no leavening. Diced fresh strawberries mixed with sugar and lemon juice are gently incorporated. Now the dough becomes a bit wet. At that moment, I start to wonder, is this going to work?
Well, work it does. When the cookies come out of the oven, they look like mini strawberry shortcakes. The cookie itself has the same biscuit-y profile as a shortcake. The sweet berries mingle throughout.
As the cookies sit over time, they can become even softer because of the moisture from the fresh strawberries. They are best served the day they are made. I still had plenty left a day after I made them and a young visitor gobbled several when she came to visit and declared them winners.
They were her cup of tea, even without the cup of tea.
- 2 cups (12 ounces) strawberries, hulled and cut into ¼-inch dice
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided use
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- ⅔ cup heavy cream
- Sanding or raw sugar, for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine strawberries, lemon juice, lemon zest and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining 7 tablespoons granulated sugar in a large bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, or rub in with your fingers, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in cream until dough starts to come together, then stir in strawberry mixture.
- Using a 1½-inch ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment, spacing evenly apart. Sprinkle with sanding or raw sugar, and bake until golden brown, 24 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool. Cookies are best served immediately, but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day.