For whatever reason, I can never seem to keep up with the strawberries in my fridge. There always seems to be a container of them just barely holding on, and time and again I find myself scrambling to figure out what to do with them before they go bad. Of course I simply eat plenty of them plain (or macerated in just a little bit of sugar), but I crave variety so I like to incorporate them into baked goods as well. The only problem is that strawberries can be tricky to bake with due to their high water content so I don’t see nearly as many recipes for strawberry treats as I do, say, blueberries.
As strawberries start to come into season around here it’s only a matter of time before I find myself bringing home giant containers of them, so I’m trying to get ahead by building up a stash of go-to recipes that will save me in those moments. I bookmarked these strawberry shortcake cookies last year but just finally got around to trying them recently. They’re easy to pull together, and quite tasty, but after making them, I’m not sure they should be called cookies. Their texture is definitely more reminiscent of little tiny scones – tender and fluffy inside with a golden exterior. Not terribly surprising given the method for making the dough is pretty similar to most scone recipes, and again, not a bad thing because they were very good. These “cookies” are best the day they’re made and the recipe yields about 3 dozen, so if you aren’t feeding a crowd, you may want to scale back. I quartered the recipe and wound up with 10 cookies, which is definitely a more manageable number when you’re keeping these all for yourself!
12 oz strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/4-inch dice (2 cups)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup heavy cream
coarse sugar, for topping the cookies
Preheat oven to 375 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, stir together the strawberries, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of the sugar then set aside. In a large bowl, combine the lemon zest and remaining 7 tablespoons of 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. Use 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. Finally, gently stir in the strawberry mixture.
Use a small cookie scoop (about 1 1/2 tablespoons) to portion the dough onto the prepared baking sheets spacing the cookies about 1 1/2 – 2 inches apart. Sprinkle with the coarse sugar. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown. Transfer the pans to wire racks and let the cookies cool. The cookies are best the day they’re made, but can be kept in an airtight container for 1 day.
Makes about 3 dozen cookies