May is the time of year that Lancaster County residents go out to the local farms and pick fresh strawberries. So sad this year, I cannot go out, so I had to settle for the ones in the grocery store. Not that store-bought strawberries are not good, but nothing beats fresh berries right out of the strawberry patch.
Taking a look at what makes up strawberry shortcake, I start to deconstruct this perfect springtime treat. You have, of course, the strawberries (halved or cut up), the shortcake, and the creamy whip cream. So strawberries are easy, cookie cake dough, and mascarpone for the whipped cream; this sounds like a plan to me.
The topping was going to be something different that would add more strawberry taste to the cookie. I have found that freeze-dried fruit is an excellent way to add flavor but not liquid to the topping. You want to crush the freeze-dried pieces to dust by either pulsing the pieces in a food processor or a baggie and using something substantial like a rolling pin to crush them. Using the rolling pin option, you should sift out the pieces that do not get crushed. But it is worth it. The freeze-dried fruit is the perfect topping.
My Strawberry Shortcake CookiesBarbara Hall
- ½ cup Butter unsalted 1 stick room temperature
- 1 ½ cups Sugar white 297 g
- 8 oz Mascarpone
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 2 Eggs
- 2 ½ cups All-purpose flour 300 g
- ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1 teaspoon Baking powder
- 1 cup Fresh strawberries cut into small pieces
- 2 tablespoon Powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon Freeze dried strawberry
- In a bowl, weigh or measure the flour, salt, and baking powder and set aside. I run a w whisk through the dry ingredients to blend. Cut fresh strawberries into small pieces, which are about 8 to 10 large strawberries to make a cup.
- With a hand-held or stand mixer, incorporate the sugar and butter on medium speed for a good 4 to 5 minutes. Add one egg at a time making sure the first egg is completely incorporated before adding the second egg. I scrape down the sides, then add the vanilla extract before adding the mascarpone, You want to blend thoroughly. Shut the mixer off and take the bowl off the stand.
- I have a one-piece spatula that I use for mixing dry ingredients into wet ingredients that works well. Fold the flour mixture into the bowl that has the butter-sugar mascarpone wet ingredients. Make sure all the flour is incorporated. Fold in the cut-up strawberries and mix them through the dough. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 375° and line two baking sheet pans with parchment paper and set aside. Using a medium cookie scoop, add 12 scoops to a pan and bake for 12-14 minutes. When you see a little brown around the bottom edges, pull them out of the oven. Leave them on the pan for about a minute then move them to a cooling rack.
- OPTIONAL TOPPING
- Taking a bag of Freeze-Dried Strawberries and dump them into a food processer and pulse until they are dust. You can also choose a sturdy sandwich size baggie and make sure you seal the top before crushing them using a rolling pin or some other hard object. If you do not use the food processer, you may want to sift the dust to get the larger pieces out. I mix 1 tablespoon of the strawberry dust with 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar to dust the tops of the cookies. This topping gives an added fresh strawberry taste you will not believe. I added a little plain powdered sugar on top of the strawberry-powdered sugar mixture just for contrast and helped sweeten up the fresh strawberries.