Strawberry shortbread cookies
There is something about strawberries that just screams summer to me. These shortbread cookies are bursting with strawberry flavor and a fun, bright pink icing that make them the perfect warm weather treat. The best part though is that they are made with only freeze dried strawberries and some common baking ingredients, so they come together quick and easy and taste even better than they look.
I made a strawberry frosted cupcake recipe a while back, and my absolute favorite part about the recipe is the strawberry crumb topping. The strawberry shortbread cookie here has a similar texture and taste to that crumb. It's just sweet enough, with a pinch of tartness, and a tender yet crunchy texture that will leave you wanting more and more.
The use of freeze dried strawberries in this recipe makes it one that can be baked all year round. For example these would make an adorable Valentine's Day treat! Even though there aren't fresh strawberries, I promise the strawberry flavor is in no way lacking.
At the start of this recipe, you'll crush up freeze dried strawberries and use some in the cookie dough and will reserve most to be used for the icing. You can crush the strawberries by hand in a plastic bag or you could use a food processor. I liked that there were some slightly larger pieces when I crushed them by hand, but both ways would work great. I used the brand Crispy Green for my freeze dried strawberries and they make snack sized bags that have just the right amount for this recipe!
To roll out my dough, I used my 9x9 square pan but you can use any flat surface. Essentially you'll want to use two pieces of parchment paper and flatten your dough to about 9 inches long and 6 to 7 inches wide between the two parchment sheets. After chilling for about a half hour, you'll slice into three long sections, and four vertical sections to create 12 square cookies.
Like I said, this recipe comes together quick and easy and with simple ingredients. You also won't need any special equipment. The dough can easily come together with a bowl and spatula or spoon. I did use a bench scraper to cut my cookie squares, but a sharp knife will work great. You can also reshape your squares a bit once sliced prior to baking, so don't worry about getting perfect cuts on your first slice.
Strawberry shortbread cookies
10 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature 141g
1/4 cup powdered sugar 30g
1/4 cup granulated sugar 48g
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour 150g
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup freeze dried strawberries 9g (note this will be split between your dough and icing, you'll use about 1/3 or 3g for your dough)
1 cup powdered sugar 120g
Remaining, crushed freeze dried strawberries 6g
2 to 3 tablespoons milk or water
Total time: About 4 hours including chill time
Prep time: About 20 minutes
Bake time: 45-50 minutes
Chill time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Large cookie sheet
Spatula or large spoon
Large and small bowl
Optional: 9x9 square pan, flat tool to smooth out dough (like a measuring cup)
First, prep your freeze dried strawberries. Place them into a plastic bag. Use your hands or a flat tool to crush your strawberries into a fine powder. Know that it's okay for there to be some chunks, but you want as much crushed as possible. Set aside.
Make your cookies. In a large bowl, add your room temperature butter, both sugars, and vanilla extract. Note that if your butter isn't at room temperature, you can put it into the microwave for about 5 to 10 seconds to soften it first. Use a spatula or large spoon to fully combine your ingredients, continuing until there are no "butter only" streaks.
Add in your dry ingredients, flour, salt, and about 1/3 (or 3 grams) of your crushed, freeze dried strawberries. Fold your dry ingredients into your butter mixture moving slowly until a dough forms and your dry ingredients are fully incorporated.
Now it's time to flatten your dough. Place one sheet of parchment paper onto a flat surface like a cookie sheet or into a square pan. Place your dough on top of the parchment, and then cut a second piece of parchment to put on top of your dough. You can use your hands to start, but you want to flatten your dough into a rectangular shape about 9 inches long and 6 to 7 inches wide. You can then use a flat tool, like the back of a measuring cup, to smooth the top of your dough. Place your covered and flattened dough into the fridge for about 20 to 30 minutes to firm up.
Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.
Remove your chilled dough from the fridge, and slice into 12 even squares. I cut two lines lengthwise to create three horizontal sections, and then three lines widthwise to create four vertical sections. Place your cut dough squares spaced out onto a large, lined cookie sheet. Know that the cookies won't spread much but they will expand a pinch.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, your cookies should be more pale in color and firm to the touch once fully baked. Allow them to cool at room temperature for about an hour.
Make your strawberry icing and finish your cookies. Once your cookies are cool to the touch, it's time to make your strawberry icing.
In a small bowl, combine your powdered sugar and the remainder of your crushed, freeze dried strawberries. Then, add in one tablespoon of milk or water to start and use a spoon to stir. Slowly drizzle an additional tablespoon of liquid continuing to stir, and stop adding once your icing is thick but just pourable. If needed, you can add up to another half or full tablespoon of liquid.
Add about a tablespoon of icing onto each cookie and use the back of a spoon to spread to your liking.
Allow your frosted cookies to set at room temperature, or in the fridge to speed things up, and enjoy!
You can eat and serve your cookies right away, or they will store incredibly well in the fridge if placed in an airtight container. This is one of the things I love most about shortbread, it has quite a long shelf life and this icing holds up well too. If you need to stack your cookies, I recommend chilling them first in a single layer in the fridge, and then using parchment or wax paper between each layer.
Carb and serving info:
Carbs per serving: 27
Carbs for full recipe: 326
Carbs in shortbread cookie: 198
Carbs in icing: 128
Note: Carb information is calculated based on the specific ingredients I used to cook with to help guide my own insulin to carb ratio when dosing before I eat my home cooked recipes.