I bet you guys thought you had me all figured out didn’t you? You thought I only cooked healthy stuff. Turns out, I’m full of surprises, huh?
I have to give the hubs credit for this idea. I am pretty sure we had just finished up a batch of plain shortbread cookies, when he said, “Ooooo you know what you should do? Make strawberry shortbread cookies.” I was so proud.
I have been in love with this shortbread cookie recipe for some time now. When the Little Dude was 18 months old, I decided she was old enough for us to start the Christmas tradition of making cookies for Santa together. I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep her from eating the dough, so I was on the lookout for an egg free recipe. My beautiful sister told me about these, and now they are seriously the only shortbread recipe I use. It is perfect. I love the slightly smoky-sweet flavor that the maple syrup lends.
For this recipe, you will first want to wash up some fresh strawberries and chop them in to small pieces. Then place them on a paper towel to absorb the excess liquid.
The Dude and I even went so far as to gently (she has a baby sister, she is getting pretty good at the whole gentle thing) blot. You really want to try to get as much of the liquid out as you possibly can. You are attempting to avoid a soggy cookie situation.
While the strawberries are draining, toss a stick of room temperature butter over into to the mixer.
Then pour in your maple syrup, vanilla, and orange zest (not pictured…ooopsy). Then beat until well blended. If you feel inclined to take a taste, do not forget who you are and what you are doing, and proceed to dip everything from your fridge and pantry in it…or you can, but remember that then it is no cookie for you. And you are gonna like the cookie. :)
Mix together the salt and flour, and dump that over onto the butter mixture. Then stir it together until it is just incorporated.
Behold! Shortbread dough!
Pour it out onto a VERY well floured surface. This dough is extremely soft and sticky, but don’t stress out OK? If you use enough flour it is going to be just fine. I actually kneaded the dough a couple of times to get it a little bit easier to work with. And again making double sure that you have a good bit of flour where all of the dough will touch, press it or roll it out into a disc.
Before you go any further, give the Little Dude what she has been waiting for. Hey, she deserves this. She was very gentle with the strawberries! (Please, excuse those fingernails. She was actually finger painting earlier and not digging in the dirt).
Then sprinkle on a generous handful of strawberries. Gently press them down into the dough.
Then fold over, flatten it out again, sprinkle more strawberries, press, and fold over again.
Now I would urge to take one last look at the flour situation and make sure that there are no spots that need a little bit more. Because if you roll the dough onto a place that wasn’t well floured, it will stick when you try to cut it out. And I would feel sorry for you if you were to accidentally say a cuss word in front of your 3 year old. Then, gently roll out the dough into about 1/4 inch thickness.
Now here comes the fun part. Grab your favorite cookie cutter and cut out some cookies! Place them onto a greased cookie sheet as you go.
I am apparently 83 and have a very strong “waste not want not” mentality, so I keep recycling the leftover dough. I simply press it back into a ball, roll it back out, and cut out more cookies. I can usually do this two or three more times.
Place the cookies into the oven at 350 for 12-15 minutes or until slightly golden.
Let them cool completely and serve them up with a generous dollop of whipped cream.
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup fresh strawberries, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Wash strawberries and chop them into small pieces. Place on a paper towel and blot well to absorb as much excess liquid as possible.
Blend together butter, maple syrup, vanilla, and orange zest.
In a separate bowl, stir together flour and salt.
Add the flour and salt to the butter mixture. Stir until just combined.
Turn out onto a well floured surface. Knead a few times until no longer sticky, and press into a disc.
Sprinkle on half of the strawberries. Fold the dough over, and gently flatten out into a disc. Repeat.
Roll out to 1/4 inch thickness, cut into desired shapes, and place on greased cookie sheet.
Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden.
Allow to cool completely and serve with whipped cream.