21 December 2007

Strawberries and Cream Cookies


I got this recipe out of the Washington Post's Food section. Very different, I thought. Plus I absolutely adore the dried strawberries I can pick up at my favoritest market in town, The Merc. So off I went, spent my pennies on some good white chocolate and strawberries, and hit the kitchen.

And then the problems began.

First off: do yourself a favor, just buy some superfine sugar. I was out and didn't restock, thinking a quick whirl in the food processor (as the recipe instructs) would be quick. Around and around spun my sugar, but it never really got fine. Instead all I got out of it was (1) regular sugar mixed with (2) powdered sugar. No super-fine anything.

Then: chopping dried strawberries is not a pleasant task. I tried sprinkling them with powdered sugar and going at them with a knife. I was lucky I didn't cut my finger off, that knife just rolled all over the place and really didn't chop much. Then I threw them in the food processor (HA! That was a gummy mess). I tried a nut chopper, I went at them with the mezzaluna; then I became desperate and began tearing those sticky suckers apart by hand. I did everything short of gnawing on them with my teeth (I'm sure my family and friends are appreciative that I stopped there). Then I gave up and just tossed the biggish chunks in the dough.

And finally? The cooking portion of this recipe is rather odd. Maybe it's because I'm a novice, but - why the two sheet pans? And I always had to pull my batches early, like 20 minutes early. Plus they weren't supposed to spread - I had chilled dough, I didn't flatten it - but mine sure did a lot of spreading (hence the blobby strawberry-ish shaped cookies in the photos, instead of the nice neat strawberries like my dear cookie cutter usually produces).

These issues withstanding: the cookies are still The Yum. Still worth it, dear readers - just keep in mind the above notes. Crunchy, creamy from the white chocolate, and nice chewy bits of strawberries. Mmmm. Very different for the wintertime and holidays, and yet just special enough to be perfect for Christmas time. And yes: I'd still totally make them again.


Strawberries and Cream Cookies

Ingredients:
3/4 c. sugar (may substitute superfine sugar)
16 Tbsp. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 c. flour, plus more for dusting
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. heavy cream
1/4 Tsp. salt
1/2 c. finely chopped white chocolate
3/4 c. dried strawberries, finely chopped

Finely pulverize the sugar in a food processor, letting the machine run for about 10 seconds. (Skip this step if using superfine sugar.)

Combine the sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or a hand-held mixer; beat on low speed for several minutes, until fluffy. Add the flour, vanilla extract, cream and salt; mix well. Stop the motor and stir in the white chocolate and dried strawberries, mixing until evenly distributed. The dough should be firm (if not, add up to 2 tablespoons flour and incorporate well). Transfer to a lightly floured work surface; knead gently for about 1 minute, until it holds together and becomes firmer. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap well with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and as long as 12 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325 F. Stack 2 baking sheets together and line the top sheet with parchment paper.

Gently roll out the dough to a thickness of about 1/2 inch; use a 2-inch round cookie cutter to cut out the cookies. Place at least 1 inch apart on the baking sheet; reduce the temperature to 300 degrees and bake for about 40 to 50 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges. Let cool on the sheet for 5 to 10 minutes, then transfer carefully to a wire rack to cool completely.

6 comments:

kat said...

Ah, these are the types of cookies I had in mind! I'll be on the lookout for dried strawberries now.

Came across this post via Tastespotting.

Perhaps cutting up the strawberries with scissors might work? Maybe flour them up a bit to prevent stickiness.

Anyway, thanks for the post. Will be bookmarking it!

Intisar said...

Do you really cook these cookies for 40-50 minutes? I was thinking about trying these this weekend, but that just sounded strange.

Olivia Stewart said...

So this is the kind of recipe I love stumbling upon b/c it's different from the normal chocolate chip cookie. Keep on posting different things like this please :)

Stacy said...

Your story cracks me up... you sound like a real trooper--never giving up! I admire you for that... and I can't wait to try the recipe... I absolutely LOVE strawberries!

Rosemary in Utah said...

I just made some cookies (a Maida Heatter recipe) that called for *chopped raisins*--and M. Heatter said if you freeze them first they are much easier to chop.

Lisabeth said...

In regards to the baking portion of the recipe: Two sheet pans + parchment paper = better heat conduction. And the hotter the oven the more the cookies will spread. Re-check accuracy of your the oven temperature gauge and /or try turning the oven temp way down and baking for the full amount of time in the directions.