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While the sea of heart shaped pink and red filled chocolate boxes and pastry cases in stores this time of year make this sweets lover swoon, there’s nothing quite as special as a homemade sweet treat on Valentine’s Day. So, given that Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, I wanted to share the perfect sweet treat for you to make for those you love most in life – Strawberries and Cream Shortbread Cookies. Nothing says “I love you” like carbs and homemade cookies.
I’ve been a long time fan of shortbread cookies. They’re amazing in their simplicity and in all of their adaptable ways. When I was in college, I would purchase boxes of Walker’s shortbread cookies from the British shop in the historic area of our town. They were my favorite. I still visit that British store to buy loads of things – tea, Lyle’s golden syrup, and all things Cadbury but I stick to making my own shortbread nowadays.
These strawberries and cream shortbread cookies are buttery and crumbly and full of strawberry flavor. A creamy strawberry white chocolate drizzle on top takes these cookies to next level. The star of these cookies is freeze dried strawberries. These little nuggets are made by extracting all the water from the berries, resulting in a super concentrated flavor. Freeze dried strawberries and lots of other freeze dried fruits can be found at your local grocery store.
This shortbread cookie recipe is made like a traditional shortbread, by combining the butter and sugar, adding flavoring and then the flour and add-ins. It’s important to not whip your butter and sugar, just mix until creamy and well combined. Whipping air into the butter/sugar mixture can contribute to spreading cookies. After the flour is added, and the dough is still crumbly, crushed pieces of freeze dried strawberries are gently mixed in.
The dough is then refrigerated a bit to make it easier to roll out and cut out shapes. I chose to make cute little heart shapes for Valentine’s Day. Once the hearts are cut out, the cookies go back to the fridge to firm up completely before baking. I like to bake my cookies until the edges start to brown slightly. Baking the cookies at a slightly lower temperature than usual will ensure that they cook through but don’t brown on top.
My favorite part of the strawberries and cream shortbread cookies is the creamy pink white chocolate strawberry drizzle on top. Coloring chocolate usually requires oil based food color, or candy color so that the chocolate doesn’t seize. Luckily you don’t need any food color to tint the chocolate for these cookies. Pulverized freeze dried strawberries are mixed with melted white chocolate to make a super creamy, strawberry flavored pink white chocolate, perfect for drizzling onto your cookies. So, so good.
Turn these into conversation heart cookies by using these craft embossing stamps to imprint your favorite conversation heart sayings. Just stamp the letters into the dough before baking.
I’m kind of obsessed with these photos. Those little hands belong to my littlest kiddo, who so badly wanted to be a part of the photo process for these cookies. Those little pink fingers also promptly shoved that cookie in her mouth upon completion of taking the photos.
For more cookie recipes, check these out:
Strawberries and Cream Shortbread Cookies
For the strawberry shortbread cookies:
- 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup (60g) confectioners sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cup (306g) all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/3 cup (10g) freeze dried strawberries, crushed
For the strawberry white chocolate:
- 1/2 cup (90g) good quality white chocolate, chopped
- 3 tsps freeze dried strawberries, pulverized
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the softened butter, confectioners sugar, and vanilla and beat together on medium speed until creamy and combined.
- Place the mixer speed to low. Add the flour to the butter mixture and beat until the mixture is crumbly and resembles curds.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer. Add the crushed strawberries and gently mix until the strawberries are mixed in thoroughly.
- Turn the dough out onto some cling film. Press the dough together, forming a disc shape, about an inch in height. Wrap the dough with the cling film and place in the refrigerator to chill for 20 minutes.
- Dust your work surface with flour. Roll out your cookie dough to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out the desired shapes and place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheets, leaving about 2 inches in between the cookies.
- Place the cooking sheets into the refrigerator to chill for 45 minutes to an hour. If baking the following day, wrap the cookie sheets with cling film to prevent drying absorbing odors.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F while the cookies are chilling.
- Once the cookies are properly chilled, bake for 20-25 minutes or until the edges of the cookies start to turn a light golden brown.
- Let cool completely on the cookie sheets or on a cooling rack.
- Place the white chocolate into a microwave safe bowl.
- Melt the chocolate in 30 second increments in the microwave until only a few lumps of chocolate remain.
- Remove the bowl from the microwave and stir until there are no longer any lumps.
- Add in the strawberry powder and mix to combine.
- Pour the strawberry white chocolate into a piping bag and decorate the cookies as you wish.