Strawberry Shortcake Cookies

Don’t you just love when summer rolls around and berries are plentiful? Growing up we use to go to the strawberry patch every Saturday to pick up a flat of berries. My mom would bring them home and we’d make pancakes topped with strawberries, bananas and whipped cream. The remaining strawberries would get gobbled up over the next several days, ok, more like hours. Well, the other day I was at the store and they had a 2lb. box on sale. Normally I’d shy away from buying so many, they just seem to ripen so fast, faster than we can eat them. But since I’ve been wanting to snack on them lately, I decided to go for it. Instead of freezing some of them, I used the excess berries to make shortcake cookies. They’ve got a nice sweet buttery flavor but you still get a mouthful of berry in each bite.

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies
Ingredients
1 c. (8 oz.) fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 tsp. lemon juice
¼ tsp. lemon zest
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ c. + 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, cold
⅔ c. heavy cream
2 tbsp. sanding sugar (for garnish)

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
2. In a medium size mixing bowl, combine sliced strawberries, 1 tbsp. sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest. Gently mix together with a spoon.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour, baking powder, salt and remaining sugar. Using the whisk attachment, on low speed, mix until combined. Cube cold butter and slowly add to the mixture. Mix until ingredients turn into coarse crumbs. Remove bowl from stand. Combine vanilla and cream in a liquid measuring cup. Pour into dry ingredients, stir in (don’t worry if it looks really dry, it will moisten up when you add the berries). Gently fold in strawberry mixture.
4. Scoop onto prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle tops with sanding sugar. Place into oven and bake for 24-26 minutes or until the tops begin to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool on pan for 3-5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Adapted from Always With Butter, Shortcake Cookies | Makes approximately 24 cookies