Cook on a Whim: Crisp and Chewy Strawberry Sugar Cookies

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Crisp and chewy strawberry sugar cookies. Photo by Anita Parris Soule. Courtesy Cook on a Whim.

These cookies are PINK! And naturally pink at that. Sorry for yelling, but these strawberry sugar cookies are pink, and they are unmistakably strawberry. They are the perfect treat for Valentine’s Day.

They are thin and chewy, just a bit of crisp around the edges and — thanks to a special ingredient — they stay chewy and bendy (I should trademark that) for dayyyyys. Not that they’ll last that long. Don’t be surprised if you start belting out “Strawberry Fields Forever” when you take your first bite of one of these, still warm from the oven.

These crisp and chewy strawberry sugar cookies are so unique. I have never had a cookie like them and I must say I’m quite proud of myself for creating this recipe. I had quite a few flops (still delicious) before landing on this recipe. When a cookie recipe says it’s chewy, for me, it often isn’t. I wanted to deliver on my chewy, bendy promise and boy did I. These are really chewy, almost like candy in buttery cookie form. Yeah, they’re amazing …

And every time I make them, I think how great they would be as a sandwich cookie — or, even better, an ice cream sandwich. So feel free to let your imagination run wild there.

How do we get the strawberry into these crisp and chewy strawberry cookies?

I became a bit obsessed with using freeze-dried fruit in my bakes a couple years ago, and these cookies were one of my many creations. You would never put fresh strawberries into a sugar cookie. (You would, however, add them to these: Strawberry Shortcake Cookies.)

Fresh strawberries are too wet for sugar cookies, and wet ingredients just don’t work in thin, crisp and/or chewy cookies. But all natural, freeze-dried fruit allows us to do the impossible! I buy Auguson Farms freeze-dried strawberries on Amazon, but many grocery stores carry them these days. Just give a quick Google.

The secret ingredient

Another semi-specialty ingredient that sets these strawberry sugar cookies apart and contributes to their incredibly unique, chewy, bendy qualities is liquid glucose. Again, I get mine on Amazon — Caullet brand — and it will literally last forever. I do know Michael’s sells Wilton brand glucose syrup as well. Again, just do a quick Google search to see if you can find it at any grocery or craft stores in your area.

Why use liquid glucose?

Liquid glucose is an invert sugar, which makes it handy in making candies and ice creams because it discourages and prevents the formation of sugar crystals. In baked goods, it engenders that chewy or sometimes fudgy texture we love. I do know it is used in cake baking too, but that is not my area of expertise.

I learned the liquid glucose trick for cookie baking from Christina Tosi, the mad genius behind Milk Bar. It really is a special ingredient. But if you are totally opposed, I have read that you can replace the two tablespoons of liquid glucose with one tablespoon of light corn syrup. I haven’t tried this though.

A few tips

This cookie starts out like most cookies: creaming room temperature butter with sugar. In this case, we add a bit of glucose to that mixture. I highly recommend that you put your butter in first, then add your sugars and then scoop your glucose on top of the sugar. If you add the glucose first, it will stick to the bowl and be almost impossible to scrape off. Just a little tip I learned the hard way.

Also, when scooping it, I use my two-tablespoon cookie scoop because it just makes it so much easier. Then I wash it off and use it for scooping the cookies later.

Really let this mixture cream. Let it rip for like five minutes. You want it fluffy and light.

I know this is a bit unconventional: I add my leavening agents and salt with the egg and vanilla and let it all combine before adding the flour. I have found that everything gets mixed in so much better that way. Again, let this really whip together and get fluffy. Scrape down the sides to make sure everything is fully combined.

Once you add the flour, mix on low until you see almost all of the flour has been absorbed. Then add your crushed strawberries. Just barely mix them in so you have some swirls and marbling in the dough. It makes for a prettier finished cookie.

To crush strawberries, put them in a bowl and crush with your hands until you have a powdery mixture with a few chunks remaining. Measure strawberries after they are crushed.

Photo by Anita Parris Soule. Courtesy Cook on a Whim.

Crisp and Chewy Strawberry Sugar Cookies

Ingredients

2 sticks butter at room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

2 tablespoons liquid glucose

1 egg at room temperature

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

2 1/4 cups flour

1 cup crushed freeze-dried strawberries

1 cup granulated sugar (for rolling dough balls)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter with sugars and liquid glucose until very light and fluffy. This should take about 5 minutes on medium speed.

Next, scrape down sides and bottom of bowl thoroughly with a rubber spatula, then add egg, vanilla, salt, baking powder and baking soda and beat again for about a minute. Next, add flour and mix until almost completely combined. Add crushed freeze-dried strawberries and mix until combined. It’s nice to not over-mix here, so you get a marbled effect in the finished cookies.

Using a two-tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop dough, then roll in white sugar and place onto cookie sheets about 2 inches apart. Using a flat-bottomed drinking glass or a measuring cup, flatten cookies just slightly until they are about 3/4 inch thick.

Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Allow to cool on baking sheets (but make sure to eat a few while they’re still warm!).

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