Oh my these are so good I hadn’t even finished eating my first cookie before I was typing up the recipe and announcing a new blog post! I was sceptical that they would work so I didn’t take process shots to show you which is something I really like to do whenever I can and as is always the way, they worked brilliantly and I was kicking myself for not grabbing the camera! Oh well, it’s just the excuse I need to make another batch of my Strawberry Milkshake Cookies really soon 😉
It all started by the intense early morning light waking me up at 5 am this morning. Too early to put the TV on and wake The Hungry One up so I searched Facebook to see what was going on in my virtual world when low and behold, a great friend Shazza had been pinning frantically it seemed, ideas for an upcoming party she’s planning and one of the pics was of these über-aesthetically pleasing pink cookies. Sold! I had to find out more and make them, immediately. I’m a huge fan of all things pink but throw my favourite summer fruit strawberry into the mix and I’ll be all over it, like fine rain.
However, my heart sank upon reading the post to discover it was made by using a packet cake mix. Sigh. Is there anything more disheartening than an ingredient list which looks like some sort of code the CIA would be proud of, as it’s full of so many e-numbers?! I was most disturbed by reading about something called “butter extract” to give that “box mix taste”.
Fortunately, Sally who is the author of this blog acknowledges not everyone shares her fondness for box mixes and gave a wonderful recipe which you could use yourself to make a genuinely homemade version of her strawberry cookies. Of course, I felt the need to tweak.
Let me tell you more about these billowing soft pink puffs. Sally instructed us to make balls of dough taller than they are wide then push them down a little after baking to make the thickest, puffiest, soft-centred but ever so slightly crisp-edged cookie. She is a genius. I worship at her cookie goddess alter! Everything about her description there is perfect.
Seeing as Hungry Hubby had broken into my stash of white chocolate last week I decided to use white rather than dark choc as she does. And what it produced is was I’ve dubbed strawberry milkshake cookies. Oh, the nursery sweetness! The velvety creamy mouthfeel of the still molten middle hunks of white chocolate against the fruity zing of the strawberry powder.
And yes, the freeze-dried powder which is all natural gives you both this deep cotton candy pink colour and the wonderful flavour of the fruit itself. I added almond extract and vanilla as flavour enhances to the strawberry rather than flavours in their own right so they appear in tiny quantities in my version of the recipe. You don’t need to add food colouring to this recipe if you use the freeze-dried berries I did but if yours isn’t as strongly coloured, I would use a tiny bit of Sugarflair food colouring paste (or similar brand wherever you are) rather than liquid ones which will alter the consistency of the finished cookie.
My only criticism of this recipe is that it only makes 12 squidgy bellied cookies. If you want to double up, please do so! I promise you, they will not last long. Especially as the smell woke Hungry Hubby and he too is a devoted, faithful follower of all things strawberry. A big thank you goes out to Sally for her original recipes and Super Shazza for finding her for me!
I’m off to finish making the strawberry and vanilla jam you saw sneaking into a photo above, as I can here the dishwasher finishing its cycle, having “sterilised” my jars for me.
- 75 g nice and soft butter
- 1/2 cup caster sugar 100g
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 level tbsp freeze dried strawberry power
- Pink food colouring paste optional
- 3/4 cup plain flour 100g
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 100 g white chocolate chips or a chopped bar
Cream butter and sugar well.
Add in the almond extract, vanilla, egg yolk and beat well until soft and fluffy again.
Beat the freeze dried strawberry powder and some pink food colouring if using.
Beat in the flour until its more or less worked in (it will be a dry crumbly mix not dissimilar to shortbread in the making) then work in the chocolate - bring together with your hands.
Take lumps of dough about 1-2 tbsp worth and roll in the palms of your hands to a rounded tall cylinder shape and place on a lined baking tray (you will need to compact the dough as you shape it in your hands especially if using chunks of chocolate to ensure it all coheres together).
Bake in a preheated oven at 180˚C for 9-10 minutes, peeking towards the end to ensure they aren't browning.
Remove from the oven when just set but puffy in consistency and cool for a couple of minutes on the baking tray before carefully sliding onto a rack to finish cooling - gently push the tops down to flatten a little bit if they are "too" puffy after baking.
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