I usually like to keep it simple in this space so I will warn you that this recipe takes a bit of time. There are multiple steps but I do think the payoff is worth it! I love cookies with American buttercream vs. royal icing and I wish I saw more of it because it really is much more tasty. I’m not sure anyone has ever said royal icing is delicious. It’s cloyingly sweet and the flavor is super flat. But it does make for some beautiful cookies!
These are inspired by those strawberry crunch bars I used to get as a kid from the ice cream truck. My parents were always sort of suspicious of the ice cream truck but they’d always give me a few dollars and walk me out there to purchase my goodies. I always, always went with the strawberry crunch bar.
For years I tried to duplicate that exact popsicle with absolutely no luck. It’s pretty hard to make a soft, ice cream-like interior and crunchy exterior with a popsicle. I’m guessing they have crazy machines and what not. So think of this cookie as more a deconstructed version of that bar. Much easier than messing with popsicle molds.
The freeze dried strawberries are my absolute favorite thing to have in the kitchen. It truly is so delicious in baked goods and these cookies are just screaming to be a part of your spring brunch table.
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- Strawberry Frosting:
- 1/2 pint strawberries
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon white granulated sugar
- 1/2 + 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 drop of red food coloring (optional)
- 1/4 cup cookie crumbs (from the baked off cookie crumbs)
- 2 tablespoons freeze-dried strawberries
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- To make the cookies: To the bowl of a standup mixer, add the butter, granulated sugar, powdered sugar and salt. Beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg, egg yolk, vanilla paste or extract and beat once more until combined. In two batches, add the flour, being sure each addition is combined before adding the next one. Divide the dough in half, transfer it to two sheets of plastic wrap (it’ll be quite soft!), shape into a disc and transfer to the fridge. Allow to chill for about 1 hour.
- Turn the oven up to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Remove the first disc of dough from the fridge. Allow to come to room temperature for about 5 to 10 minutes. Liberally flour a rolling pin and work surface. Roll out the cookie dough to a 1/8-inch thickness. Stamp out the cookies using a 3-inch cookie cutter (I used a strawberry cookie cutter). Transfer the cookies to the baking sheet, spacing them about 1 inch apart (these spread slightly). Place the scraps and break them up into pieces and place on another baking sheet (we’re going to bake these too!). Repeat with the second disc of dough.
- Bake the cookies, one baking sheet at a time, for about 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly golden brown around the edges. Cool on the baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining cookies and cookie scraps.
- To make the frosting: To a small saucepan, set over medium heat, add the strawberries, salt, water, lemon juice and sugar. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until softened. Smash them with a spoon and run through a sieve, discarding the pulp. Transfer the strawberry puree to the fridge to cool (or else it’ll melt the frosting!). You should have about 2 tablespoons of strawberry puree.
- To a medium bowl, add the unsalted butter, powdered sugar and the cooled strawberry sauce. Beat until combined. Add food coloring, if you like, to make more pink.
- To make the crunch: To a a blender, add the baked cookie scraps and freeze-dried strawberries; pulse until everything is in teeny-tiny pieces. Pour in the melted butter and pulse once more.
- To decorate the cookies: Add a teaspoon of frosting to each cookie. Make a pretty smear situation and top with a sprinkling of the cookie crunch on top.
Adrianna Adarme is a food blogger and author living in Los Angeles, California. She writes the blog A Cozy Kitchen, where she shares comforting, everyday recipes from her kitchen. She recently authored her first cookbook, PANCAKES: 72 Sweet and Savory Recipes for the Perfect Stack. She’s a lover of breakfast, pie (and sometimes even pie for breakfast), corgis and cute things. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.