Shortbreads are a Scottish “biscuit” traditionally made with one part white sugar, two parts butter, and three or more parts of flour. There is no leavening such as baking powder and they are egg-free. As basic as the ingredients are… they are buttery, delicate, and not too sweet. They do very well with the added frosting and it makes them extra pretty too.
Shortbreads are one of my favorite types of cookie recipes to play around with and this version is the perfect example of that. So far from the traditional method because they are frosted, but still has the texture of a classic.
There are a few reasons why I was inspired to make these cookies. The pretty pink color is perfect for Valentine’s Day. My daughter LOVES cookies and she loves pink, so these are perfect for her. And the best part of all is that you don’t need to wait for strawberry season, this uses freeze dried berries.
It’s an odd ingredient, I know. But when I saw them used in another recipe, I immediately knew what could be done with them and the experiment didn’t disappoint. I hope you give these strawberries & cream cookies a try.
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What You’ll Need:
Freeze Dried Strawberries– These are great for adding a natural strawberry flavor and pink tint to the dough and frosting. You can find them at the grocery store or if you want organic, you can get them online. Just make sure they are ‘no sugar added’. I like to pick up about 2-3 ounces so I have plenty of strawberry powder.
Blender or Food Processor– Blend the dried strawberries to make the powder. I keep the powder in an air-tight jar.
Hand or Stand Mixer
Clear Vanilla Extract– It isn’t necessary, but I like to use it to help keep that pink color vibrant. There isn’t too much of a difference if you use regular vanilla extract. If you want to stay with the ‘all-natural’ theme… go for a high quality vanilla extract.
Milk or Half & Half- This is the “cream” part of the strawberries and cream. Either one will work.
Small or Medium Cookie Scoop- A scoop helps you get the perfect size cookie. If you don’t have a scoop, no worries. Just use a spoon. I don’t recommend rolling it by hand because the dough does need to be chilled so it doesn’t flatten while baking.
Cooling Racks– You will need these to cool the cookies and to frost them and let it set.
Silicone Mats or Parchment Paper–
Tips & Tricks
Frosting: The powdered sugar glaze is more of a frosting than an icing. It does take a few hours to set, although you can eat them right away if you want. When I am making these cookies for gifts, it is best to let them set on the cooling racks for a few hours, then refrigerate overnight. This allows the frosting to harden completely so I can stack them if needed.
Decorating: I add a pop of pink to the frosting with more of the strawberry powder mixed in. If you want to decorate them further, just add your favorite sprinkles or more powder before they start to dry.
Storage: Because there is milk in the dough and the frosting, it is best to store them in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Strawberries & Cream Shortbread Cookies
- 1 Hand or Stand Mixer
- 1 Cookie Sheet
- 1 Small or Medium Cookie Scoop
- 1 Cooling Rack
- 1 cup butter, unsalted, softened
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon freeze dried strawberries, powdered in the blender or food processor
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons whole milk or half & half
- 1 teaspoon freeze dried strawberries, powdered in the blender or the food processor
- sprinkles, optional
- In a medium bowl, whip the butter with an electric hand mixer for about 1-2 minutes until it is light and fluffy. It will change color and become a little lighter.
- Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract, mix well with the hand blender. Scrape down the sides if needed.
- Add the powdered strawberries, milk, flour, and salt. Mix well until it combines into a dough and less crumbly.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- While you are waiting, pre-heat your oven to 350 F and prep your cookie sheet with the silicone mat or parchment paper.
- When the dough is chilled, scoop the dough onto the sheet pan. They don't spread too much, but leave a little bit of room in between just incase.
- Bake on the middle rack for 12-15 minutes, check for browning at around 10 minutes. They should be very lightly browned around the edges, not too brown or they won't be a pretty pale pink.
- Cool on the sheet pan for 10-15 minutes, then transfer to the cooling racks for another 30 minutes.
- While they are cooling mix together the powdered sugar, strawberries, and milk. It should be pourable, but not like water. Make adjustments as needed. Cover and set aside until needed.
- Dip the tops of the cookies in the icing an place on the cookie sheet until set. Sprinkle with more powdered strawberry or your favorite sprinkles. They are also pretty plain. Store them in an air-tight container up for to 5 days in the fridge.
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