Strawberry Shortcake knock-offs
Remember when Strawberry Shortcake dolls were the “it” thing to have? Sometime in the early 80s, the sweet-smelling little doll made her debut and quickly became the favorite of the yet-to-be-labeled tweens, myself included. She had a cat named Custard, a dog named Pupcake, and her BFFs included Apple Dumplin’ and Orange Blossom. Berry puns galore. Stickers, doll clothes, doll carrying cases, television shows and the pinnacle of toy success, an Atari game. I don’t remember having the doll, but I do remember my Great Grandma B making knock-off dolls out of crabapples and corn husks that looked kinda like a diluted version Strawberry Shortcake but smelled freakin’ amazing. Grandma B packed that doll’s bonnet with something, homemade potpourri or strawberry leaves from the garden, whatever it was, and the aroma was like strawberry pie.
So when I was perusing Martha Stewart’s cookie recipes to do my own version of a recipe knock-off, the Strawberry Shortcake recipe was a natural choice. It was easy to convert and pretty easy to assemble with minimal dish dirtying in the process.
Strawberry Shortcake Cookies
Adapted from Martha Stewart Strawberry Shortcake Cookies
12 ounces fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and cut into ¼ inch cubes, about 2 cups
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ c plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2/3 cup rice flour
2/3 cup soy flour
½ c corn starch
¼ c MINUS 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons guar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes
2/3 c heavy cream
raw sugar or sanding sugar for sprinkling
1) Preheat oven to 375 (or around 350 for a convection oven.)
2) Combine strawberries, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar, set aside.
3) In a separate bowl, combine rice flour, soy flour, corn starch, tapioca flour, baking powder, guar and salt, along with the remainder of the granulated sugar.
4) Cut in the butter with your fingers, similar to making a pie crust. When the mixture resembles a coarse crumb or meal, stir in the cream. (Martha says to do this by hand, but why bother when a stand mixer gets the job done?)
5) Add the strawberry mixture to the flour/butter mixture and lightly mix everything together, being careful not to pulverize the strawberry bits.
6) Using an ice cream scoop or tablespoon, drop dough onto lined baking sheets, spacing evenly apart. Sprinkle with raw sugar and bake until golden brown.
7) Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Should be refrigerated for storage.
The cookies don’t spread out too much when baking, so if you use the ice cream scoop, the end result looks a little like Shortcake’s bonnet. I used a smaller ice cream scoop, about the size of a melon baller, and ended up with little bite sized cookies that were absolutely delicious. Don’t skip the raw sugar on top; it gives the cookie a bit of crunchy texture, which is good since the rest of it is very chewy and soft.