Sparkly Strawberry Shortbread Cookies




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strawberry shortbread cookies

Sparkly Strawberry Shortbread Cookies are pretty in pink cookies that might look demure, but they pack an explosive berry flavor.  The frilly edge of sparkling sugar gives a nice crunchy contrast to the buttery shortbread, too.  This might be the ultimate strawberry cookie! 

strawberry shortbread cookies in a ceramic berry basket

Strawberry Shortbread cookies are the IT cookie of the season.

When was the last time you had a strawberry cookie?  Probably never, right?  That’s because it’s incredibly difficult to incorporate juicy strawberries into a crunchy cookie recipe.  Right up until my first bite I wasn’t sure this one was going to work.  And frankly, it’s almost unbelievable that it does, but omg, these cookies actually taste like fresh strawberries.  I think I’ve made the quintessential spring cookie!

pale pink strawberry shortbread cookies

 

What’s the secret to getting fabulous fresh strawberry flavor into cookies?

It’s freeze dried strawberries.  That’s right.  Freeze drying removes all the moisture, and I can process the dried berries into a fine strawberry rich powder in my blender.  That way I can add it to shortbread without any extra liquid, which would ruin the texture of the cookie. (You can also buy strawberry powder ready made, if you prefer.)

You know what’s even better?  Freeze dried strawberries are simply strawberries, so there’s none of that artificial flavor we’re used to in commercial products.

freeze dried strawberry powder

How to make freeze dried strawberry powder

  • Start with freeze dried strawberries.  I used Trader Joe’s.
  • Put them in a high speed blender and blitz until they become a fine powder.  This will happen almost instantly.  You can use a food processor, too, but the powder won’t be as fine.
  • A 1.2 ounce bag makes about 3-4 tablespoons of delicious strawberry ‘dust’.
  • Find freeze dried strawberries in the dried fruit section of your market, or find them online.

strawberry shortcake cookies on a baking sheet, ready to bake

The strawberry powder mixes right into my regular shortbread dough making a soft pink color and a bright juicy flavor.

I rim them with a little sparkling sugar for a little pizazz.  Sparkling sugar is a coarse sugar with a super shine, I’ve used it before on my raspberry rugelach bars, and my cranberry breakfast cake.  Its not just for looks, either, it adds an appealing sweet crunch.

strawberry cookies rimmed with sparkling sugar

If you loved my pansy topped shortbread cookies

you might be wondering if you could do the same thing with these cookies and the answer is yes!  This is so nice for special occasions…simply flatten fresh flowers between sheets of parchment paper, and then gently press them onto hot cookies, just out of the oven. Read all the details in my how to make pansy topped shortbread post.

strawberry cookies topped with pansies

Frankly I don’t think these cookies need any embellishment other than the sprinkle of sugar. I’m sampling another cookie as I write this, and I’m struck by the unique flavor…I think you’re really going to love these cookies, please let me know what you think if you try them…

a stack of strawberry cookies

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strawberry shortbread cookies
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4.81 from 21 votes

Strawberry Shortbread Cookies

Sparkly Strawberry Shortbread Cookies are pretty in pink with an explosive berry flavor. Sparkling sugar adds a sweet crunch to this fab strawberry cookie!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
chilling 2 hours
Yield 20 + cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp freeze dried strawberry powder
  • 2 cups all purpose flour

sugar edging

  • sparkling sugar
  • 1 egg white, beaten. I use a pasteruized egg.

Instructions

  • Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Put the butter, sugar, and extract, if using, in the bowl of a food processor or stand mixer. Sift in the strawberry powder to avoid lumps. Cream well. Make sure your strawberry powder is well incorporated and the mixture is streak free.
  • Add the flour and pulse about 10 times, then run the machine briefly, just until the dough comes together into a lump or lumps. If using a stand mixer, add the flour on low and mix until the dough comes together.
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and finish bringing it together, if necessary, with your hands. When it is smooth with no crumbly spots remaining, form it into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a 1/4 inch thickness and cut out with a cookie cutter. I used a 2 inch cookie cutter for about 20 cookies. I like to refrigerate the cut cookies for 15-20 minutes before baking.
  • Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of your cookies. I like my shortbread on the softer side, but if you prefer it crunchy, bake a little longer. Don't let them get browned.
  • Cool on the pan for about 15 minutes, until the cookies are firm enough to handle, and then lightly brush the edges with egg white, and roll in sparkling sugar. Let dry before eating. Note: you can also brush the edges and roll in sugar before baking, if you prefer.

Notes

Use readymade powdered strawberries or make your own by blending freeze dried strawberries in a high speed blender until they turn to a fine powder...this happens almost instantly.

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28 Comments

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  • Reply
    Tiffany C.
    July 26, 2020 at 2:11 pm

    5 stars
    Can you bake these and then freeze them (for maybe 3 weeks or so), then let them thaw out before serving at a party?

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 26, 2020 at 3:28 pm

      Yes, shortbread freezes beautifully.

  • Reply
    Shaleen
    July 13, 2020 at 7:55 pm

    Could I use matcha green tea powder instead of strawberry powder? If so, would I need to change the sugar levels as matcha tends to not be sweet at all. What measurements would you suggest?

    • Reply
      Sue
      July 14, 2020 at 4:53 am

      I think you could do an even swap Shaleen.

  • Reply
    Michael
    June 14, 2020 at 11:27 am

    I refrigerated the dough as per the instructions. Then I couldn’t roll the dough out. Am I missing something?

    • Reply
      Sue
      June 14, 2020 at 11:32 am

      You’ll need to let the dough rest and warm up a little bit before rolling, that’s normal Michael. Some chefs like to whack the chilled dough with their rolling pin to loosen it up.

  • Reply
    Lesa
    June 11, 2020 at 6:07 am

    I just came across your recipe. I’m a Newby at baking, so I noticed you had no baking powder in your recipe. I am wanting to make cookies and use the royal icing on them. I was wondering if this recipe will spread the cookies or not.

    • Reply
      Sue
      June 11, 2020 at 6:15 am

      Not sure what you’re asking Lesa, but you could use royal icing on these cookies, and they don’t spread at all.

  • Reply
    gayle
    June 5, 2020 at 2:31 pm

    I used a rolling pin and parchment paper to pulverize my dehydrated strawberries, then put them through the strainer. Worked great! I usually make my shortbread by just pressing the dough into an even layer in a pan. Granted, the cookies won’t end up as pretty, but, what do you think? My dough is chilling now. So far, I’ve tried 3 of your recipes and passed them on to my mom and sister! Yum and thanks!

  • Reply
    Timber
    May 23, 2020 at 11:50 am

    5 stars
    Great recipe! I had some passion fruit powder and used that, next time I’ll try the strawberry. Before I read the comments I tried rolling it in a log instead of cutting them out. They were fine but just like you said, a bit misshapen. Still delicious though,!

  • Reply
    Deborah
    May 22, 2020 at 3:28 pm

    Like this, but would like more strawberry powder next time. I made the powder then left the residue in the blender and made your rhubarb butter using the blender. The cookies are good dipped in the rhubarb butter! Can’t wait to try other fruit powders in this recipe.

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 22, 2020 at 3:35 pm

      yum!!

  • Reply
    Marguerite
    May 18, 2020 at 1:58 am

    5 stars
    Great cookies, thank you! too sweet for me but whoever tasted them decided they were addictive. It is a success!

  • Reply
    Robin Starkey
    May 17, 2020 at 8:34 am

    4 stars
    Could you shape the dough into a tube and roll in the sugar & then slice into rounds?

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 17, 2020 at 8:58 am

      Yes, you can, but you’d have to chill the log of dough first, and I find that it always gets a little wonky shaped no matter how careful I am. But you can do it that way.

  • Reply
    Mariah
    May 11, 2020 at 12:18 pm

    My grandkids will LOVE these and, as commented earlier, SUPER perfect for baby showers! My question is: May we sub almond flour for all of us annoyingly sensitive Gluten Free people?
    Thanks Sue – LOVE the passion and gusto for life that you exude! It’s contagious!

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 11, 2020 at 1:11 pm

      Thanks Mariah 🙂 I don’t think you can make these cookies solely with almond flour, they wouldn’t have enough structure to hold together, but maybe a good gf baking mix like King Arthur or Bob’s Red Mill would work.

  • Reply
    Laurie
    May 11, 2020 at 10:40 am

    YUM!!!! I grow tons of strawberries and have a dehydrator – do you think dehydrated berries would pack as much punch as freeze dried berries?
    BTW – your strawberry buttermilk cake is my most favorite cake in the world!

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 11, 2020 at 11:10 am

      I don’t know if you can pulverize your dehydrated berries, I guess if they’re dry enough they would turn to powder, it’s worth a try. They should have the same flavor.

  • Reply
    Ali B
    May 11, 2020 at 10:22 am

    I do not have a high speed blender. Will the cookies come out right using a regular blender?

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 11, 2020 at 10:38 am

      Your blender should be able to pulverize the freeze dried strawberries into a fine powder. If you have a spice grinder or coffee grinder that would work, too. You just want a very fine powder.

  • Reply
    Shannon
    May 11, 2020 at 10:05 am

    These look great!! Perfect for a girl baby shower. Do you think you could use freeze dried blueberries for a boy baby shower?

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 11, 2020 at 10:38 am

      Yes, absolutely!

  • Reply
    Irene
    May 11, 2020 at 9:04 am

    How would strawberry Quik work in these cookies?

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 11, 2020 at 9:17 am

      I don’t think it would have enough flavor, Irene.

  • Reply
    Lisa
    May 11, 2020 at 8:28 am

    5 stars
    Brilliant! I have quite a few freeze dried fruits in my pantry right now… but not strawberries. Definitely will have to get some to try these beautiful cookies.

  • Reply
    Gerry
    May 11, 2020 at 8:19 am

    5 stars
    Great idea, or use other freeze dried fruit

  • Reply
    Ana
    May 11, 2020 at 7:43 am

    Oh. I’m going to make these soon! Thanks for sharing the recipe. I use freeze dried fruit in my sourdough scones. Like you say, more flavor and less liquid.