The blog of a doctor, a baker, a wisdom tooth taker!
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! As they were a major surprise, I was sceptical it would worked I didn’t take process shots to show you which is something I really like to do on my blog and feel has been missing of late. So you’ll have to make do with a quick snap off my iPhone followed by a couple off Nicky the Nikon.
It all started by the intense early morning light waking me up at 5am this morning. Too early to put the TV on and wake the Hungry One up so I trolled Facebook to see what was going on in my “virtual” world. When low and behold, a great friend Shazza T had been pinning frantically it seemed, ideas for an upcoming party she’s planning. 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 sunk upon reading the post to discover it was made by using a packet cake mix. Sigh. Is there anything more down heartening than an ingredient list which looks like some sort of code the CIA would be proud of – all those e-numbers! All those man made artificial ingredients! Now don’t get me wrong, I do like my junk food as much as the next (honest) foodie but it has its place and not in my home baked cookie. I was most disturbed by reading of something called “butter extract” to give that “box mix taste”. Oh yes, that’s just what I’m after – not! Fortunately, Sally, whom 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 home made version of her strawberry cookies. Of course, I felt the need to tweak.
Now, to digress a little bit. A while back I sourced some freeze dried strawberry powder. I got a wee foil pouch of it from here. Having been bitterly disappointed with a purchase of strawberry extract I thought I’d give this stuff a go to try and make some piped biccies. The recipe didn’t work on a number of levels and I felt disheartened and pushed the powder to the back of my baking cupboard until I found my strawberry mojo once more. Being a child of the eighties, I’d grown up loving Crusha strawberry milkshake which in my day, came as a syrup you whisked into ice cold milk to make a baby pink milkshake worthy of the most girly of little girls. Back them, e-numbers did not concern me. Fast forward to my twenties, I developed a bit of an obsession with the real deal British strawberry. Nigella lead me by the hand to Eton mess in her series Nigella Express and if I’m honest, even though that was years before my wedding to Hungry Hub, I knew Eton mess had to be in our wedding somewhere. So it became our wedding dessert :D. Big love for the strawb, big big love! (Incidentally, if you have never made jam before as you believe a jar to be just as good, then please make some fresh strawberry jam, with vanilla if you can. It will change your toast – or my personal fave, freshly baked soda bread and butter – forever! It’s a transcendental experience!).
Yes that is a vat of strawberry and vanilla jam in the making in the bottom right – I will get back to that upon finishing this blog post! First to tell you more about these billowing 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 mouth feel 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! Cos I promise you, they will not last long. Especially as the smell woke Hungry Hubs 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!
Get the recipe here -Strawberry Milkshake Cookies . I’m off to finish making that jam as I can here the dishwasher finishing its cycle, having “sterilised” my jars for me. Happy Bank Holiday weekend o all my British followers!