With Memorial Day Weekend (the unofficial beginning of Summer!) coming up and my schedule still just as busy as ever with concerts, festivals, dinners and those late-Spring-cookouts with friends and family- I’ve been looking for quick and easy recipes to prepare that won’t take up too much of my in-between time but will still be a hit with everyone. Appetizers and desserts are usually my go-to for this- especially when I can incorporate seasonal flavors and flair.
And since we’re on the cusp of strawberry season, these fluffy and flavorful “half moon” cookies are perfect to please a crowd! You prepare, bake, and then let them cool/chill- so they’re good to go by the time you’re ready to head out the door and hit the road!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
FOR THE COOKIES:
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅓ cup sour cream
FOR THE ICING:
- 7 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 6 tablespoons whole milk, plus more as needed
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup freeze-dried strawberries
WHAT YOU’LL DO:
1. MAKE THE COOKIES: Arrange the oven racks in the upper and lower third of the oven, then preheat it to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape down the side of the bowl, then beat in the egg until combined, followed by the vanilla.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt until well combined. Mix the dry ingredients to the stand mixer in 3 additions, alternating with the sour cream in 2 additions, mixing just until combined and scraping down the side of the bowl after each addition. Using a silicone spatula, give the batter a final mix by hand to ensure there are no flour pockets.
4. Using a ¼-cup cookie scoop or ¼-cup measure sprayed lightly with nonstick spray, scoop the dough into 12 portions between the two prepared baking sheets. Transfer to the oven and bake until the edges are lightly golden and the tops are set, 15 to 17 minutes, rotating the cookie sheets from front to back and top to bottom halfway through. Cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheets before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
5. MAKE THE ICING: In a large bowl, stir together the confectioners’ sugar, milk, corn syrup, vanilla and salt until combined—it should resemble toothpaste in texture. Transfer half of the icing to a small bowl.
6. Using a food processor or blender, process the freeze-dried strawberries until they’re a very fine powder. Add the powder to the small bowl of icing, and stir to combine. (You may need to add ½ to 1 tablespoon milk to thin the strawberry icing, but only until it’s the same texture as the vanilla icing.)
7. Flip the cooled cookies over so they’re flat side up. Starting with the vanilla icing, ice half of each cookie with about 1 tablespoon of the icing. Allow to set for about 10 minutes, then repeat with the strawberry icing. Let the icing dry for at least 1 hour before serving. The cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
I love how buttery soft these cookies are, and the sweet/tart aftertaste the strawberry icing gives them. You can also do a modified chocolate/strawberry version (which would be a great dessert for Valentine’s Day, by the way!) that I may share in the future sometime- but for now- I’ve been whipping up batches of these for everyone I’m seeing in the coming days!