It's the middle of winter, and I miss berry season! These Strawberry Shortbread Cookies use freeze-dried berries, so you can have a flavorful strawberry cookie year-round!
These Strawberry Shortbread Cookies have fantastic strawberry flavor thanks to freeze-dried strawberries in both the cookies and the strawberry glaze! With these cookies you can have a melt-in-your-mouth taste of summer year-round!
These cookies only have a few ingredients, and the freeze-dried strawberries are the only one that you might not have on-hand regularly. Measurements for each of the ingredients are included in the recipe card, below.
Strawberry Shortbread Cookie Ingredients
- Flour - Provides structure for the cookies. I used all-purpose flour.
- Salt - To balance and enhance the flavors of the cookies.
- Freeze-dried Strawberries - For flavor and color. Make sure to use *freeze-dried* strawberries, as they are free of moisture and will process into a powder.
- Sugar - For sweetness. Also keeps the cookies moist.
- Unsalted Butter - For moisture and richness. Unsalted butter so that you control the amount of salt in the recipe. You want your butter to be at room temperature.
- Vanilla Extract (optional) - For flavor. You can skip this if you don't want the vanilla to interfere with the strawberry flavor, or you could use strawberry extract instead.
- Sparkling Sugar (optional) - If rolling the cookie dough into a log, you could choose to roll the dough in sparkling sugar for sweetness, texture, and color, if desired.
Strawberry Glaze Ingredients
- Freeze-dried Strawberries - For flavor and beautiful color!
- Powdered Sugar - For sweetness, and because it dissolves and gives the glaze a smooth texture. I sift my powdered sugar to ensure the glaze isn't lumpy.
- Milk - For moisture and richness. The milk allows the glaze to be a spreadable consistency. I used whole milk.
- Vanilla Bean Paste - For flavor. I love the little black flecks that it leaves in the glaze. If you'd rather substitute, you can use an equal measure of vanilla extract. Or, if you'd rather stick to strawberry flavor only, you could use strawberry extract instead.
Hint: Freeze-dried strawberries typically come in a bag that's about 1.2 ounces in weight. One bag will have enough strawberries for both the cookies and the glaze.
Here is how to put these cookies together, step by step! You can make this dough into a log and slice into rounds, or you can roll it out and cut into shapes! Additional detail is provided in the recipe card, below.
Making Strawberry Shortbread Cookies
Beat butter and strawberry sugar until light and fluffy.
Gradually add the dry ingredients & mix just until you can no longer see the flour.
If making into slice-and-bake cookies, form the dough into a log and chill. If making cut outs, form a disc and chill.
For slice-and-bake cookies, slice the cookies and place on a lined baking sheet. Chill before baking.
If making cut-out cookies, roll the dough out and cut desired shapes and place on lined baking sheet. Chill before baking.
Bake cookies until just barely golden on the bottom. Let cool completely.
Making the Strawberry Glaze
Combine freeze-dried strawberry powder with powdered sugar.
Add milk and stir until smooth. Add vanilla bean paste, if desired.
Hint: While beautiful (and yummy), I used freeze-dried strawberries as garnish just because they were pretty and the photos would clearly indicate that they were used. The strawberries will not store well. Because of the moisture in the glaze (and potentially the humidity in your house), the strawberries on top will start to soften almost immediately. You could consider sprinkles or edible flower petals as alternatives if you're concerned about the strawberries being chewy instead of crunchy.
Here are a few quick and easy changes you can make to the recipe to have an entirely different flavor profile!
- Raspberry or Blueberry- Instead of freeze-dried strawberries, use raspberries or blueberries!
- Chocolate Strawberry- Instead of using strawberry glaze, dip the cookies in melted chocolate instead for a decadent treat!
Never miss a recipe! Sign up as a Live to Sweet VIP and receive a weekly newsletter with recipes and tips--no spam ever! Sign up here
You don't need to have any special equipment to make this recipe, but here are a few things that I used to make it a little easier:
- Food Processor - Unfortunately there's no way around it...if you want to process the freeze-dried strawberries into a powder, you'll need a food processor. A small/mini food processor will work best. If you have a larger food processor, definitely use the smallest bowl insert that you have.
- Bowl Scraper - I like to use a bowl scraper to press the dough together in the bowl because it's flexible shape makes the job much easier, and it keeps my hands and countertop a bit cleaner. They're easy to store and easy on the wallet if you'd like to get yourself one!
- Nonstick Parchment - I like using nonstick parchment on my pans to ensure no sticking and for easier cleanup.
- Fine Mesh Strainer - Not a necessity, but if you'd like your glaze to be smooth, you'll want to strain it through one of these babies first.
- Offset Spatula - Again, not required, but it does make spreading the glaze over the cookies easier by keeping your hands out of the way.
This cookie dough can be frozen in an airtight container for up to three months, then just thaw and bake!
Baked and cooled cookies can be well wrapped in an airtight container and frozen for up to three months. It's best to freeze them without the glaze, then add the glaze after they're thawed.
The baked, cooled, and glazed cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 4-5 days, but they have the best texture in the first 2-3 days. Be sure to separate layers of cookies with parchment or wax paper so that they don't stick together.
I don't suggest making the glaze in advance. It has the best consistency when you've just made it.
Nope! There is no food color in either the cookies nor the glaze. If you'd like to make the cookies a bit pinker you could add a few drops of food coloring, but I thought they were perfect without!
Other Recipes You May Like
Strawberry Shortbread Cookies
Strawberry Shortbread Cookies
- ¼ cup freeze-dried strawberries (see note)
- 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 3 Tablespoons milk (I used whole milk)
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla bean paste, optional (see note)
For Shortbread Cookies
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the freeze-dried strawberries (see note) as finely as possible. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the powdered strawberries with the sugar until incorporated.
- Add the butter to the strawberry sugar. Beat until fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add vanilla extract (if desired) and mix to incorporate.
- Gradually add the flour/salt mixture and mix just until you can't see flour anymore. Mixture won't come completely together into a ball and will be a bit crumbly, which is what you want.
- Use a bowl scraper (see note) to press the dough together into a ball inside the bowl, or turn the dough out onto your counter and press together with your hands. (I like to use the bowl scraper to keep my hands/counter cleaner.)
- For slice-and-bake shortbread: Roll the dough into a 12-inch long log that's as round as you can manage. Roll the log in sparkling sugar, if desired. For cut-out cookies: Form the dough into a disc and wrap well.
- Wrap the dough and place in the refrigerator for at least one hour (up to two days).
- Once chilled, preheat your oven to 325° F. Line baking sheets with parchment (see note) and set aside.
- For slice-and-bake shortbread: (If you'd like to make cut-outs, proceed to the next step.) Slice the dough into ¼-inch rounds. I find that a thin, serrated knife (like a bread knife) works best. For cut-out cookies: Roll the dough out to about ¼-inch thickness and cut desired shapes.
- Place the cookies at least an inch apart on the prepared baking sheets and freeze for 15 minutes before baking.
- Bake 12-14 minutes, or until the cookies are just barely golden on the bottom. Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for at least 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
For Strawberry Glaze
- In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the freeze-dried strawberries (see note) as finely as possible.
- In a medium bowl, combine the powdered sugar with the strawberry powder and stir to combine.
- Add the milk and vanilla bean paste (if desired; see note) and stir until smooth. If the glaze is too thin, add a bit more powdered sugar. If too thick, add a little milk until the glaze is the desired consistency. If you want to ensure that your glaze is perfectly smooth (as some of the bits of strawberry will remain), strain the glaze through a fine-mesh strainer.
- Frost or drizzle the glaze over top of the cookies, allowing the glaze to set before serving. Enjoy!
- Note on freeze-dried strawberries: You'll need one bag (typically 1.2 oz) of freeze-dried strawberries for this recipe. Make sure that you're using *freeze-dried* berries, as they're free of moisture and will process into a powder. Regular "dried" strawberries will not!