Food & Drink Magazine

Roasted Strawberry Thumbprints

By Monetm1218 @monetmoutrie

Strawberry Thumbprint Cookies - Anecdotes and Apple CoresStrawberries. A baker’s worst enemy. You might have experienced this: you have a carton of summer strawberries on your counter, the idea of muffins or cookies or pie sounds oh-so-appealing, you pull out your mixing bowls, find a good recipe….and then you watch, with increasing levels of horror, as your strawberries go from ripe, plump, and red to mushy, watery, and brown.

“I will never again bake with strawberries.” Or so I thought.

Strawberry Thumbprint Cookies - Anecdotes and Apple Cores
I spent Tuesday with one of my dearest friends in the world. She showed me her backyard garden, verdant with herbs like cilantro and basil, with vegetables like kale and squash. She also showed me two small strawberry bushes…with a few ripening berries making their entrance into the world. As I drove home, I thought about those tiny berries and how lovely they’d taste in a few weeks’ time. And the baking dilemma bit me. I wanted to make strawberry cookies so badly…but dare I try?

Strawberry Thumbprint Cookies - Anecdotes and Apple Cores
A few traffic jams were good for my thought-process because by the time I reached Colorado Springs and our neighborhood Whole Foods, I knew just what I needed to do. Roast. I needed to draw out the liquid of the berries and intensify their sweetness before adding them to my cookies. And the stars seemed aligned with my plan because when I walked into the grocery store, there were my organic strawberries, almost 50% off.

These thumbprint cookies are buttery and not too sweet. I used coconut sugar instead of granulated sugar which added a wonderful color and nuttiness to my thumbprint. And the strawberries? Well, I roasted them with a few tablespoons of raw honey, and my house smelled delightful as they caramelized in the oven. I took them out and tried a bite before spooning them on top of my thumbprints (I had a jar of jam as a back-up). Hallelujah. My fear of baking with strawberries was finally gone.

Strawberry Thumbprint Cookies - Anecdotes and Apple Cores
Roasted Strawberry Thumbprint Cookies

1 pound strawberries, washed and hulled

2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup

3/4 cup (1 and 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss strawberries with honey and place in a deep baking pan. Allow to roast in oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until the juices are thick and bubbly. Set aside to cool

In a medium bowl attached to a stand mixer, beat together coconut sugar and butter until smooth and creamy, about five minutes. Stir in egg and vanilla. Beat until combined. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir dry ingredients into butter-sugar mixture. A soft dough should form. Allow to chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Scoop dough out in one-inch balls. Place about two-inches apart on baking sheet. With your thumb or the back of a spoon, form a small indentation into each piece of dough. Generously spoon roasted strawberries into center. Bake cookies until the edges are lightly golden, about 12 minutes. Remove and serve warm.

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