These Strawberries and Cream Cookie Sandwiches are perfect for Valentine's Day or any day. Filled to the brim with strawberry flavor and complemented with a cream cheese filling, these cookie sandwiches are sure to please all your loved ones. And their bellies!
PS I added a bit of Bailey's Strawberries and Cream Liqueur to the filling to make these extra super duper special (wink, wink).
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How to use Strawberries to make Cookies
Using fresh strawberries in dessert recipes is typically ideal. Cakes and tarts definitely benefit from the flavor, texture and juiciness of fresh strawberries.
Cookies, on the other hand, can suffer a bit at the hands of fresh strawberries. The amount of moisture in the fresh fruit can alter the texture of the dough and the end result will likely not result in anything pleasant or desirable.
A great alternative to fresh strawberries in cookies is freeze-dried strawberries.
Grinding them into a powder and adding this to the cookie dough helps create the beautiful pale pink color. This use of strawberries also helps infuse a subtle strawberry flavor into the cookies making them super yummmmmmy!
These strawberry cookies are the perfect base for creating cookie sandwiches. Since the cookies have a subtle strawberry flavor, I used a cream cheese filling because, well, strawberries and cream is such a classic and delicious flavor combo.
And I amped up the strawberry flavor even more with a spoonful of strawberry jam in the middle.
The filling is then sandwiched with another cookie on top and decorated or left plain, if you so desire. It's important that the cream cheese filling be smooth so it's pipe-able but stiff enough to hold up the top of the cookie sandwich. See my tips below for more on this.
Tips for Making Strawberries and Cream Cookie Sandwiches
- When the dough has been chilled for at least 4 hours, remove it from the fridge and allow it to sit out for at least 10-15 minutes before rolling out. I find the dough breaks and cracks when trying to roll it out if it's too cold. Sprinkle some flour on your rolling pin and roll forwards and backwards in a straight line a few times. Then, turn the dough 45 degrees and roll forwards and backwards again a few times. Continue in this way until the dough reaches the desired thickness. If you find the dough too difficult to roll out when it's chilled, try this trick from The Kitchn where you roll the dough out before chilling it
- There are two important steps to help achieve the beautiful strawberry pink color on these cookies. The first is to make sure you finely grind the freeze-dried strawberries. I use a mini food processor for this. I find my regular food processor is too large to properly grind such a small quantity. If you don't have either type of food processor, place the freeze-dried strawberries in a tightly sealed ziplock bag with the air pressed out of it and beat the strawberries with a rolling pin or (clean) meat hammer until you achieve a fine powder. The second step to achieving the pink color is to bake these cookies just until they're barely golden brown. If you leave them in the oven too long, the cookies will brown too much and you'll lose the beautiful pink of the freeze-dried strawberries
- The cookies should be completely cooled before assembling the cookie sandwiches. Otherwise, the filling will melt and ooze out the sides of your sandwiches and you'll have one fine mess on your hands!
- If you prefer not to add the liqueur to the filling, feel free to substitute the Bailey's with whole milk
- The cream cheese filling should be stiff but smooth. You should be able to pipe it, however, it should not drip off the end of a spoon or out of the tip of the piping bag. If the filling is too loose, add in more powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, to stiffen it up. If the filling is too warm and melty, place it in the fridge for 10 minutes before piping
- Another easy option instead of cream cheese filling, would be to make strawberry marshmallow fluff using none other than dried strawberries to get massive amounts of flavor pumped into the filling! You won't have any problem finding places to use up any leftovers.
Useful Kitchen Tools for Making this Recipe
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For more Valentine's Day treat recipes, give these a try:
- ¼ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 4 ounces cream cheese brick-style, room temperature
- 1 ¾ cups powdered sugar sifted
- 2-3 tablespoons Bailey’s Strawberries & Cream liqueur or whole milk
- ½ cup strawberry preserves, jelly or jam
Prepare the Cookie Dough:
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, granulated sugar, powdered sugar, and salt until thoroughly combined, about 3 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, cake flour, and finely ground freeze-dried strawberries.
- With the mixer on low, mix the flour mixture into the butter mixture in 3 additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl in between each addition.
- Tear off a large piece of plastic wrap and place dough in the center.
- Shape the dough into a smooth, round disk and wrap tightly in the plastic wrap.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and allow to warm up slightly for about 10-15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 325ºF.
- With a rolling pin lightly floured, roll dough out to ¼ inch thickness.
- Using a cookie cutter, cut out dough and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing cookies 1 inch apart (cookies won’t spread much at all).
- Bake the cookies until just barely golden at the edges, about 10-11 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on baking trays.
Prepare the Filling:
- In a medium bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter using a spoon until smooth.
- Add in powdered sugar and Bailey’s or milk, mixing until smooth. If the filling seems dry or clumpy, add a bit more liquid, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the filling smooths out.
Assemble & Fill Cookies:
- Once the cookies have cooled completely, flip half the cookies over so the bottoms are facing up.
- Fill a piping bag or large ziplock bag with filling. If using a ziplock bag, cut off a corner of the bag to create a piping tip. Pipe filling around the edges of the overturned cookie.
- Spoon strawberry jam into the center and place another cookie on top, being careful not to press too hard so filling doesn’t squeeze out.
- Pipe extra filling on top and decorate with sprinkles, if desired.
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