Strawberry Half-Moon Cookies
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Once February rolls around, we’ll take any excuse to transform a recipe into a fever dream of pink and red…hence these strawberry half-moon cookies. They’re a fruity take on the classic chocolate and vanilla treat (also known as a black and white or half-and-half cookie), and they get their dreamy blush color from powdered freeze-dried berries instead of dye—you can buy them online and at grocery stores like Trader Joe’s.
Come Valentine’s Day, no one will miss the chocolate.
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
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
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.