I’m more into Valentine’s Day this year than I’ve ever been in the past. And my 18-month old has everything to do with it. I have a red dress picked out for Audrey, we’ve sent out homemade Valentine’s to family, and we’re going to a Valentine’s Day party. And what would this holiday be without a little something sweet?
Here I’ve made a relatively healthier, less sweet version of a classic treat – the sugar cookie. I wanted to make a red heart cookie without using artificial coloring or dyes and thought freeze-dried strawberries would be perfect. Given my recent obsession with freeze-dried fruit this seemed like the perfect answer. By grinding the berries into a powder and adding it to the mix, I was able to achieve the red speckled flecks I was hoping for, not to mention an awesome strawberry taste. I made a whole-wheat and a gluten-free version and both were delicious. I also used Florida Crystals, a less refined cane sugar, but feel free to use the granulated sugar you like most.
I bought these heart shaped cookie cutters because I loved how they came in different sizes.
Strawberry Heart Sugar Cookies
12 months + up
Makes approx. 20 cookies, depending on the size cookie cutter you use
1 cup white whole-wheat flour*
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour*
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons strawberry powder (see below)
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, melted (coconut oil works as well)
1 large egg
1/2 cup florida crystals (or granulated sugar of choice)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* For the gluten-free version I substituted the white whole-wheat flour and all-purpose flour for 1 ½ cups Cup4Cup gluten-free flour blend. They came out just as good, or according to my husband, better than, the whole-wheat version.
Preheat oven to 350. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, salt and strawberry powder. In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer, combine melted butter, egg, sugar and vanilla. Mix well until combined and smooth, about 30 seconds. Slowly add in the flour mixture, with the mixer on low speed, until the dough comes together. Place the dough on a piece of saran wrap and form into a disc, cover, and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Remove dough from fridge and on a lightly floured surface roll dough out into 1/8″ thickness. Use cookie cutters to make hearts and place on cookie sheet. Bake 6-8 minutes, until lightly golden around the edges. Remove from oven and let cool about 2 minutes.
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