Compared to fresh fruits and dried fruits, freeze dried fruits are not really all that flavorful. But they do have some advantages over their juicier counterparts. For instance, they can be stored pretty much indefinitely without spoiling. They can also be worked into recipes where other types of fruit just won’t work out. This property turns out to be a great advantage when you like to play with flavors. You certainly could chop up a strawberry and put it into some chocolate chip cookie dough, you’ll end up with a cookie that might be a little too soft and strawberries that might be a little too watery/mushy after baking. Freeze dried strawberries, by contrast, can be stirred into just about any dough, adding color and flavor without altering the consistency of the original recipe.
I used this method – and a bag a freeze dried strawberries – to make these Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cookies. Their flavor was more muted than that of a regular strawberry, but it was still distinct and made a nice change from the standard chocolate chip cookie. I was also able to use a lot of berries because the dried berries mixed into the cookie dough very easily, rather like adding a handful of oats. I used my hand mixer to stir them in. Don’t be worried if the mixer breaks up the berries! This just distributes the flavor more evenly throughout the dough.
I loved the fact that you could taste the strawberries while the cookies retained their chewy, chocolate chip cookie consistency. The baking time given below should give you a soft/chewy cookie after they cool down to room temperature, but you could bake them for another minute or two if you prefer a crisper cookie. The chocolate does have a stronger flavor than the berries, so don’t go overboard with the quantity of chocolate chips in this cookie or you’ll end up with only a hint of strawberry flavor in the end result.
Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp honey
2 cups freeze dried strawberries
1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Add eggs in one at a time and beat until fully incorporated. Stir in vanilla and honey. Gradually blend in dry ingredients, followed by freeze dried strawberries and chocolate chips (don’t worry about breaking up the strawberries; stir them vigorously!).
Drop tablespoonfuls (1-inch balls) of dough onto prepared baking sheet.
Bake for about 10-11 minutes, or until cookies begin to brown and are set. Bake an extra minute or two for a crisper cookie.
Cool for 2 minutes on baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 3-4 dozen