It’s been a bad week for baking. Or at least it was for me! Remember that apple pie that looked absolutely perfect but turned out to be a pie dish full of apple soup? Yeah, that one was bad. Edible – the flavors were definitely there! – but unless you like your apple pie in soup form, not ideal. I like to be able to eat my apple pie with a fork.
Barely recovered from the apple pie disaster, I tried my hand at a gorgeous, tempting strawberry cake. A few days ago, one of my readers left me a comment, saying that she would love to try my Strawberry and Rhubarb Pie with Mascarpone Cream and that she had just posted a recipe for a simple strawberry cake on her own blog. Naturally, I was intrigued. I mean, she mentioned ‘strawberries’ and ‘cake’. In one sentence! How could I not be interested.
So I quickly set to work. I know I’m on a pie quest and all, but a girl can’t live off pie alone. I was going to have strawberry cake for dessert!
Well, that was the plan, anyway. I have to admit, I messed around with the recipe a bit (a lot! It’s in my nature to mess things up…) because I didn’t have all the ingredients on hand and because I’m one of those obnoxious bakers who just cannot not change a recipe.
The first strawberry cake I made I had to pull out of the oven after 15 minutes, because it had dramatically risen over the sides of the pan I was using. All the strawberries had sunk to the bottom and the bottom of my oven was covered in a thick layer of vanilla cake.
Whether or not I ate the cake layer straight out of the oven is irrelevant…
But being the positive-minded girl that I am, I tried again, this time tweaking the recipe even more. Sorry, dear reader (Sweet Margo) who sent me the link to that beautiful recipe, but I didn’t have any pudding mix! I promise to stick to your recipe next time!
Anyway, I think the second cake I made could actually have been quite presentable and pretty… if only I had taken it out of the oven in time! That’s right: I burned it. I told you I’ve been having a bad week when it comes to baking! But on the bright side, the parts of the cake that weren’t burned were actually quite delicious and if I hadn’t stuffed my face with the unburned bits, I would probably have made another one and posted about it on the blog.
But for now, let’s talk about cookies…
Cookies that, coincidentally, are perfect for Mother’s Day!
At any rate, I didn’t screw these babies up, which must mean something, right? After so many kitchen disasters. I didn’t even burn them!
In fact, I soft-baked them. Which means that they are deliciously crunchy on the outside, thanks to a generous coating of coarse granulated sugar, and perfectly soft and fluffy in the center! Soft-baked to perfection…
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start with the dough. There’s jam in it. Raspberry jam. I guess it makes the cookies even softer because of the added sugar. Plus, the jam gives the cookies a deliciously fruity taste. I also added some lemon zest, just to make them a little more zingy and perfect for spring and Mother’s Day… They taste like a sunny spring picnic. To make them even better, I drizzled them with a sweet cream glaze and sprinkled them with some homemade raspberry sugar after baking.
Just look at that raspberry sugar! It’s sparkly!
And it’s sooooo easy to make. Just stir some sugar and raspberry juice together, scatter the wet sugar onto a baking sheet and bake in a 50°C/120°F until dry. That’s it. No trouble at all! And the result is amazing!
It’s shockingly pink, it smells beautifully of fresh raspberries and has a subtle raspberry flavor. Just enough to give these zingy raspberry jam cookies an extra raspberry kick!
And a sense of elegance. Don’t you think the sparkling sugar makes these cookies a lot prettier?
I’m usually not really into sparkly, glittery things (I’m a weird girl, I know…) but these cookies are just irresistible!
So whip these up for Mother’s Day!
Oh, and if you are also interested in whipping up some simple strawberry cake, take a look at Sweet Margo’s recipe!
- 113g (or 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 135g (or ⅔ cups) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons milk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 80g (or ¼ cup) raspberry jam
- 275g (or 2 cups + 3 tablespoons) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- 200g (or 1 cup) granulated sugar, in a dish
- 40g frozen raspberries, thawed
- 200g (or 1 cup) granulated sugar
- 60g (or powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons whipping cream or water
- Preheat the oven to 175°C/350°F (standard oven setting) and line a cookie sheet with baking parchment.
- In a medium-sized bowl, beat the butter until soft. Add the sugar and mix together for about two minutes, or until the mixture becomes nice and fluffy. Add the egg and mix well, about one minute. Mix in the lemon zest, milk and vanilla extract and finally the jam. It's okay if the mixture curdles a bit at this point. Once you add the dry ingredients, the mixture will become smooth again.
- Add the flour, baking powder and salt to the wet ingredients. Using a rubber spatula, stir until combined. You should end up with a soft dough.
- Drop tablespoonfuls of the dough into the dish of granulated sugar. Toss to coat the dough with the sugar, then quickly roll the dough into balls. Place the dough balls onto the prepared cookie sheet, spacing them about two inches apart.
- Bake in the middle of the oven for 12-13 minutes (rotating the cookie sheet after six minutes), or until the edges of the cookies have browned slightly. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool for five minutes on the sheet before transferring them to racks to cool to room temperature.
- Repeat with the rest of the dough, cooling the baking sheet between batches.
- Turn the oven down to 50°C/120°F (standard oven setting) and line a baking sheet with parchment.
- Using the back of a spoon, press the raspberries through a sieve, making sure to catch the juices. Add the sugar to the juices and stir until combined.
- Scatter the wet sugar onto the prepared baking sheet and allow the sugar to dry out in the oven for about 30 minutes (I left the oven door ajar to allow the moisture to escape).
- Combine the powdered sugar and cream/water in a small bowl. Stir to combine. Once the cookies have cooled, drizzle with the glaze. Once the sugar has dried out properly, remove from the oven and break sugar clumps apart with a fork. Sprinkle the sugar over the cookies. Allow the glaze to set or serve immediately! Great for Mother's Day!