Summer is coming.
It is not exactly here yet, but with the rising temperatures and cloudless skies I can feel it on the horizon. I am ready for it this year after the unpleasantly cold winter we had. When the weather gets warm I start craving specific things. Grilled meats, potato salad, and cool citrus drinks. Now that winter is a distant memory, I have begun dusting off some of my warm weather recipes and shopping with an eye toward what is in season. At my market you can’t turn around without bumping into a display of luscious red strawberries.
I love strawberries and lemons together. Most notably I love strawberry lemonade, and that is what inspired these cookies. The cookies themselves are a lightly lemony shortbread which would be lovely all alone with a glass of iced tea. I did not stop with just the cookie, however, and opted to fill them with a little fresh strawberry buttercream. These cookies taste like warm weather, lazy afternoons, and everything I love about the spring and summer.
Strawberry Filled Lemon Sandwich Cookies Yield 3 dozen
For the cookies:
1 1/3 cups All-purpose flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
10 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2/3 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
For the filling:
5 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons finely diced strawberry
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Heat the oven to 350 F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine all the ingredients for the cookies. Mix on low speed until the dough just comes together, then increase the speed to medium for 30 seconds, or until the dough is smooth and clumping around the paddle.
Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thick. Using a small round cookie or biscuit cutter, about 1-inch, cut out as many cookies as you can. Place the cookies on the lined baking sheets about 1/4-inch apart. Re-roll the scraps and cut additional cookies. Discard any remaining scraps.
Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes, or until the bottom edge of the cookies is just turning golden brown and the centers of the cookies are slightly puffed. Cool the cookies completely on the pans.
While the cookies cool prepare the filling.
In a medium bowl cream together the butter and strawberries until only small pieces of berry remain. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and mix until smooth. If necessary add more powdered sugar a tablespoon at a time to stiffen the filling if it seems too loose. It should have the consistency of cake frosting.
Once the cookies are cool spread 1 to 2 teaspoons of filling on half of the cookies. Top with a second cookie and gently press to spread the filling to the edges. Store the cookies in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Allow to cookies to sit at room temperature for ten minutes before serving.