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A Special Valentine Cookie

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For some time now, I have been exploring the wonderful world of cookie-making through the many recipes available in books and online. What I have found is that I have many markers or folded pages in my cookbooks and several saved recipes online that are awe-inspiring. If only I took the time to actually make these recipes! 

Years ago, I challenged myself at Christmas to make two new cookie recipes each year to see what we had been missing. It has worked out well for my family; we have discovered several new favorites. Don’t get me wrong; I still make my cherished traditional cookies each year. But the enormously fabulous number of recipes that belong to others and their traditions are out there just waiting to be tried by the rest of us. 

This year I made a New Year’s resolution not to just try new recipes at Christmas but to make something new each month. In January, I decided I would find a new cookie for Valentine’s Day. The day is all about love, memories and making new memories with those you love and cherish, and there are many different ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Most are centered around flowers, jewelry, dining out and making special arrangements for those that you hold close to your heart. One of the more popular sweet treats lately seems to be chocolate-covered strawberries. White chocolate-, dark chocolate- or milk chocolate-covered strawberries have been a delicious addition to the Valentine’s Day gift giving. You can dip your own fresh strawberries for the ones that you love or purchase this amazing delicacy; both are beautiful and delicious.  

Keeping in mind the popularity of chocolate covered strawberries, I started looking through my cookbooks and this recipe just sprang out at me to try. It’s full of fresh strawberries, cream cheese and white chocolate. I’m hooked on this amazing cookie.

Here’s my sweet rendition of chocolate-covered strawberries in a cookie.

Strawberry and White Chocolate Cookie

Ingredients
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup chopped fresh strawberries
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 to 2 tablespoons flour
5 ounces white chocolate, chopped
Sanding sugar

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. In a medium bowl, dice the strawberries in small pieces and pour the fresh lemon juice over them. Gently stir to cover the strawberries; drain after a few minutes. This will keep the strawberries from changing color and will keep them fresh even after baked. In another bowl, whisk together 1¼ cups all-purpose flour, salt and baking powder and set aside. Beat together butter, sugar and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and mix well. Gradually add flour mixture and mix until well combined. Stir in chopped white chocolate (you can also use white chocolate chips). Sprinkle the strawberries with 2 tablespoons flour and toss until all strawberries are coated with a thin layer of flour; gently stir into the batter. This keeps the strawberries from sticking together. Set the cookie dough in the refrigerator for 10 minutes before baking. Drop dough in heaping tablespoons on the baking sheet, leaving 1½ inches between each cookie. Sprinkle the cookies with sanding sugar but be careful not to overdo it; the cookies are already sweet. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes until the edges become golden brown. Let cool a few minutes on the baking sheet and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Big and little alike will love these cookies. I put them in clear bags and tie them up with red and white ribbon and they are so cute, a great gift for teachers, family, friends, grandparents or to share just because. They disappear so fast that I have to double the recipe so we can gift some and have some to snack on. So, for now there is a new recipe card in my card box. Yes, I have a Valentine cookie that will be a keeper in our family. Happy Valentine’s Day to you from a new clean card in my recipe box.