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I wanted to do an easy pink cookie for Valentine's Day, but rather than just squirting in some pink food dye into a recipe, I thought about matching the color to the flavor as well. The obvious answer? Strawberry!
But how to flavor the cookie? Strawberry jam? Strawberry Jello? Strawberry Quick? Since I've made malted milk powder cookies before, using strawberry milk powder seemed like the way to go.
I needed a cookie dough that was as white as possible so that when I added the pink powder, the color would stay true. I took my favorite sugar cookie recipe and tweaked a few ingredients to keep it pale: I swapped a whole egg (too yellow) for all egg whites, and I took out the baking soda (contributes to browning) and added extra baking powder. Because there's no glass of milk to dissolve the strawberry milk powder, I whisked it with the egg white to help it dissolve. A few drops of pink food coloring and the dough was perfectly pink and perfectly strawberry.
That is until I baked it. As I often find, flavored milk powders don't really keep their flavor through baking. While the dough hit you in the face with strawberry, the baked cookie had barely any hint of it. I wanted more. The cookie did have that elusive chewy texture that I love, so I left the dough as is and just added a teaspoon of strawberry extract. With an added handful of chocolate chips, the final batch was divine.
About the Author: Yvonne Ruperti is a food writer, recipe developer, former bakery owner, and author of the new cookbook One Bowl Baking: Simple From Scratch Recipes for Delicious Desserts (Running Press, October 2013), and available at Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, Powell's, The Book Depository. Watch her culinary stylings on the America's Test Kitchen television show. Follow her Chocoholic, Chicken Dinners, Singapore Stories and Let Them Eat Cake columns on Serious Eats. Follow Yvonne on Twitter as she explores Singapore