These chocolate dipped strawberry cookies are made with real freeze-dried strawberries. With a milk chocolate ganache and white chocolate stripes, these cookies taste just like the real thing! They make a perfect Valentine’s Day treat for kids, friends, or that special someone. Especially if that special someone is yourself.
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Valentine’s Day is a stressful time for a lot of people. It’s supposed to be the official holiday to celebrate love and commitment, but to many people it’s over-hyped, over-commercialized, and just a reminder of inadequacy.
You forgot or weren’t able to book the reservation, you forgot or weren’t able to get flowers, you forgot or weren’t able to get chocolate, or you forgot or weren’t able to get a significant other in the first place.
Why is there so much pressure? Why are there such high expectations?
Love can be brutal.
And in the spirit of brutal love I’m going to share my worst date story.
We’ll call the guy Bob.
And don’t worry, Bob is now happily married and has a wonderful life.
As a disclaimer: There were many times on this date when I should have spoken up, however I spent my teenage years in a small town, and learning to date properly wasn’t really a thing. Everyone already knew each other pretty well, so the nuances and cues of a dating a stranger were completely lost on me.
And so it begins:
I met Bob at a club.
No, not that kind of club. Not the strobe light, sweaty bodies, Ke$ha techno kind of club.
A swing dancing club.
That should have been my first red flag.
He was funny, he asked me to dance, he offered the prospect of free food – I agreed to a date.
The Date Story
Bob showed up at my apartment door dressed in a dashing button-up shirt and tie. My first thought was, “Oh he actually looks quite nice.”
But the first thing he said was, “I just got done with a job interview, I need to get changed.”
Now here’s the thing – I was attending BYU at the time, the privately-owned school where lots of Mormon kids go (to learn more about Mormons, click here), and members of the opposite gender are not allowed past a certain point in on-campus housing. This point is usually where the bathroom and bedrooms are, basically meaning he couldn’t get changed in my apartment… I guess.
So, we hiked up to campus.
But it took a while to finally find an open building with a bathroom he could use.
Then once we did, I had to wait outside the men’s room… for a very long time. And this was before smart phones ya’ll. I was bored out of my mind, and felt weird just standing there.
He finally emerged from the bathroom in a plain t-shirt and jeans (not a problem, but definitely a downgrade, and why on earth did it take so long?) and asked me what I wanted to do.
What do I want to do?
I don’t know. How do I answer that question?
I thought he was supposed to plan the date. Maybe I was being naive at the time. Who knows?
I think I stared at him for a solid 30 seconds before hurriedly suggesting a walk around campus.
And walk around campus we did. For an hour and a half. Luckily the Arts building had some great exhibits on display, so it wasn’t as terrible as it could have been.
Once dusk began to fall, he told me he’d brought some home-made sandwiches.
“Oh, that’s sort of cute.” I thought to myself.
I was then presented with one small peanut butter and jelly sandwich with hardly any filling (I like LOTS of filling FYI), but I figured I would just eat in a little while when he took me home. No big deal right?
He then pulled out a bag of bread.
I had the thought, “Oh! Yay, maybe some more to eat.”
But then he said we were feeding said bread to the ducks.
We went to the local campus duck-pond and I spent the next half hour or so listlessly throwing bread chunks and staring at those fat ducks eating all the food that could’ve been mine.
I thought by 6:00 PM our date would finally wind down. It had been three hours, we had eaten, done some activities (sort of), plus I wanted to go home. But I was wrong.
He suddenly told me we were going to Olive Garden.
“Oooh! Olive Garden?” Fancy.
But for a friend’s small get-together/birthday party.
We got in his car and we drove to Olive Garden.
As it turned out, the small gathering turned out to be a HUGE birthday party. When we arrived there were about 30 people already there and already seated. So, when I walked in with Bob it was like a giant spotlight had been turned on me. Everybody welcomed Bob emphatically, then asked who I was. You know, with that “nudge, nudge, wink, wink” sort of tone.
After we sat down, I was informed that everyone had already ordered. Bob turned to me and said
“I’m not getting anything, but if you really want something you can order.”
Looking back, I should’ve said, “Yes, I want something!”, “Yes, I’m starving, and you brought me to a yummy restaurant!”, “Yes, I’m going to order the most expensive thing on the menu!”, and finally “Yes! and then you’re taking me straight home!” But at that time, I was trying to be a nice and polite date, so I said I was okay.
Then stole about 50 of the all-you-can-eat breadsticks.
Turns out that wasn’t enough though. I was still starving.
After not being spoken to, or engaged in any way, by or with anyone for an hour, I was getting irritated. Then, the waiter came and asked if we wanted our picture taken as a group. That picture still exists and I’m in the very front of the photo with a “What in the world is happening?” look on my face. I’m sure Bob’s birthday friend will cherish it forever.
We left after that.
But does he take me home?
“I hear there’s a concert in town, I want to take you to it.”
But it wasn’t “in town”. It was in Park City, and Park City is a long way from Provo.
And remember how I said this was before smart phones? Well, we got lost.
I’m not sure.
Two hours went by. I remember driving around the Midway/Heber area. Back then, I wasn’t good with directions, ask anybody, and apparently neither was he.
I suddenly had the thought, “Oh my gosh, this is it, he’s going to take me to the middle of nowhere and kill me.”
But he didn’t. We finally made it to Park City. But if you’ve ever tried to park last minute in Park City, you know how terrible it is.
We took forever to find a spot.
Then we got out of the car and it was FRIGID. It was February after all.
I only had on a small coat. Not a giant winter coat like I immediately wished I had.
We walked over to the venue and got there just as the lead singer was finishing the last song (I was fist-pumping in my mind, maybe he’d take me home now). Luckily it was a charity event, so we hadn’t had to pay.
Bob was sad, but then there was lots of cheering, and suddenly the band came back out for an encore (Virtual fist-pump stops in mid air).
Bob decided he wanted to get closer to the stage. So out of nowhere he decided it was okay to take my hand and lead me up there.
I left my hand limp in his, but he kept a firm grip.
When we stopped, I pulled my hand away and started rubbing my arms to keep warm.
“Are you cold?” He asked. Then with no response, he proceeded to help warm me up by rubbing my arms too.
“I don’t think that’s working.” I said through gritted teeth as I scowled at him. My breath was thick foggy mist.
“Oh, well here then.” He said as he unzipped his jacket, pulled me against him and wrapped the jacket around me. Somehow he did this all in one swift motion.
So there I was: Irate, smashed against this stranger, freezing, and starving. There were drunk people everywhere, laughing like crazies, shoving each other, and falling off of stair rails. And just when I thought it couldn’t get any better-
He started jumping with the music.
I don’t know if he forgot he had kidnapped me into his coat or what, but I was suddenly forcibly bounced up and down with my head being smacked against his chest over and over.
Finally it stopped.
Fireworks began going off over the venue, and Bob stopped to watch, but I made a beeline for the car.
No way was he going to kiss me! (He didn’t, in case you were worried)
On the way home, I pretended to go to sleep. I’d had enough.
However, Bob placed his jacket over me as he drove.
What a nice dude. But, I was still mad.
Needles to say, we never went out again.
But enough of that, you’re here for the cookie recipe!
Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Cookies
These chocolate dipped strawberry cookies are my version of the famous Swig cookie. Except these ones are made with freeze-dried strawberries. The kind I used for this recipe can be found here (affiliate).
Traditionally, this cookie is served cold with room temperature sour cream frosting on top. However, I find these cookies are best right out of the oven with hot chocolate ganache on top. This recipe is adapted from a bunch of online recipes, but mostly from this one.
Here's What You Need:
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 6 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon red food dye
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup freeze dried strawberries, blitzed to a powder
- 6 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/4 sugar
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup white chocolate chips
- 1/4 teaspoon shortening
Here's What You Do:
- Turn oven to 350 F degrees. Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper and cooking spray or Silpat. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, (you can use beaters and a large bowl, but you'll have to use your hands at the end) combine sugar, butter, oil and egg. Cream together on high until fully mixed.
- Gently stir in red food dye, be careful not to splash.
- In a small food processor, blitz about 2/3 of the bag (1 1/2- 2 cups) of freeze dried strawberries (I use Trader Joe's) until a fine powder.
- In a large bowl add strawberry powder, flour, powdered sugar, salt, cream of tartar, and baking soda. Whisk to combine.
- With stand mixer (or beaters) on low, slowly add flour mixture. If dough is too dry and not coming together, add the tablespoon of water. (If using beaters, you may have to use your hands at this point to knead the dough together).
- Put quarter cup of sugar into a small bowl.
- Form dough into balls, slightly larger than a golf ball and roll to coat in the sugar.
- Using the bottom of a glass, press down on balls to flatten, make sure there is a good cracked "lip" around the edge. This will stop the ganache from running off.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the middles slightly puff up.
- Allow to cool on pan for 5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.
- While cookies are cooling, combine cream and milk chocolate chips in a small bowl. Microwave for bursts of 10 seconds, stirring in between, until you have a runny chocolate sauce.
- Spread your ganache on the center of each cookie. Allow to cook slightly.
- Mix white chocolate and shortening together in small bowl and also microwave for bursts of 10 seconds, stirring in between, until you have runny white chocolate.
- Transfer chocolate to a small Ziploc bag. Snip off the very end with scissors (snip less than what you think you need) .
- Squeeze bag over cookies and move in a zig-zag motion to make the pattern.
I like to eat mine while they're still warm. To store: keep cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 4-5 days, but cookies will last longer in the fridge.
.*I use this Silpat for all my cookie baking (affiliate). You can see pictures of it in some of my old posts.