Of all the cookie recipes in the world, I tend to go back to the same kind over and over again (and I suspect you do, too!) The classic chocolate chip. A good chocolate chip cookie recipe is in my mind the best “base cookie” recipe to start with when you want to try a fun new twist, like I’m doing today. You can mix it up with different types of chocolate, add in your favorite candies, or top with something fancy like sea salt for a whole new level of deliciousness.
When I took one of our favorite chocolate chip cookie recipes and mixed things up with bright bursts of strawberries and a hint of almond extract, the results were phenomenal. My family LOVES these cookies. I’m teaming up with Crisco® to help inspire home cooks with new recipe ideas and cooking and baking tips using Crisco® products and I’m going to tell you how a little shortening is one of the secrets to perfect cookies.
When it comes to chocolate chip cookies, texture and form are everything to me. I want a cookie that’s slightly crisp on the edges, soft and chewy in the center, and one that won’t dry out if I save a few for the next day. My secret to that perfect texture comes from using a combination of both real butter and and Crisco® Shortening. I love the flavor and delicate texture that comes from butter, but the shortening creates a unique softness to the finished cookie and gives it a perfect shape. Crisco® also has has zero grams trans-fat per serving*. The mix of the two results in the perfect cookie.
Start by creaming the shortening, butter, and both brown and white sugar.
Add eggs and also a generous amount of almond extract. Almond extract and berries are a natural pairing that really enhance each other’s flavors.
You can use any kind of chocolate; I prefer dark or semi-sweet.
And then another secret is right here: freeze-dried strawberries. You can’t very successfully add fresh berries to cookies because the extra moisture is just too much, but freeze-dried will absorb some of the moisture in the dough and plump up, adding both flavor and texture. I freeze-dry my own berries at home with my in-home machine (you can read all about it here), but you can buy freeze-dried strawberries in most grocery stores these days, or even on Amazon! If you don’t see them with the other dried fruits, check the health-food aisle, or the aisle with other freeze-dried foods.
The dough isn’t just delicious, but it’s pretty gorgeous to look at, too!
Drop dough onto baking sheets and press down just slightly with your hand (like the one on the far left of the below picture).
If you want, you can also add a few extra pieces of berries to the tops. They do have a tendency to get a little brown, but I kind of like them that way.
They will bake up soft and beautiful with chunks of melted chocolate and pieces of bright red berries.
The perfect treat for your Valentine!
If you need more baking inspiration visit Crisco.com or search #CriscoCreators on social media to find more great recipes!
- 3 cups Pillsbury BEST™ All-Purpose Flour
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup Crisco® Butter Flavor All-Vegetable Shortening Sticks
- 1/2 cup real butter at room temperature or slightly softer
- ¾ c. white sugar
- 1 c. packed brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon almond extract
- 12-oz bag chocolate chips
- 2 cups roughly chopped freeze-dried strawberries
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Combine flour, salt, and baking soda in a small bowl and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand-mixer, combine Crisco® shortening, butter, brown sugar and white sugar. Beat at medium speed until creamy. Add in eggs, one at a time, beating until each one is incorporated. Add vanilla and almond extracts.
- Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Add chocolate chips and strawberries and mix until well blended.
- Use a cookie scoop to portion dough into 1 1/2" balls and just slightly flatten with hand.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, until set on edges and slightly soft in centers. Remove and let cool on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes and then transfer to cooling rack. Yields about 3 dozen.
This post is in partnership with Crisco®. We love partnering with brands we use at home in our own kitchens. As always, opinions are all our own!
*See nutrition information for fat and saturated fat content.