Raspberry Flavor-Sugar Shortbread Cookies

..simple sanding sugar with raspberry flavor….perfect for Spring

I have learned lots of stuff during the past year…being at home a lot and being naturally curious…well…needless to say I have learned a lot. Some things I am pretty sure are just fillers for empty spaces in my psyche…others useful and interesting and some just fun.

A year or so ago I got interested in fruit powders and ordered a few from Nuts.com to play around with. More recently I saw a quick idea for turning plain sanding, or decorating, sugar into not only colorful alternatives to supermarket bought sprinkles, but to add real flavor as well using fruit powders. The powder added color and a really strong raspberry flavor, no fake dyes, not just color, but real fruit flavor. Quick, easy and fun.

Fruit powders are just dried fruits ground into powders. They are beautiful and delicious swirled into yogurt bowls, or added to smoothies. Strawberry, blueberry, pomegranate, cherry and raspberry are some of my favorites.

Dried raspberry fruit powder added to plain decorating sugar…

….a bit of water added, whisked and scraped out onto a parchment paper lined sheet pan….dried in a warm oven….

….chunks broken up and ready for decorating.

First day of Spring sugar cookies…make and tuck into an Easter basket or for a late night adult snack with a sip of port. Make your day delicious, colorful and curious.

Simple Shortbread cookies decorated with a raspberry flavored sanding sugar.

Raspberry Sugar Shortbread Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup white sanding/decorating sugar
  • 1 teaspoon raspberry fruit powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon water
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon each baking powder and salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 generous teaspoon vanilla extract
  • a few tablespoon water if needed
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup

Directions:

  1. For the raspberry sugar: Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together the sanding sugar and raspberry fruit powder. Add water and whisk until the sanding sugar is evenly coated with powder. Spread sugar out onto the prepared baking sheet. I used the whisk to spread out evenly. Place pan in oven. Turn off the heat. Let sugar dry for 30 mins to 2 hours in warm oven.
  3. Remove pan and let raspberry sugar cool. Break up any clumps with your fingers.
  4. For cookie dough: Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Beat together, using a mixer, the butter, oil, sugar and vanilla extract until blended. Slowly beat in flour mixture, on low speed, until well mixed. If need be, to form a dough, add a tablespoon of water until it comes together.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. Form cookie dough into a flat disk. On a flat work surface dusted with a bit of flour, roll cookie dough out to about 1/4 inch thick more or less. Cut dough into squares using a 1 1/2 inch square cookie cutter, or cut into squares using a knife. Place cookies on prepared sheet pan. They hardly spread at all, so they can be close together. Gather any dough scraps, re-roll and cut until it is all used up. You should have about 36 cookies. Cover loosely with plastic and chill for 30 mins.
  6. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bake cookies for 15 minutes or until a pale golden brown. Remove from oven. Cool cookies completely on a wire rack sitting on a sheet of parchment paper to catch sanding sugar when decorating.
  7. Working with a few cookies at a time, brush the top of each cookie with a thin layer of corn syrup, then sprinkle each with raspberry sanding sugar. Let the cookies air dry for an hour. They are ready to enjoy and share.