Few things could be as satisfying on a hot summer evening than strawberry shortcake. Juicy sweet macerated strawberries ladled [I’m always the berry hog] atop fluffy shortcake, capped with a dollop of freshly whipped cream. That said, I’ve had Martha’s strawberry shortcake cookie recipe torn out since the June 2009 issue was first delivered to my mailbox.

I was a tad worried starting out. You see, these cookies are essentially half scone/half cookie, and our kitchen is very warm — never a positive when working with butter meant to stay cold. I could immediately see the batter going to mush as I folded in the strawberries. I rushed the whole bowl into the freezer, hoping to keep the butter bits intact.

In the end, they turned out moist and well-structured like a scone, but still soft and light, dotted with gooey pieces of strawberry. Not too sweet. Just right. Sure, you could spoon some fresh whipped cream on top, or even sandwich two cookies together with it, but the original recipe is a-ok in my book.

Second only to the honest-to-goodness dessert, these cookies are a hit. What’s not to love about strawberry shortcake you can carry in your hand and eat without a spoon? Perfect with a tall, cold glass of milk!

Strawberry Shortcake Cookies [makes 2-3 dozen, depending on size]

Printable recipe.

12 oz strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/4″ dice (2 c)

1 t fresh lemon juice

7 T granulated sugar, divided

2 c AP flour

2 t baking powder

1/2 t coarse salt

6 T cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

2/3 c heavy cream

sanding sugar, for sprinkling [turbinado sugar works, too]

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Combine strawberries, lemon juice and 1 T granulated sugar. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and remaining 6 T granulated sugar in a large bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, or rub in with your fingers, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in cream until dough starts to come together, then gently stir in strawberry mixture.

Using a 1 1/2″ ice cream scoop or a spoon, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment, spacing evenly apart. Sprinkle with sanding sugar and bake until golden brown, 24 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Cookies are best served immediately, but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days.

Adapted from Martha Stewart.