Sometimes it is difficult to get your child to eat fruit. So why not let him or her work with you on putting this easy cookie recipe together? You can use any berry that you like. Try different extracts like coconut or add spices like half a teaspoon of cinnamon or anise, if you like. More spices usually mean more nutrients.
All you need is one bowl. This recipe makes 16 to 18 ping-pong or walnut-sized cookies. The cookie dough does not spread, so you can get plenty on your baking sheet. Just double everything, if you want to make enough for two cookie sheets (36 cookies). You can bake half now and half later. Chances are they won’t stick around very long.
Set your oven to bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease your cookie sheet or use parchment paper to save on calories. Each batch will take 12 to 14 minutes until the cookies are golden.
The Recipe: Cream ½ cup softened butter or 1 stick with ½ cup powdered sugar. I like using Smart Balance (64% fat content) to reduce the fat and calories. Also that saves time, since you don’t have to wait for it to soften. Just smash it down into a ½ cup container with a fork, a great job for your child. Add ½ teaspoon of coconut or other extract. Vanilla is fine. You may want to try mint (1/4 teaspoon) or almond as a substitute, depending upon your taste. Add 1 cup of flour and ½ cup of fresh or frozen blueberries, cut in half. This allows the moisture from the berries to work in the baking process.
You may use whatever berry is in season or on sale. I’ve made these with strawberries, but raspberries, blackberries, fresh cranberries or even figs would work. I have tried these using frozen fruit, but they tend to get a little mushy. Fresh is better since I like to stay as close to original and avoid processing as much as possible. Don’t forget to rinse off the berries before you cut them in half. If you are doubling the recipe, your child can duplicate what you are doing and choose his or her own berry, extract and spice.
Use a cookie scoop or about a tablespoon of rounded dough for each cookie and drop them on the cookie sheet. You can place them fairly close, because they won’t spread. I use a 14-inch by 16-inch cookie sheet and can get all of them on a single sheet. (Since there are no eggs, I have been known to dip into the dough.)
Remember the darker or the shinier your cookie sheet the more quickly your cookies will brown. I have those light-colored, air type cookie sheets, so it is difficult to overbake mine, especially with the parchment paper. But I haven’t had any complaints yet. My friend Bev, who loves my maple-flavored pizzelles, declared these as her new favorites.