These soft sugar cookies get their pink color from a little pink food gel and freeze dried strawberry powder! Their centers have a chewy texture that makes for an ideal cookie, and they’re simple to make, using many ingredients you likely already have in your refrigerator and pantry. And perhaps the best thing about them is that these pink sugar cookies can go right into the oven after you’ve made the cookie dough – it doesn’t require any chilling in the refrigerator. Check out the details for this impressive yet easy recipe below. It would be perfect to use for Valentine’s Day, baby showers, or just for fun.
Ingredients for Perfect Sugar Cookie Recipe
The recipe card contains all the steps and ingredients, but below are a few key items that bring flavor and color to this recipe.
- Pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste – In an online baking class I took once, Christina Tosi of Milk Bar taught us that you don’t need expensive vanilla extract for good flavor. So the extract from your local grocery store is perfectly fine for this recipe. I never taste much difference between pricier extracts and more basic ones.
- Freeze dried strawberries – Freeze dried strawberries have a concentrated, more intense flavor than fresh or even dried fruits. Be sure to grind them into a fine powder before incorporating them into your dough. This yields a smoother, more uniform distribution of flavor.
- Brown sugar – While many sugar cookie recipes use granulated sugar as their only form of sugar, this one uses a touch of brown sugar, too. This ingredient gives a chewy, soft texture.
- Pink or red food coloring – While the freeze dried strawberries will give your cookies a faint color, the food gel is absolutely necessary to achieve a true pink shade. I really enjoy using Wilton or Chef Master food gel colors for deeper shades. You’ll add this ingredient into your mixing bowl with the hot melted butter in the first step, as heat intensifies the vibrancy.
No-Chill Cookie Dough
Some cookie recipes call for resting your cookie dough before baking it for best results.
Here, though, you don’t need to chill or rest the dough ahead of baking these cookies.
You can learn more about the merits of resting your dough in this post from Bon Appétit. The bottom line is that if a recipe does ask you to rest your dough, do it.
Preparing and Baking Sugar Cookie Dough
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Using a paddle attachment and the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl and hand mixer, cream melted unsalted butter, vanilla extract, 7-8 drops of pink food coloring (if using – necessary for turning the cookies pink) and sugars together in your bowl for 3-4 minutes.
Stop the hand or electric mixer. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl before add salt, baking powder, and baking soda as well as half of your eggs, freeze dried strawberries, and flour. Mix for about 45 seconds on medium speed before mixer to add the remaining egg, freeze dried strawberries, and flour, beating again for 30 seconds. Here, add another drop or two of food gel if cookies aren’t as pink as you would like.
With an ice cream or cookie scoop and your hand, form each round ball of dough. It should be about ⅔ the size of a golf ball. Place the soft pink cookie dough balls onto an ungreased aluminum cookie sheet (no parchment paper needed), with about 2 inches between them.
Bake for 13-14 minutes, at which point the edges of the cookies will be done baking and centers will be soft and chewy.
Transfer cookies to a cooling rack after they’ve sat on the baking sheets 5 or so minutes outside of the oven and are firm enough to handle.
Pink Sugar Cookie FAQ
Cookies can spread if the dough is too moist, without enough dry ingredients to hold it together. It can also spread due to an excessive amount of baking soda.
If you follow the steps in this recipe, though, you won’t have that issue.
In general, adding a bit of baking powder or flour to a cookie’s dough can help prevent them from spreading as much.
If a recipe calls for a chilled sugar cookie, meaning you need to refrigerate the dough before baking it, do it! That step is not part of this recipe, though.
Prepare for a sweet yet very faintly tart cookie. The freeze dried strawberry powder adds a hint of tang, but this buttery cookie is still plenty sweet and chewy.
These cookies will stay fresh at room temperature (around 70 degrees) for 4 or 5 days. They also freeze well. Place them in an airtight container. I add wax or parchment paper between the layers as I stack them. They’ll still be good after about 3 months in the freezer. To enjoy, let come to room temperature before serving.
While delicious as is, these cookies would also look pretty topped with a pink icing. I also rolled a few of my dough balls in white sanding sugar to dress them up. They also have a little more texture this way.
Tips for Best Pink Sugar Cookies Cookies
Below are some general tips to keep in mind when baking these simple sugar cookies and any recipe, really:
- If you aren’t already, use a scale for accuracy in your baking. This ensures you’re following the exact measurements and your cookies will turn out how the recipe intended them.
- Periodically check the freshness of your leavening agents. Mix a pinch of baking powder with hot water to see if it reacts. For baking soda, you can mix a pinch of it with a few drops of something acidic, like vinegar or lemon juice. If your leavening agents have no reaction (i.e. you see no fizzing or bubbling), it means they also won’t help your ingredients rise during the baking process.
- Before diving into the recipe, clear your workspace and set out all your ingredients in front of you. This will make it less likely that you’ll forget to leave something important out of your mixing bowl!
More Dessert Recipes
Looking for more ideas like this like this easy recipe for pink sugar cookies? Check out these strawberry sandwich cookies. They have a pretty pink frosting and strawberry filling inside them!
Or if you’re more in the mood for something a little different, check out my homemade Funfetti muffin recipe – these muffins would be perfect for a birthday celebration!Print
Pink Sugar Cookies
Use this easy recipe to make a delicious batch of two dozen beautiful, pink sugar cookies at home in less than an hour! They’re perfect for Valentine’s Day or another special occasion, like a baby shower or birthday.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 24 cookies 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: American
- 12 T (170 grams) unsalted butter, melted
- 3/4 cup (180 grams) white sugar
- 1/4 cup (45 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 large cold eggs (straight from the fridge)
- 1 oz/30 grams freeze dried strawberry powder
- 2 1/2 cups (300 grams) all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- Optional: a few drops of pink food coloring to achieve your ideal shade of pink (Without it, cookies will be less vibrantly pink and much more muted)
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Cream butter, vanilla extract, 7-8 drops pink food gel, and sugars together in your mixing bowl for 3 minutes.
- Stop the mixer and add salt, baking powder, and baking soda as well as half of your eggs, freeze dried strawberries, and flour. Mix for about 45 seconds on medium speed before stopping the mixer to add the remaining egg, freeze dried strawberries, and flour, beating again for 30 seconds. Here, add another drop or two of food gel if cookies aren’t as pink as you would like.
- Scoop small (⅔ the size of a golf ball) round portions of your cookie dough onto ungreased aluminum baking sheets, with about 2 inches between each of them. Bake for 14-15 minutes. Transfer them to cooling racks after they’ve sat on the baking sheets 5 or so minutes outside of the oven and are firm enough to handle.
Pink food coloring is necessary for making these cookies a true pink shade. Without it, their color will be extremely faint.
Keywords: sugar cookies, pink cookies, pink sugar cookies, freeze dried strawberry powder