Freeze-dried strawberries add a potent blast of flavour to these cookies without watering down the dough. You'll find them in the grocer's natural foods section, or sometimes in the toddler food aisle. To crush them, either pulse them in a food processor or place them in a plastic bag and run a rolling pin over them.

The dough for these cookies is easily prepped ahead of time. Follow the recipe up through forming the dough into logs. The logs can be refrigerated for up to a week, or frozen up to three months. If frozen, allow them to thaw at room temperature for 20 minutes before slicing and baking.

___

STRAWBERRY PISTACHIO ICEBOX COOKIES

Start to finish: 3 hours 45 minutes (30 minutes active)

Makes 5 dozen cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 egg yolks

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup crushed freeze-dried strawberries

1 cup chopped shelled pistachios

Sanding (coarse decorating) sugar

In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together the butter, sugar, vanilla, baking powder and salt. Add the egg yolks and beat to combine. Stir in the flour until a dough just comes together. Stir in the strawberries and pistachios until evenly distributed.

Divide the dough in half. Using a sheet of waxed paper to help you work with the dough, shape each half into a log 1 1/2 inches around and 12 inches long. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

When ready to bake, heat the oven to 375 F.

Place the sanding sugar in a dinner plate. Unwrap one of the logs and roll it in the sugar to coat the sides. Using a paring knife, slice the log into about 30 rounds. To prevent the log from losing its shape, turn the log a little with each slice. Working in batches, arrange the slices on a baking sheet, leaving 1 inch between them.

Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining log.

Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.

Nutrition information per cookie: 70 calories; 35 calories from fat (50 per cent of total calories); 4 g fat (2 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 15 mg cholesterol; 7 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 4 g sugar; 1 g protein; 15 mg sodium.

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