Cobbler…it’s a southern tradition, like black eyed peas and greens on New Years Day or seersucker in the summer. Cobbler is also one tradition I happily indulge in whenever there’s fresh fruit in season. Traditional cobbler has a fruit base and usually a sticky cobbler dough that bakes into sweet and slightly crusty perfection, but one of our local restaurants The Chef and the Farmer created a new take on the classic with a sugar cookie crusted berry cobbler that is unbelievably delicious. If you haven’t had a chance to check out their show on PBS, A Chef’s Life, I highly recommend it. Chef Vivian’s recipes and excursions to local farms and businesses are both fun and educational.
Back to the cobbler, with our bounty of fresh strawberries last week, I set out to replicate the sugar cookie crusted cobbler that my husband and I both loved. The first thing I needed to do was put together the sugar cookie dough, because it would need to chill in the fridge for at least an hour. It’s a classic recipe, so you can use your favorite or the one I have posted below.Once your sugar cookie dough is chilling (or chillin’) in the fridge, get started on your cobbler filling. I tried this two ways, and both ways were delicious. First, slice your strawberries. Then combine your berries with sugar, vanilla, and cornstarch (or arrowroot powder) and either let sit on the counter for an hour or so, or gently heat in a sauce pan for 5 minutes or so if you’re in more of a time crunch. (FYI not heating the berries will give your cobbler a juicer base, which my husband preferred. He could then break off chunks of crust and soak up the juice.)
Once your strawberries are ready, then you can assemble the cobblers. I used shallow ramekins, and filled them about a half inch from the top with the strawberry filling. Then I rolled out a portion of cookie dough and covered the top, letting it drape over the side. There’s no need to make your dough a perfect circle; it’s looks (and tastes) great regardless.
Place your ramekins on a baking sheet (trust me, you want to do this. I didn’t the first time and ended up with cookie dough baking on the bottom of the oven). Place in preheated oven and bake until tops are golden brown.
For your tongue’s sake, give it a few minutes to cool, then dig in! Another wonderful thing about this dessert is it can be made mostly in advance. The cookie dough will last in the fridge for days if it’s wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, and the strawberry filling will do the same. So when you’re ready to have dessert, simply assemble and bake!
You can definitely serve this with whipped cream or ice cream to make it more indulgent, but it’s wonderful plain as well. I’d love to know what your favorite strawberry desserts are or if you’ve seen A Chef’s Life on PBS. Enjoy!