Monday, February 7, 2011

Cherry Cheesecake Cookies

I wanted to make something a bit different for my Dad's Superbowl party this year.  I always make my Pecan Tassies, and when I came across this recipe for Cherry Cheesecake Cookies on Tasty Kitchen, I knew I had to try these.  The recipe sounded so unique.  How could you make a cookie taste like cheesecake?  Well, this recipe accomplishes just that.  It basically combines a cheesecake batter with some butter and flour in order to make cookie dough.  The dough is then shaped into balls and rolled in graham cracker crumbs.  An indentation is made in the cookie, then 3 cherries from cherry pie filling are placed in the center and the cookies are baked.  These have a really great flavor, not quite cookie, not quite cheesecake, but very delicious!  The recipe on Tasty Kitchen says it makes 36 (but at the bottom it says 48), and the original recipe is found in America's Test Kitchen Holiday Cookie Magazine.  The original recipe says it makes about 4 dozen.  I used a 1 1/2 Tablespoon scoop, and I ended up with 52 cookies.  So if you don't want a ton of cookies you might want to cut the recipe in half.  I posted the recipe below, with my changes in red. These are not easy on the waistline, but for a special treat, they really hit the spot!

Cherry Cheesecake Cookies
  • 3-½ cups All-purpose Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 2-½ sticks Butter, Softened to room temperature
  • 2 packages Cream Cheese (8 Oz Packages Softened to room temperature)
  • 1-½ cup Sugar
  • 2 whole Large Eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 2 cups Graham Cracker Crumbs (I used ½ cups of store bought graham cracker crumbs)
  • 3 cans (21 Oz. Can) Cherry Pie Filling, Drained (I only needed 2 cans, I used Comstock Brand Cherry Pie Filling which claims to have more fruit in it)

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat cream cheese, butter, and sugar until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture, and mix until just combined. Refrigerate dough until firm, at least 30 minutes.

Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place graham cracker crumbs in a shallow dish.

Roll dough into 1 ½ inch balls (or use the above mentioned cookie scoop), then roll in crumbs. Place balls 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Using a tablespoon measure, make indentation in the center of each ball. Place 3 cherries in each dimple. 

Bake until golden around the edges, about 12 to 14 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking.  (My cookies took about 16 minutes)

Cool for 5 minutes on the sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. (Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for 2 days.)
Note: to make graham cracker crumbs, process 8 whole graham crackers in a food processor until finely ground.

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