Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Chewy Cheesecake Cookies

A while back, I saw a picture of some luscious looking cream cheese cookies at dessert comes first. Shortly thereafter, I received an e-mail request for cheesecake cookies. I knew I had to try.
Cream cheese in used in many cookie recipes to enrich and soften a butter dough, but the flavor is subtle and often blends in with the butter. If you are told that there is cream cheese in the dough, you might taste it, but otherwise it is not an obvious flavor. This was the biggest challenge to overcome, since too much butter would overwhelm the cream cheese. I settled for an equal amount of butter and cream cheese. I needed enough flour to give the cookies a nice, stable texture and used an egg to bind everything together.
I have experimented a bit and this is the best version I have come up with so far. They are soft, chewy and definately remind me of cheesecake, though perhaps cheesecake crossed with a sugar cookie. I did not include any vanilla because I didn't want to mask the relatively delicate flavors, though a little bit surely wouldn't hurt. Don't over bake them or they will firm up and loose that soft cheesecakey texture.
These cookies keep very well, so you can store them in an airtight container for several days.

Cheesecake Cookies
½ cup cream cheese, soft
½ cup butter, soft
1 cup sugar
1 egg
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp baking powder
1 cup ap flour

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, beat together butter and cream cheese. Gradually beat in sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and salt.
Whisk together baking powder and flour in a small bowl and, mixing by hand or at low speed, add to cream cheese mixture.
Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet.
Bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes, until the bottom edge just barely turns brown.
Makes about 3 dozen.