Cherry cheesecake cookies help you get your cheesecake fix in just one cookie bite.
Was it you? Did you request these cookies?
I got an email about a month ago instructing me to turn to page 234 in the The Perfect Cookie cookbook (the same cookbook from which my Homemade Fig Newtons hail). The writer asked if I could scale the recipe down?
The original recipe makes 54 cookies, which is insane, in my opinion. I can think of about 2 or 3 times a year when I would need a batch of 54 cookies. The rest of the year, I’ll take a small batch of chocolate chip cookies instead, ok?
Maybe everyone is eating more cookies than me?
Anyway, I cut the recipe down by about a third. I got slightly more than one dozen cookies, and it was just the right amount for a dessert party I hosted last weekend. There were a few other desserts on the table (like my mini angel food cake in a loaf pan and my paleo candy bars), but I think the bright red cherries were the reason this dessert flew off the table!
There are a few recipes on the internet for cherry cheesecake cookies, but I’m going to say that mine is the best for a few reasons. Well, I guess since I’m just scaling down America’s Test Kitchen recipe, I can’t claim it as my own, but I have some opinions, regardless:
Why these cherry cheesecake cookies are superior:
- The cookie is actually a bite of pure cheesecake held together with only enough flour necessary so that the cookie remains a cool, creamy and tangy bite of actual cheesecake.
- The graham cracker crumbs on the outside are the perfect contrast–just enough crunch, just enough flavor. I especially love the bits that brown on the pan!
- These cookies are great cold, right out of the fridge, so they’re perfect to make ahead of time!
My bias is incredible here, but if you’re a cheesecake fan, you’ve got to try to get your cheesecake fix in a cookie at least once!
Side note: the canned pie cherries on these cookies are the same ones I use when I make my small cheesecake in a loaf pan recipe.
I should tell you that the size of the cookie scoop matters immensely when making these cherry cheesecake cookies. I used this cookie scoop; it’s the same one recommended in the Perfect Cookie cookbook (and yes, it’s really perfect!)
How to make cheesecake cookies:
These cookies have a chill time requirement, which usually isn’t my favorite thing about cookie recipes, but in this case, if you skip it, the cookies can spread too much on the sheet during baking. It’s only 20 minutes, ok?
Step 1: Make the cookie dough by beating together softened cream cheese, butter and sugar. Add egg yolk and vanilla extract. (We’re only using the egg yolk; check out my recipes that use egg whites).
Step 2: Add the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt) to the wet ingredients. Chill dough for 20 minutes.
Step 3: Roll scoops of cookie dough into a ball, and then roll in crushed graham cracker crumbs. Make an indent, add the cherries, and then bake the cookies.
These cookies are fun to make with kids, because they can crush the graham crackers in a bag and help you roll the cookies. Camille worked on counting out 3 cherries into a little dish to be scooped onto each cookie. It’s amazing how well kids can count if dessert is involved!
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 whole graham crackers, crushed into crumbs
- 1 can of cherry pie filling, drained
- Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Using a mini stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a hand-held electric mixer), beat together the cream cheese and butter until creamy, about 1 minute. While the mixer is running, stream in the sugar and beat until combined.
- Next, add the egg yolk and vanilla extract; beat until combined.
- Finally, add the flour mixture and beat until just combined. Cover the dough and chill for 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Have the graham cracker crumbs ready in a shallow dish.
- Scoop out heaping tablespoon-size balls of dough, roll them into a ball, and then roll through the crushed graham crackers.
- Place each cookie on the sheet, evenly spaced about 2" apart.
- Using the back of a tablespoon measure, make a large indent in the center of each cookie. Place 3 cherries in the center of each indent.
- Bake the cookies for 12-13 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes, move to wire racks to cool completely. Serve warm or chill before serving, your choice!