Cherry Cheesecake Cookies

If you don’t have the patience for making (or the will power to not eat) a whole cheesecake, these cherry cheesecake cookies will do just the trick!

Dish Count :: 1 Mixer, 1 Small Bowl, Baking Sheet

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Every spring the gardening bug hits, and it’s about the time again. This weekend it came and there was no stopping it. Yesterday morning I asked Ben if he wanted to go to the gardening store with me to pick up some more plants and potting soil – and so that I would avoid overbuying as I have a tendency to do when left unattended like a kid in a candy story. But he declined citing studying, with a dabbling of Boom Beach for his break time, only to have me come home and hour later with a Subaru packed to the gills with dirt and flora.
Cherry Cheesecake Cookies - www.countrycleaver.com

I guess that will teach him to not let me go to the store by myself anymore!

In the car, besides the three bags of dirt, were rosemary plants, thyme, chives, herbs of every variety, snapdragons, fushias for my hummingbird friends, and a hanging strawberry plant. Since we moved last fall to a south facing balcony apartment I decided it was the year I could give my poor little apartment garden a real chance. I still see the balcony of my old garden from across the way, but this year, it’s going to shine.

Cherry Cheesecake Cookies - www.countrycleaver.com
These cookies have absolutely nothing to do with gardening, but since I was utterly distracted getting dirt under my nails this weekend, I didn’t have time to whip up a batch of anything new to show up! These Cherry Cheesecake Cookies just happened to be a batch of cookies I made well before Christmas that I never showed off and they were so pretty, they needed a chance to shine now.

The guys at work proclaimed these the best cookies I had ever brought to work, as evidenced by their disappearance before the second pot of coffee had brewed that morning. Proof is in the cookie!

Yield: 4 Dozen

Cherry Cheesecake Cookies

Ingredients:


  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 2 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese, softened

  • 2 1/2 sticks butter (20 tablespoons), softened

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

  • 2 large eggs

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 8 whole graham cracker rectangles, crushed into crumbs

  • 3 (20 oz) cans cherry pie filling, drained of juice


Directions:

1.  In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.


2.  In the bowl of a mixer, beat cream cheese, butter and sugar until combined and smooth.  Add eggs, one at a time, and vanilla and mix until just combined.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed. Mix until uniform.


3. Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add flour mixture in batches.  Divide dough in half and wrap each ball of dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.


4.  Preheat oven to 350.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.


5.  Roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls, then coat completely in graham cracker crumbs.  Place 2 inches apart on baking sheet.  Using a rounded spoon, create an indentation in the center of each cookie and place 3 cherries in the center.


6.  Bake until cookies are cracked and set, about 12-13 minutes.


7.  Cool on sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely.


 


Recipe from America's Test Kitchen Holiday Cookie Cookbook.



Cherry Cheesecake Cookies - www.countrycleaver.com