There is something of a joke in my family about cream cheese.
You see, my father loves the stuff. I’ve seen him eat it on crackers, with salsa, on chips, or even plain. Whenever he tries a new recipe, inevitably, his first comment is that it does not have enough cream cheese. (Most of the time he is joking … we think.) He was the reason, last holiday season, I tried to find a cookie that featured cream cheese prominently.
These cookies are an upgrade of a cookie I tried last year from here. They were just ok. They tasted like baked cream cheese. I did a little tinkering and I’m happy to report that these cookies now have a robust flavor.
The bottoms of the cookies get quite chewy and a little darker than you would expect while the tops stay quite soft, pale, and a little creamy. The texture and the flavor, with the mild cream cheese tang and fresh burst of citrus, really do remind me of cheesecake!
Orange Cheesecake Cookies Yield about 3 dozen
Adapted from here
1/2 cup butter at room temperature
3 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
1 teaspoon fresh orange zest (you could also use lemon or lime)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chocolate chips, melted
Heat the oven to 375 and prepare two sheet pans with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a mixer cream the butter and cream cheese until they are well combined.
Add the sugar, vanilla, and citrus zest and blend until the ingredients are well combined but not fluffy. Add the flour and mix on low until the flour is incorporated.
Scoop the dough into 1″ balls onto the prepared sheet pans. Bake for 12 to 13 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the tops are slightly puffed.
Cool on the pan for two minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Once cool drizzle, or dip, the cookies with the melted chocolate. Put the cookies into the refrigerator for thirty minutes to set the chocolate.