Okay, let’s start out easy.
Cookies are my absolute favorite treat. It’s a bit of a bonus that they are usually easy to whip up mid-week. Plus, we’re using box cake mix (no apologies). Even easier.
So, who doesn’t love red velvet? Great color and cream cheese frosting. Red velvet is probably the sexiest cake going around, but for me it’s a struggle. Despite all of my ten years in the UK, I’ve not been able to nail down a cream cheese frosting that isn’t completely liquid. (A topic to come back to.) So, this idea works for me because the cream cheese frosting is essentially baked inside the cookie.
I used Two Peas and Their Pod recipe and while I found it very delicious, it was quite oily. There is a resting period for the dough and I just felt that instead of melding together all the oil was seeping out. Very messy, but on the plus side moisturizing for the hands.
I’ve adapted the recipe a tiny bit, but purely for less oil and more sweetness. It’s a great shout for a low maintenance and rich dessert.
Red Velvet Cheesecake Cookies
Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod, makes 11-14 cookies
- 1 box red velvet cake mix (I used Betty Crocker)
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons good quality cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Middle:
- 4oz cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 1/3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
I would say you can use light cream cheese for this recipe, but I always avoid ‘the lightest’ cream cheese when baking. And of course, you can never go wrong with full fat.
1 1/2 cups of melted white chocolate (chips or bar)
- For the cookies: Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add all wet ingredients and mix again! Make sure mix really comes together. You want it shiny and smooth. Wrap dough up in cling film and refrigerate for 1.5 to 2 hours.
- For the cream cheese middle: Combine all ingredients very well – So either use an electric mixer or whisk the hell out of it. No lumps. On a baking sheet or plate lined with parchment, scoop or drizzle (mine was quite liquidy, but it froze fine) cream cheese filling into 11-14 balls. This will depend on how much cream cheese you want in the middle of each cookie. Freeze cream cheese discs for at least one hour.
- Baking and Assembly: Line baking sheet with parchment paper, preheat oven to 350F or 177C. After all ingredients have chilled, scoop out about 1/4 cup of the cookie dough. Flatten as much as possible, then place the frozen cream cheese in the middle of the cookies. Wrap dough completely around the frozen cream cheese so that that it is no longer visible. This is key, as you do not want leakage so add more dough if necessary.
Now, these cookies are large and they do spread out. Keep this in mind when baking in accordance to the size sheet you are using. Four cookies per sheet worked well for me. Bake for 11-13 minutes. The cookies will still feel quite soft when you remove them from the oven, but they will stiffen up. Leave them on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes then move them on over to a cooling rack.
Once cookies are completely cool, it’s time for the chocolate drizzle. You can use the double-boiler method, but this is an easy recipe so for me – Microwave it is. Break your chocolate up into shards or pour chips into a microwave safe bowl and heat up in 5 second increments until fully melted. Then drizzle cookies and let the chocolate set.
And then finally… you can eat one!
I kept these cookies in the fridge because of the baked cream cheese. I wouldn’t really leave them out for more than 45 minutes. I found that the longer the cookies were left at room temperature the more oil came out and the cream cheese middle started to sag and disconnect from the rest of the cookie.
So, there you have it. Easy mid-week luxury… mainly from a box.