With the holiday season here, it’s that time to do our best Santa Claus and stuff our bellies with some delicious treats. Over the last few years (a.k.a- since I received a KitchenAid Mixer) I’ve become the designated dessert person in my family. There’s something very satisfying about making things from scratch, and, even better, it’s really not as difficult as assumed.
This recipe has become one of my go-tos when I know people will be coming over or I’m asked to bring something to a dinner. (although, the first time I made them I used Baking Soda instead of Baking Powder… they sucked but my friends were too polite to say anything) As long as you don’t make that mistake, it’s easy to make, doesn’t need a lot of steps, and it always impresses guests. These cheesecake cookies have become my all time favorite dessert! I’m also giving you my secret to making delicious, moist, cookies!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
- 1 1/4 cups finely crushed graham crackers (1 sleeve) (if you have a guac bowl, smash them in there)
- 1 cup flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 egg, separated
- 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
(Just a tip before you start: if you own a kitchenaid, just do all of this “beating and mixing and bowls” in the kitchen aid bowl. Also, I’m separating this out as best I can so it’s easy to read for you)
To start, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
FIRST: In a bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, flour and baking powder.
SECOND: In another bowl, beat together the butter with the brown sugar until it looks like it belongs together. Throw in the egg white, mix together again until it’s blended.
THIRD: Add in the bowl from the first step to the second step and blend together until it’s nice and smooth.
FOURTH: In a separate bowl (lots of bowls), beat together the softened cream cheese with the granulated sugar, egg yolk, lemon zest and vanilla until well combined. This is your filling. If you have a pastry bag, place the filling into there to make it easier. Or, take a zipbloc bag, fill it with your frosting, seal the bag, and cut a tiny hole in the corner- it works just as well as a pastry bag!
LAST: Take the graham cracker cookie dough, roll into balls and place in an oiled cupcake pan. Yes, a cupcake pan. This will give the cookies a little more depth and it allows them to stay moist. Fill the 12 slots evenly. Then, very scientifically, take your thumb & make an imprint into the middle of each cookie. After that very scientific method, simply place the frosting in the imprint, bake for 15 minutes, let cool for 10 minutes, and enjoy. I top mine with sugar sprinkles for an added touch.