Cheesecake and cookies--two of my favorites. Combining the two is something I should have done sooner, I think. These are seriously delectable little cookies. They’re petite and look all ready for Spring, with their pretty jewel-like dried berries showing through. I used a dried berry mix from Trader Joe’s that has strawberries (yes, really!), cherries and blueberries. If any dried fruit could be described as “juicy,” it’s these. They’re not hard or dry, they’re soft and tender. I decided to go for a not so commonly used nut in cookies--toasted pine nuts. If you can’t find them or don’t want to splurge on them, use your favorite.
The taste is just like a bite of cheesecake on your taste buds. They’re not crispy, and not cakey--but in between. A soft cookie, but they also hold up very well in storage. I’m not kidding--I had them in a Ziploc bag that was getting moved around from place to place in the kitchen, and they didn’t break apart. They’re also not a hugely sweet cookie--just enough.
Berry Cheesecake Cookies
Adapted from About.com
Makes about 5 dozen
1 cup butter, softened
6 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 -1 tsp almond extract
2 tbsp half and half or milk
2 cups flour
8 oz dried berries (I used a mix of dried strawberries, cherries and blueberries from Trader Joe's.)
1 cup white chocolate, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup toasted pine nuts
Heat oven to 325 degrees.
In the bowl of a standing mixer, or a large bowl, cream the butter, cream cheese, sugar, salt, and extracts. Add the egg and the half and half (or milk), mixing well. Add the flour to the bowl and blend in. With the mixer on low, stir in the berries, chocolate, and nuts.
A note on the dried berries. The strawberries were a little large, so I went ahead and chopped those up to make them smaller, since these cookies are fairly small.
Drop batter on to a parchment covered baking sheet using a small cookie scoop or a teaspoon. My small scoop has a 2 teaspoon capacity. Bake for 15-16 minutes (The cookies will be pale on top, but golden brown around the bottom edges.) and let the cookies cool for one minute on the baking sheets before removing to a rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
- These would be lovely on your Easter table, or perfect for baby and bridal showers!
- How about with your afternoon tea? Having a ladies lunch? Add these to the menu!
- If you can’t find the dried berries I used, go ahead and use what you’ve got. I don’t recommend raisins, though--they’re just not cheesecakey.
- These improve with age--they were great the first day, but in the following days, they really got their "cheesecake thing" going on.