Thursday, January 31, 2013

Red Velvet Cookies with Cheesecake Filling

I owe you an apology. I have been MIA, but I do have an excuse: I've completely torn apart my kitchen (pictures to come!). I'm talking refinishing the cabinets (myself, gasp), ripping down dry wall, installing new countertops, the works. Which means my baking has been put on temporary hold.

But not completely.

I recently challenged my friend to a bake-off for a little mid-week entertainment. (What has my life come to? I know.) The only rule: The recipe had to come from Pinterest. Our judge was my man, Frank, which gave me a slight advantage. He's a devout follower of all things red velvet, so I settled on Red Velvet Cookies with Cheesecake Filling. The name alone is enough to make me drool.

The cheesecake filling was a bit laborious to prepare. I had to make the filling, roll it into little balls, then freeze it. (My patience is lacking, so I didn't freeze it for the full two hours, though.) But, wow, the payoff was big. The cookies had the divine, chocolatey depth of red velvet cake, and the filling contributed the perfect amount of pure, sugary sweetness. The white chocolate drizzle was the icing, quite literally, on an incredible cookie.

Oh, and my dessert won. Obviously.

Red Velvet Cookies with Cheesecake Filling
Courtesy of two peas & their pod

What you need

For the cookies:
1 box red velvet cake mix
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
½ cup canola oil 
1 tsp vanilla

For the filling: 
4 oz cream cheese, at room temp
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla 

For the drizzle:
1 ½ cups white chocolate chips, melted

Put it all together
  1. Thoroughly combine the cake mix and flour in a large bowl. Then, mix with eggs, oil, and vanilla extract until smooth. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  2. To make the filling, use an electric mixer to combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla, mixing until smooth. Scoop out teaspoon-size balls, place on a plate, and freeze for at least 2 hours.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Flatten about a quarter cup of dough in your hand, and wrap it around a frozen ball of cheesecake filling. Roll into a ball, and place on baking sheet. (Only bake three cookies per sheet. They spread.) Bake for 11-13 minutes, and remove from oven. Cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
  4. Melt the white chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl, stirring every 30 seconds. Drizzle over the cooled cookies.