Chocolate Cream Cheese Cookies

Chocolate Cream Cheese Cookies

After a long drought the clouds are bloating, dripping down excess day and night. Shoes, ordinarily muddied after rains like this come in clean – that’s how dehydrated the ground is. I woke up to the aroma of coffee, except no one had brewed a pot in my household anyway. I like coffee but my certification is in tea drinking. My maternal grandmother Theresa used to boil coffee with chicory in a small saucepan mornings. Hot coffee went with scrambled eggs, sage sausage and biscuits halved, sandwiched with melting butter then drizzled with sorghum, a syrup derived from the African plant. My grandparents grew sorghum which is full of antioxidants, gluten free plus aids metabolism, and digestion. How white sugar completely supplanted molasses and sorghum in ubiquity is so compelling I must revisit the question.

Both of my grandmothers were fabulous cooks but had markedly different kitchen philosophies, styles and repertoires. Neither ever made a chocolate chip cookie even though my paternal grandmother Nana sometimes baked for a living. When I devised Chocolate Cream Cheese Cookies it was my 3rd time ever making a chocolate cookie in 57 years of living. Not that I don’t love them, but the chocolate chip cookie seems to have experienced an expansion in popularity during the 1970s, yet for some reason my grandmothers didn’t buy into the trend. Created in Massachusetts in 1939 by the woman who ran the Tollhouse Restaurant, prior to World War II chocolate chip cookies were primarily an East Coast sweet. “Famous Amos, Mrs. Fields, and David’s Cookies all opened their first stores in the seventies, and prospered in the eighties. By the middle of that decade, there were more than twelve hundred cookie stands in business across the country.

I tasted my first mall chocolate chip cookie in LA, the summer of 1977, so it’s fitting the cookie that inspired the Chocolate Cream Cheese Cookie I tried 11 years later, a few miles over the Hollywood Hills in North Hollywood. The woman who owned the bakery made baskets for nearby entertainment studios; I just happened to stop in on a whim but I never forgot her nor that cookie. African Americans have our own unique cultural desserts such as Blackberry and Peach Cobblers and some less popular treats I will introduce you to soon; the unifying principle, traditionally, being that the core ingredients of our recipes are seasonal. I suppose that’s why Grandma never and Nana rarely cooked with chocolate. While not for everyday or even every month, I hope Chocolate Cream Cheese Cookies will become a new tradition many enjoy.

Two soft Chocolate Chip Cookies laden with walnuts and pillows of sweet cream cheese and crunchy edges, lie on parchemnt paper.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Cookies

Decadent Chocolate Cream Cheese Cookies with surprising pillows of sweet, cream cheese will be your favorite new holiday cookie treat, I assure.
Prep Time 1 hr 20 mins
Cook Time 16 mins
Total Time 1 hr 36 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine African American, American
Servings 21

Equipment

  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Small Mixing Bowl
  • Large Spatula or Wooden Spoon
  • Whisk
  • Large Plate or Platter (must be able to fit into your refrigerator).
  • Cookie Sheet, Large
  • Measuring Cups
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Parchment Paper

Ingredients
  

Cream Cheese Pillows

  • ½ cup Cream Cheese, room temperature I used one with probiotics.
  • ¼ cup Organic Cane Sugar
  • ¼ tsp Organic Vanilla
  • 1 Dash Salt

Cookie

  • cups Organic Flour
  • cups Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips I used 46% Cacao Chocolate Chips
  • cups Organic Cane Sugar
  • 1 stick Butter, salted
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • ½ cup Organic Walnuts
  • 1 tbsp Organic Vanilla Extract
  • 2 tsp Organic Cornstarch
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder Non-GMO

Instructions
 

Cream Cheese Pillows

  • Line a plate with parchment paper, wax paper or plastic wrap.
  • Add all the ingredients together in the small mixing bowl and using the whisk stir thoroughly.
  • Using a ¼ teaspoon, spoon rounded dollops of the cream cheese onto the plate or platter.
  • Place plate into the freezer for 1 hour or until the dollops have hardened.

Cookies

  • Mix all the remaining ingredients together using a spatula or wooden spoon. Chill the dough mixture in the freezer at least 1 hour for best results.
  • After 45 minutes has lapsed, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • Line the cookie sheet with parchment paper. (DO NOT USE WAX PAPER OR PLASTIC WRAP IN THE OVEN). You can use two cookie sheets if necessary.
  • Using a Tablespoon, place a ball of the dough onto the parchment paper ensuring each cookie has space.
  • Place one or two frozen cream cheese pillow into the center of each cookie.
  • Bake for 8 minutes.
  • Turn the cookie sheet completely around and bake for an additional 8 minutes.
  • Remove cookies from the oven.
  • Allow them to cool before handling them. Serve.
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