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 my grandmothers didn’t buy into. 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 our recipes are in season. 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.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Cookies

Chocolate Cream Cheese Cookies are as dreamy as they sound! Filled with clouds of cream cheese, walnuts and chocolate, they're heaven sent.
Prep Time 1 hr 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr 35 mins
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine African American, American
Servings 21 cookies

Equipment

  • 2 Medium sized bowls
  • Measuring Cups
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Small whisk
  • Large Wooden Spoon or Mixing Spatula
  • Paring Knife
  • Grater or Food Processor
  • Cookie Sheet
  • Parchment Paper or Silicone Baking Mat (optional)

Ingredients
  

  • cup Organic Flour
  • cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips I used Guittard 46% Semisweet Dark Chocolate Baking Chips
  • 1 cup Salted Butter, room temperature
  • cup Organic Cane Sugar
  • 2 tsp Organic Cornstarch
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda, heaping
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tbsp Organic Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • cup Chopped Walnuts

Cream Cheese Pillows

  • ½ cup Organic Cream Cheese I used Nancy's Probiotic Cream Cheese
  • ¼ cup Organic Powdered Sugar
  • ¼ tsp Organic Vanilla
  • 1 Dash Redmond's Real Salt

Instructions
 

  • Whisk together dry ingredients.
  • Cream butter with sugar.
  • Add eggs and vanilla.
  • Add chocolate chips and nuts, mix well and chill dough for at least 1 hour.
  • Place parchment paper or silicone pad on top of cookie sheet.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Remove the cookie dough and cream cheese pillows from the freezer.
  • Using a small ice cream scoop or tablespoon, form dough into one inch balls. Embed one to two hardened cream pillows into the center of the dough ball and place onto the parchment paper 1½ inches apart.
  • Bake for 7 ½ minutes.
  • Rotate the cookie sheet and bake for 7½ more minutes.
  • Remove from oven, allow to cool and serve.
  • Makes 16 to 24 cookies.

Cream Cheese Pillows

  • Mix all the ingredients together thoroughly.
  • Using a ¼ teaspoon make at least 24 rounded mounds of the cream cheese mixture.
  • Place a piece of parchment paper on a plate and set in the freezer for at least 1 hour.
  • Remove from freezer and follow the instructions above.
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