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.
Chocolate Cream Cheese Cookies
- 1 Large bowl
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
- Large Wooden Spoon or Mixing Spatula
- Paring Knife
- Small Ice Cream Scoop (optional)
- 13×18 Cookie Sheet
- Parchment Paper or Silicone Baking Mat (optional)
- 2¼ cup Organic Flour
- 1½ cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips I used Guittard 85% Semisweet Dark Chocolate Baking Chips
- 1 stick Salted Butter, room temperature
- 1½ cup Organic Cane Sugar
- 1 cup Organic Walnuts
- 1 Egg
- 2 Egg Yolks
- 2 tsp Organic Cornstarch
- 1 tsp Baking Powder Non GMO
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tbsp Organic Vanilla Extract
Cream Cheese Pillows
- ½ cup Organic Cream Cheese
- ¼ cup Organic Cane Sugar
- ¼ tsp Organic Vanilla
- 2 dashes Redmond's Real Salt
- Prepare cream cheese pillows.
- Using a ¼ tsp, scoop the cream mixture onto a plate lined with parchment or wax paper. Place into the freezer for 1 hour.
- Whisk together dry ingredients.
- Cream butter with sugar.
- Add eggs and vanilla.
- Chill dough for at least 1 hour.
- Place parchment paper or silicone pad on top of cookie sheet.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Using a small ice cream scoop or tablespoon, form dough into one inch balls. Place onto the parchment paper 1½ inches apart.
- Bake for 8 minutes.
- Rotate the cookie sheet and bake for 8 more minutes.
- Remove from oven, allow to cool at least 5 minutes and serve.
- Makes 16 to 24 cookies.