If there’s one thing I’ve learned about myself, it’s that in times of crisis, I turn to cooking. And baking. Honestly, much more baking than cooking lately, especially when Ryan is gone. I’ve been working to make certain our refrigerator and pantry are routinely cleaned out these days, and I realized I had a random block of cream cheese in there that was just within the expiration date. We don’t cook with cream cheese a lot, and we’re not really bagel people, so I wasn’t sure what to do with it, but I didn’t want it to go to waste. Then, it hit me; what if I could turn this savory ingredient into something sweet? With not a lot of time on my hands, I decided to try something new – a cream cheese cookie recipe. Guess what? It was a hit with the kids, so I’m sharing it here today!
Cream Cheese Cookies
The best part about this cream cheese cookie recipe is that it’s easy. If you have a standard baking pantry stocked with goods and a block of cream cheese, you’re set! I didn’t want to have to run to the store to make something complicated, and this was just the ticket for us. Also, unlike a lot of cookies, because this is made with cream cheese, I immediately popped them in the fridge to cool off and set more, making for a delicious sweet treat for the end of the day!
Cream Cheese Cookie Ingredients
- 4 oz (1/2 block) of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 3/4 cup of all purpose or 1:1 gluten free flour
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 egg at room temperature
- 2 tsp maple syrup or maple extract
I did some research on cream cheese cookies because I’d never made them before, and most called for solely white sugar. I have a strong love for the less sweet notes of brown sugar, and I almost always trade vanilla extract for maple. It must be the New Hampshire in me.
How to Make Your Cream Cheese Cookies
- In a medium bowl, whisk together your flour and baking powder. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl or mixer, combine your softened cream cheese, butter, egg, and maple extract/syrup. Using the beater paddles, beat until smooth and creamy.
- Add both the white and brown sugars to your cream cheese/egg/butter mixture. Mix until thoroughly combined.
- With the mixer speed on slow, add your flour and baking soda mix a little at a time until your cookie dough is completely incorporated.
- Cover your dough and put it in the fridge for at least one hour.
- After one hour, set your oven to 375 degrees and line your baking sheets with parchment paper – this is optional, but I find it helps them easier to remove.
- Take a large tsp of cookie dough, and roll it into a ball, placing it on your baking sheets. Repeat this until all your dough has been shaped. Note that this dough is somewhat tacky, so rinse your hands as needed!
- Put your baking sheets on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 10 minutes or just as the edges begin to change color to a golden brown.
The cookies will seem softer and fluffier (for lack of a better expression) than traditional cookies because of the density of the butter and cream cheese. They will set as they cool, and refrigeration just speeds up the process.
The result is a sweetly savory cookie that’s dense, moist (ugh, I hate that word), and delicious, with enough sweetness to perfectly complement the tang of the cream cheese. We added a little bit of powdered sugar at the very end for an added dusting of sweetness, and it was the perfect touch! Like all things baked with cream cheese, these are best stored refrigerated due to the high dairy content, and they’ll keep for up to a week!
Tell me – have you ever baked with cream cheese?