Who doesn’t love cheesecake? I certainly do. And while I am always ready to dive into a slice, if anything makes it easier to consume cheesecake, I’m all in. This cheesecake cookies recipe is just the thing when you have that cheesecake craving.
You can make cheesecake bars or you can get a cheesecake cookie from Subway, but nothing beats these easy homemade cheesecake cookies that don’t even require a graham cracker crust.
I mean, you could do a cheesecake cookie run to your local bakery or cookie shop, but when you have most, if not all, ingredients in your kitchen already, why not just whip them up at home? And if you really don’t feel like cooking, opt for Cherry Cheesecake Dip or Cherry Dump Cake.
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While there are unbaked cheesecake recipes, these cheesecake cookies do require a brief bit of baking. After all, a baked cheesecake results in a velvety texture and a density that you just can’t achieve from unbaked cheesecake (without adding thickening ingredients). They are a mix between cheesecake and thumbprint jam cookies. Sometimes I even place them on a platter with my cheesecake balls.
Have you made cheesecake before and worried about why your cheesecake falls apart? The true tip here is to make sure that all of your ingredients are allowed to reach room temperature.
But, honestly, with these cheesecake cookies you’ll likely not have to worry about that problem. Since they are portioned in small mounds, they’ll likely stay together just fine.
Cheesecake Cookies Ingredients
- All-purpose flour– this flour is the best for baked goods. The elasticity that the gluten provides makes it ideal for trapping gasses from the baking powder ensuring that it rises properly.
- Baking powder– this kitchen staple is crucial to create the volume and texture that will make these cheesecake cookies divine.
- Fine sea salt– salt is known for bringing out the flavors of various sweet and savory ingredients both in baking and cooking.
- Cream cheese– softening the cream cheese will make it easier to incorporate into the mixture. Leave the cream cheese on the counter for about an hour to let it reach room temperature.
- Unsalted butter– butter can be softened on the counter for an hour or more. Using unsalted butter ensures that you don’t incorporate too much saltiness into your recipe.
- Sugar– regular granulated sugar dissolves well in baked goods. Any brand will do, but being from Baltimore, I adore Domino’s.
- Almond extract– this subtle extract will lend a slight nuttiness. It’s also a good addition to other recipes as a substitute for vanilla extract.
- Egg– typically a large sized egg is ideal. Grab it at your grocer or local farmers’ market.
- Powdered sugar icing– you can whip this up quickly while the cookies are baking or cooling. It has just a few ingredients that you likely already have in your pantry and fridge.
- Candied cherries– you can candy your cherries by simmering them, or you can use maraschino cherries which are easy to find at your local grocery store.
How To Make Cheesecake Cookies
- Preheat oven and prepare baking sheet. Preheat the oven and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Sift flour. Sifting flour means fewer lumps, leading to a better measurement. Whisk together the sifted flour, baking powder, and salt. Then, set aside.
- Beat butter and cream cheese. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or a large mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer, beat the butter. Then beat the cream cheese into the butter until smooth.
- Cream sugar. Next, cream in the sugar into the butter and cream cheese mixture for about one to two minutes.
- Add extract and eggs. Then, add the almond extract and eggs, mixing until completely combined with a creamy consistency.
- Add dry ingredients. Slowly add the flour mixture until just mixed. Be careful to avoid overmixing, but ensure the mixture is entirely moist without dry spots.
- Scoop cookies. Dollop heaping mounds onto the cookie sheet. Ensure that all mounds are about two inches apart to keep the cheesecake cookies from expanding into each other while baking. Reapply cooking spray as needed.
- Bake. Bake until cookies are set. The cookies will not be brown but should be slightly cracked and springy when touched.
- Make wells. Remove and immediately make a well in each hot cookie using the back of a teaspoon.
- Cool. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for five minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool fully. This could take several hours.
- Finishing touches. When cooled, spoon a small amount of powdered sugar icing into each well. Top with a candied cherry while still tacky.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- They’re handheld- everyone loves cheesecake, so who wouldn’t love a handheld version? These cheesecake cookies are easy for guests at a party to dig into, or to store for a snack after work or school.
- They’re foolproof– usually bakers need to worry about avoiding the dreaded cheesecake cracks. No worries here! These are filled with icing and cherries so even if there are cracks, no one’s the wiser.
- They’re easy yet elevated- you can whip these cookies up in no time yet they are decadent and dreamy. They’re as excellent at a cookout or potluck as they are at a bake sale or book club meeting.
Variations on Cheesecake Cookies
There are so many ways to add flavor and fun to these cheesecake cookies!
- Add sweet baking chips– grab a few handfuls of chocolate, peanut butter, or any other chip in your baking aisle and toss those in for a little extra flavor for a fun twist.
- Nuts– choose your nut of choice and either add it to the recipe or sprinkle on top after baking.
- Sweet sauces– drizzle anything from bourbon caramel sauce to homemade fudge sauce over these cheesecake cookies (or dunk them in).
- Fruits– using fruity accompaniments will elevate these cheesecake cookies. Dip them in, or drizzle them with, fruits like this raspberry sauce.
- Classic Buttercream- Swap out the drizzle for a dollop for buttercream frosting.
Storage & Freezing
Cherry Cheesecake Cookies should be stored at room temperature in an airtight container. Separate layers with sheets of parchment or wax paper.
If you plan to freeze the cookies, freeze without powdered sugar icing or cherries and complete this step after thawing at room temperature for an hour.
More Fun Cookie Recipes
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 5 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter softened
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons almond extract
- 1 egg
- 1 cup powdered sugar icing
- 30 candied cherries
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a large mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Cream in the sugar for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the almond extract and eggs, mixing until combined.
- Slowly add the flour mixture until just mixed. Do not overmix.
- Spray a 1 1/2 tablespoon cookie scoop with cooking spray and then dollop heaping mounds onto the cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Reapply cooking spray as needed.
- Bake each batch for 11-2 minutes or until cookies are set. There will be no brown, but slightly cracked and springy when touched.
- Remove and immediately make a well in each hot cookie using the back of a 1/4 teaspoon. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 5 more minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool fully.
- When cooled, spoon a small amount of powdered sugar icing into each well. Top with a candied cherry while still tacky.
- If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how they were in the comments or star ratings.