Chocolate chip cookies are a quintessential dessert, as is cheesecake (in my opinion). So, I decided to marry the two together in these cream cheese stuffed chocolate chip cookies.
This recipe takes a traditional chocolate chip cookie recipe and wraps it around a sweetened cream cheese mixture that’s reminiscent of cheesecake. The result is a super decadent and delicious dessert fit for any special occasion (or snacking on the couch).
Whether you’re going to a party or hosting one, or you just need your cookie and cheesecake fix, this recipe is exactly what you’re looking for.
Why You’ll Love Cream Cheese Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies
What’s not to love about chocolatey, chewy cookies stuffed with sweet cream cheese filling, right?
- Twist on tradition – Nearly everyone loves a classic chocolate chip cookie, especially during the holiday season. With this recipe, you get that traditional sweet treat with a surprise sweet cream cheese center.
- Easy – While it does require a little extra time than it typically might to prepare chocolate chip cookies, all of the steps are simple.
- Portable – You can easily transport these to holiday parties and cookie swaps (just be mindful about refrigeration).
- Affordable – Many bakers likely already have most of the ingredients in their kitchen or pantry but for those that don’t, buying these ingredients won’t break the bank.
The most important part of making these cookies is to ensure that you have all refrigerated ingredients at (or close to) room temperature before you begin preparing them.
Cream Cheese Filling:
- Cream cheese – For this recipe, be sure to use full fat cream cheese — it gives the filling its rich flavor. Be sure to allow it to soften before mixing.
- Powdered sugar – Also known as confectioners’ sugar, this ingredient gives the filling its silky smoothness.
- Vanilla extract – Vanilla helps to bring out the slight tang of the cream cheese and the sweetness of the powdered sugar.
- Fine sea salt – Using salt when baking balances the ingredients in the recipe.
- Unsalted butter – Use unsalted butter since you’ll be adding salt to the recipe — you can always add more but you can’t take it out if it’s too salty. Be sure the butter is softened before mixing.
- White sugar – Granulated sugar dissolves quickly, making it ideal for baking.
- Light brown sugar – Brown sugar adds a richness to the cookies.
- Eggs – Eggs add richness, as well, and help the cookies to rise. They also help to provide the perfect texture.
- Vanilla extract – Vanilla brings out all of the sweetness of the dough and the chocolate chips.
- All-purpose flour – Be sure to use this and not a cake flour.
- Baking soda – A leavening agent, baking soda helps to ensure the cookies rise exactly as they should.
- Coarse kosher salt – Salt rounds out all of the flavors in the cookies.
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips – While you can use dark or milk chocolate instead, semi-sweet has just the right touch of sweetness for this cookie.
- Flaky sea salt (optional) – If you like a salty and sweet treat, sprinkle just a bit of sea salt on after baking.
How To Make Cream Cheese Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies
This recipe has a number of steps but they are all fairly straightforward and simple.
Cream Cheese Mixture
- Add the cream cheese to a large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or use a large mixing bowl and an electric hand mixer).
- Beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed until it’s entirely smooth.
- Turn the mixer to low speed.
- Pour the powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt into the bowl with the cream cheese and mix until silky. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl so that all ingredients are incorporated.
- Transfer the cream cheese mixture to a separate medium bowl.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.
- In the same bowl that the cream cheese mixture was prepared, add the butter, sugar, and brown sugar.
- Beat the mixture on high speed until it’s airy and fluffy.
- Then, add the wet ingredients (eggs and vanilla) and beat on low speed until they are incorporated. Be sure not to overmix.
- Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt into a separate bowl.
- While the mixer is on medium speed, gradually add the flour mixture.
- Next, using a rubber spatula, fold in the chocolate chips.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill the dough in the refrigerator.
Assembling the Cookies
- To form the cookies, begin by using a cookie dough scoop to portion out the dough and form a ball.
- Cover your hands in flour and press on the cookie dough ball with your palm to make the dough flat.
- In the center of the dough that has been flattened, add a dollop of the cold cream cheese mixture. You can also use a pastry bag if you want to be more precise.
- Then, fold the edges of the cookie over the cream cheese mixture to completely cover it.
- Seal the dough tightly.
- Place the formed cookie dough balls on the prepared baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Press down lightly on the cookie with the bottom of a floured pint glass until the cookie is the desired size.
- Repeat until all of the remaining dough and cream cheese mixture has been used.
- Bake cookies until the edges are a light golden brown.
- After removing the cookies from the oven, allow them to briefly cool on the cookie sheets.
- If desired, sprinkle with the flaky sea salt.
- Once cool enough to handle, use a spatula to transfer the cookies to a wire rack to come to room temperature.
While this cream cheese stuffed chocolate chip cookies recipe is already a fun twist on traditional chocolate chip cookies, you can change it up in other ways, too.
- Other chips – Instead of, or in addition to, try using peanut butter or butterscotch chips.
- Low carb – Experiment with making these cookies lower carb by trying out your favorite sugar and flour substitutes.
- Dried fruit – Add in, or substitute, dried fruits like cranberries.
- Mini chips – Fold miniature dark, milk, or white chocolate chips into the cream cheese filling.
- Extracts – Substitute another extract for some or all of the vanilla. Peppermint is a fun seasonal flavor while a little bit of almond adds nuttiness.
- Decorator’s sugar – Instead of the sea salt, add more sweetness and some sparkle with decorator’s sugar.
- Brown sugar – If you want an even richer cookie try using dark brown sugar instead of light.
- Cocoa powder – Add cocoa powder to the cookies or the filling for extra chocolate flavor.
Storage, Make Ahead and Freezing
Since these cream cheese stuffed chocolate chip cookies incorporate dairy you’ll need to keep them stored in the fridge or freezer.
Refrigerator: Store these cookies in an airtight container or a ziploc bag for 4-5 days in the refrigerator.
Make Ahead: You can make the cream cheese filling ahead of time and use it when you’re ready to bake the cookies.
Freezer: While you can freeze cookies for up to 3 months, the texture of the filling may not remain the same once thawed.
More Creative Cookie Recipes
Cream Cheese Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cream Cheese Filling:
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¾ cups unsalted butter softened
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- 1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Flaky sea salt optional
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a large mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla and salt, blending until smooth. Scrape down and transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill for a minimum of 1 hour.
- In the same, bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy, approximately 3 minutes. Add in the eggs and vanilla until just combined.
- Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips. Cover and chill for a minimum of 1 hour.
- When ready to assemble and bake, preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Using a cookie dough scoop, scoop out a heaping tablespoon into well-floured hands. Press down with your palm to make them flat. Add a full teaspoon of the cream cheese mixture to center and then fold over the edges to seal it into the cookie dough. Place the ball onto the prepared baking sheet and using the bottom of a floured pint glass or other flat object, press down lightly until cookie is about 2 inches in diameter. Continue with remaining dough, keeping the cookie dough and filling chilled between batches.
- Bake for 12 minutes or until the edges or lightly browned and set.
- Remove and allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 2-3 minutes before carefully transferring to a wire rack using a spatula to cool completely.
- If desired, sprinkle with flaky sea salt while still hot and tacky.