For those of you on the lookout for a quick, easy, pretty and delicious Valentine treat, you’ve come to the right place! Red Velvet is to Valentine’s Day what peppermint is to Christmas and pumpkin is to Halloween, at least if Pinterest trends and unspoken yet mutual agreements among food bloggers have any merit. These Red Velvet Cheesecake Cookies are sure to wow whoever takes a bite. You’d never know it but they start out with a cake mix (sneaky, I know) which makes this recipe ideal for whipping up on a busy weeknight. The best part is that inside each soft, cake-like cookie is a secret surprise…a sweet, creamy cheesecake filling! I love desserts that give off the impression that making them required a long list of ingredients and hours of laborious work but in actuality were as easy as stirring together a couple ingredients in one bowl, mixing up a 3-ingredient filling, chilling/freezing the mixtures for a couple hours (which definitely gives you enough time to clean up the kitchen, consider getting some chores done, and then decide to waste two hours of your life on Netflix instead), and finally forming the cookies and baking them.
You can tell everyone it took you 2 1/2 hours to make them, which is no lie, and just leave out the little part about 2 of those hours being dedicated to Private Practice or Desperate Housewives or The Office or whatever your particular poison happens to be. (Please tell me I’m not the only one who has an addiction to soap operas, unrealistic doctor shows and crude humor.) Anyway, the fact of the matter is that these cookies NEED to be added to your Valentine baking list, or your to-do list, or your bookmarks folder or your brain or wherever it is that you store beautiful, delicious recipes like this one. Happy Valentine’s Day, friends!
Red Velvet Cheesecake Cookies
Yield: about 16 large cookies
For the Cookies:
1 18.25 oz box red velvet cake mix
2 Tbs all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Cream Cheese Filling:
2 oz cream cheese, softened (low fat is fine)
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
In a large bowl, whisk together the cake mix and flour until no lumps remain. Beat in the eggs, oil, and vanilla until smooth. Dough will be thick. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Meanwhile, make the cream cheese filling. Using an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Scoop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto a plate until you have 18 (there may be leftover balls). Place the plate in the freezer for at least 2 hours.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat. Scoop 2 Tbs of dough into a ball and flatten each ball with your hands. Place a frozen cream cheese ball into the center and wrap the dough around it, sealing the edges completely. Repeat with remaining dough.
Bake cookies for 11-13 minutes, or until edges are set and tops begin to crack. Try not to over bake! Cool the cookies on the sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a day, but any time after that keep them in the refrigerator.
(Recipe adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod)