Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Christmas Time Cookies - Cherry Cheesecake

Ok, I didn't post in a timely manner. I'm catching up now. I will admit that for the week of December 21st, I did not bake anything for this blog. The reason being, my website had a ton of Christmas orders and I literally spent the entire week prior to Christmas mixing, baking and packaging every night. I could have never gotten it all done without the help of my sweetie, Keith, who learned how to use the sealer and packaged over 15 dozen cookies for me in one sitting.

Other than Christmas cookies, I have been trying to formulate a new recipe for Cherry Cheesecake cookies, which hasn't been going so well. I have made about 5 attempts over the last several weeks and they have nearly all come out either too gooey or too sweet (tasting more like a sugar cookie than cheesecake). I have a great recipe for a lemony cheesecake cookie, which is a slice cookie and comes out with a shortbread texture. The taste is good, but I was looking to create a drop cookie with a hint of some kind of fruit topping.

For my first idea, I thought I would use cherry pie filling, which I had pureed in the blender as my fruit topping. I wanted to make a cookie dough, which just had ribbons of fruit topping mixed in. I made up my dough and gently folded in about 1/4C of the pureed fruit just a couple of times. Here's what the cookies looked like when they were baked:

Although they had the look of a cookie with a ribbon of cherry filling running throughout, the consistency was very moist and not at all cookie like. So I went back to the drawing board, trying to work out the moisture issues with the recipe. The first problem is that cream cheese, which is essential to making a cheesecake tasting cookie has more water than butter. Second problem is a little of the moisture from the cherry puree was also getting into the cookies - all this equals too much moisture and not good cookies.

So I adjusted my recipe, tweaking the amount of butter and cream cheese to try to get a desirable moisture level. I also decided to try making them in to thumbprint cookies, so the cherry puree wouldn't actually be added to dough mixture.

Although these cookies came out less moist. They had lost the cheesecake flavor from reducing the amount of cream cheese. The cherry puree thumbprint idea worked well. I may use this in my next attempt. Alas, after several tries, we grew tired of eating bad cherry cheesecake cookies, so I decided to put these on the back burner and move on to something else.

There will be more cherry cheesecake posts to come.

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