Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Cherry Cheesecake Cookies

Actually, they are called "Cream Cheese Delights"

But they taste just like cherry cheesecake in a cookie! I made a few changes from the original recipe published in the November/December 2004 issue of Quick Cooking. I didn't have butter-flavored shortening, so I used Smart Balance with 1/4 teaspoon Adams Imitation Butter Flavoring. Ditto for the maraschino cherries (and I'm not too thrilled with all that red dye anyways), so I tried both dried cherries-the four smaller ones in the left lower side photo...and fresh cherries. The fresh cherries were the best! I also substituted the Neufchatel reduced fat cream cheese for regular cream cheese.

Here is my modified version:

1/2 cup Smart Balance shortening...1/4 teaspoon imitation butter flavoring...3 ounces Neufchatel (reduced fat) cream cheese...1/2 cup sugar...1 egg yolk...1 teaspoon vanilla extract...1 cup flour...1 teaspoon salt...fresh de-pitted halved cherries

Cream shortening, cream cheese, butter flavoring and sugar. Beat in egg yolk and vanilla. Combine flour and salt, add to creamed mixture. Drop by teaspoonfuls 2" apart on greased or parchment lined baking sheets. Top each with a cherry half. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool for 1 minute before removing from sheet. Yield: 2 dozen