These moreish cheesecake cookies combine a crumbly-soft lightly spiced cookie crust with a lusciously tangy cheesecake filling. A firm family favourite!
What’s your favourite Jewish festival? I think mine is probably Shavuot – the Spring harvest festival, which celebrates G-d giving the Ten Commandments (and the rest of the Torah) to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai. Mostly, I like Shavuot because it’s traditional to eat lots of dairy foods, so menus tend towards the vegetarian/fish options, which is just fine by me!*
Cheesecake x cookie = ?
Shortly after making my no-bake raspberry cheesecake mousse a little while ago, I was looking for other creamy, cheesy Shavuot-friendly ideas, when I stumbled across something on Pinterest. It was a biscuit (cookie) with a ‘cheesecake’ filling, which was completely enclosed by the cookie exterior.
However, when I read the recipe it became clear that it was the sort of (American) recipe I hate, which uses 3 different sorts of pre-prepared cake/pudding/other mix and combines them into some monstrous chemical-packed horror. Eurgh. So, I took the idea, and figured out how to make something similar using actual food.
Trial and error
I had to make (and sample!) three batches of these before I perfected the recipe. Oh, the sacrifices I make! The first batch had far too much cinnamon in the crust. The second batch was better, but the filling just wasn’t ‘cheesecakey’ enough. I was starting to flag… just one more batch…
Luckily, batch three was perfect – crumbly-soft lightly spiced cookie crust, tangy creamy cheesecake filling within. I managed to enlist some volunteer taste testers (DH’s colleagues) since I couldn’t eat 36 cheesecake cookies singlehanded, tempting as it was. They all agreed that I’d nailed it.
And just in time for Shavuot! Yay!
Easy and delicious
These cheesecake cookies aren’t nearly as fiddly to make as you might think. And they’re totally worth it. Recipe makes 12 inside-out cheesecake cookies – I recommend a double batch!
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Inside-out cheesecake cookies
For the cheesecake filling
- 40 g cream cheese (approx 3 tbsp)
- 5 g butter (1 tsp)
- 5 g sugar (1 tsp)
- 20 g soured cream (4 tsp)
- 1 drop vanilla essence
- Zest of half a lemon + 2 tsp juice
For the crust
- 100 g self-raising flour (generous 3/4 cup)
- 1/8 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- Good pinch cinnamon
- 35 g golden caster sugar (1/4 cup)
- 50 g margarine (approx 3 tbsp)
- 25 g agave syrup (or golden syrup or honey) (2 tbsp)
For the cheesecake filling
- Combine all the ingredients and mix thoroughly. Put into a shallow container and freeze for at least 30 minutes.
For the cookie crust
- Mix the dry ingredients (flour, bicarb, cinnamon and sugar) then add the margarine and mix thoroughly to give lumpy crumbs.Warm the syrup then add to the crumbs and mix well to produce a dough.
To make the cookies
- Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
- Divide the dough into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball.
- Flatten a ball of dough between your palms. Scoop 1/12 of the frozen filling mixture (approx. 1 tsp) onto the flattened dough. Bring up the sides of the dough around the filling and pinch together. Roll into a ball, ensuring that the filling is completely enclosed. Place on the lined baking sheet.
- Repeat with the remaining dough until you have made 12 balls.
- Bake at 180C for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown.
- Allow to cool for a minute or two on the baking tray - the cookies will be very soft to begin with. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool down completely before serving.
1. Squash ball of dough. 2. Add dollop of frozen filling. 3. Pinch dough around filling.
*Many years ago I was invited to a friend of a friend’s for Shavuot dinner. Our host was a kosher butcher. To get into the spirit of the festival, we started the meal with cheesecake. Then the table was cleared, we had to rinse our mouths with water, and a meat dinner was served…