Earlier this week, CMT kicked off the holidays with a Christmas Cookie Challenge at their offices in downtown Nashville.
Guess who got to be a judge? Oh yes, me!
Picture this – two tables piled high with cookies of all kinds and coolers full of ice cold milk at the ready. Pretty sweet gig, huh?
We judges were tasked with giving out three awards – appearance, taste, and an overall winner. For appearance, we chose some decadent Chocolate Turtle Cookies that had been decorated to look like a winter park scene complete with an ice skating rink made of icing. Taste went to an incredible Cranberry Coconut Cookie (the only cookie of the competition that I ate in its entirety).
And then, it was time for the big award– the overall winner. This went to a creation we thought was perfectly lovely for the holidays in both taste and appearance, the Red Velvet Cheesecake Cookie.
Once I tweeted about my judging experience and mentioned the winner, several people asked for the recipe, so I reached out to CMT to get the scoop. A big thanks to Kelli Carver, the baker of these lovelies, for sharing the recipe with us!
Red Velvet Cheesecake Cookies
Makes 10 really big cookies.From Two Peas and Their Pod
For the cookies:
1 box red velvet cake mix
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the cheesecake filling:
4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the white chocolate drizzle:
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips, melted
To make cookies, in a large bowl combine cake mix and flour. Whisk until clumps disappear. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together cake mix, flour, eggs, oil and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap. The dough will be oily. Refrigerate for at least two hours. (Kelli refrigerated overnight)
To make the cheesecake filling, using a mixer, combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Using a teaspoon, scoop out cheesecake filling and place on a plate. Continue scooping out cheesecake filling into teaspoon balls. Place plate in the freezer and freeze for at least two hours. (Kelli left in freezer overnight)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. To assemble the cookies, take about 1/4 cup of red velvet cookie dough and flatten in your hands. Place a teaspoon of cheesecake filling in the center and wrap the cookie dough around the filling. Gently roll into a ball and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until the cookies begin to crackle. Remove from baking sheet to a wire rack and cool completely.
Melt the white chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl or over a double-boiler. Drizzle the white chocolate over the cooled cookies. Let the cookies set until the chocolate hardens. Serve and enjoy!