Everywhere you look this time of year, there’s red and white– striped, dotted, or blocked together, running its way up candy canes and down pillars, and circling around knit scarves and Santa hats.
So it’s no surprise that a deep red, chewy cookie with swirls of sweet cream cheese and dots of white chocolate chips fit right in this holiday season.
These Red Velvet Cream Cheese Swirl Cookies will look gorgeous at your cookie exchange, or piled high on a platter at Christmas. (Or Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, or Diwali, or Festivus… cookies have no religious affiliation, you know.)
They’d also be perfect for Valentine’s Day, but I can barely handle one holiday at a time so let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. Unless, of course, you happen to be reading this around V-day. Then do it up.
This recipe does not use cake mix. I can appreciate cake mix cookies, I really can, but I like to make my baked goods as much “from scratch” as I can. If you’re looking for a way to use up that mix that’s been sitting in the pantry, then I’m sorry, this recipe is not for you (but don’t worry, there are plenty out there)! However, this recipe is pretty easy without using the mix. Only a few extra ingredients are necessary to give you the signature red velvet color and flavor!
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon red food coloring
- ¾ cup white chocolate chips
- In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the cream cheese and powdered sugar until well combined. Add in the vanilla extract and continue to mix until even and smooth. Spread the mixture thinly on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover with lightly-sprayed plastic wrap, and place in the freezer for at least an hour.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt.
- In a separate large bowl, use a handmixer to beat together the butter and sugars until creamy and well-combined, about 3 minutes. Add in the egg, milk, vanilla extract, and food coloring. Mix until even.
- Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients a bit at a time and mix until a smooth dough is formed. Add additional red food coloring if you'd like your cookies to be a brighter red.
- When the cream cheese mixture has finished freezing, remove it from the freezer and slice into small chunks. Fold the chunks and the white chocolate chips into the cookie dough. The cream cheese chunks will smear slightly in the dough as they're folded in.
- Cover the dough and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or use a silicone baking liner).
- Scoop the cookie dough and roll into walnut-sized balls. Bake in batches, about 10 minutes or until cooked through but still soft. Remove from oven and flatten slightly (that's what gives them the crinkled texture!) Press a few extra white chocolate chips in the top for looks, if you'd like.
- Let the cookies cool on the sheet for 5 minutes before moving them to a rack or plate to continue cooling. Repeat until all cookies have been baked, and enjoy!
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