Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Chocolate Cheesecake Coconut Thumbprint Cookies

You know the feeling. An image on a magazine cover that you pass by at a newsstand. A scrap of conversation overheard on the train. A piece of song lyric you didn't quite process as you changed the channels on the radio. These things can haunt us until we track them down and find out what they truly meant.

For me, it was a picture on Pinterest, that most useless and time-wasting of all social networking sites, little more than a random collage of images, really. We can never hope to sift through ALL of that information and still get anything done, but we try anyway. A lot of us food bloggers do it under the guise of "but this is productive! I have to see what all the other food bloggers are posting! Oh look, those shoes sure are sparkly."

Usually I don't give much thought to images I see on Pinterest. If there's something I find particularly interesting, I'll save it and make a mental note to try the recipe sometime, but I usually forget.

Not with the cheesecake thumbprint cookies though. I just couldn't. My co-workers can vouch for the fact that I haven't been able to shut up about them all week. Cheesecake! In thumbprint cookies! It's brilliant! Why didn't I think of it before?

It was when I found myself actually looking forward to Christmas so that I could make dozens of them and force-feed them to everyone I know that I realized something had to be done. Another glance at the original picture that started it all, though still tantalizing, was actually a little bit boring. The cheesecake was pretty much the same color as the cookie part, and whoever had made these, culinary genius though they clearly are, had foregone the best part of the traditional thumbprint cookie: the coconut coating! These problems had to be solved before any more time was lost. Add "color contrast" to the list of chocolate's many, many uses.

My recipe just lumps the chocolate right in with the cheesecake filling, but if you've got the patience and the steady hands, I'd recommend adding the chocolate separately to each individual cookie for an even prettier and just as tasty finished product.

The idea was to have a marble pattern, but I gave up after this one.

Cookie ingredients:

3 sticks grass-fed butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (beware of the fake stuff they try to pass off!)
7 ounces organic unsweetened coconut flakes
3 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 free range egg

Cheesecake Ingredients:

1 free range egg white
4 ounces grass-fed cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup organic chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Cream butter and sugar together in the largest bowl, then add the vanilla.
3. Slowly stir flour into the butter and sugar mixture.
4. Roll the dough into a flat disk, wrap in plastic, and chill for 30 minutes.
5. Roll dough into 1/4 inch balls, dip in egg wash, and roll in coconut.
6. Place balls on an ungreased cookie sheet, pressing the center with your thumb to make a well.
7. Place in the oven for 10 minutes.
8. While dough is cooking, make your cream cheese filling. Heat chocolate chips in the microwave for about     a minute and a half, until well melted.
9. Mix together cream cheese, sugar, and egg white until well blended and about the consistency of cake batter, then stir in chocolate.
10. Pull cookies out of the oven and with a small spoon, carefully add cheesecake mix the center. Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, until coconut is golden brown, and fork stuck in the cheesecake comes out clean.

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