Whether you love it plain, chocolate-flavored, or with a dash of pumpkin spice, cheesecake is a decadent dessert that’s beloved by many people. However, anyone who’s ever attempted to make a cheesecake at home from scratch knows it’s no small feat — it takes ample prep time, hours of baking in the oven and then several hours more cooling in the fridge.
This recipe for cream cheese cookies from TheKitchn, on the other hand, combines the tangy flavor of cheesecake with the softness of a sugar cookie. But the best part is that making it only takes 15 minutes of prep time, with 30 minutes in the refrigerator and 13 minutes baking. That means you whip these cookies together in less than the time it takes to watch two reruns of “Friends.”
The ingredient list calls for just nine things that you likely already have in your pantry: sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, powdered sugar and vanilla extract. You will also need unsalted butter, an egg, and — of course — cream cheese. The good news is you’ll only need about half a package’s worth, so there will be leftovers to use on your favorite breakfast bagels the next day.
Just make sure to leave the cream cheese out on the counter ahead of time so that it softens to room temperature before you begin.
Once your cream cheese is softened, the recipe is lightning-fast to make and simply requires you to add ingredients to a stand mixer one at a time until they’re all combined and have a fluffy texture. Half an hour in the fridge helps to give the dough the perfect texture while enhancing the flavor from the sugar and vanilla.
Then, you simply need to use a spoon to scoop the dough into cookie balls and place them on a baking sheet. Pop them into the oven for 12-13 minutes (rotating your pans at the halfway mark) and voila! You have cheesecake-like cookies ready to eat in a fraction of the time it takes to make an actual cheesecake.
Take note that while cheesecake itself needs to be kept in the refrigerator, these cream cheese cookies do not. Since there’s only a small amount of cream cheese used in the recipe, an airtight container stored at room temperature will do just fine to keep your cookies tasting fresh for several days — that is, if you aren’t tempted to eat these cheesecake cookies in one go! They’re so delicious and soft, you might not need to store any leftovers at all.