Mum and Dad have happily scooted off to Melbourne for holiday and since we have some family there whom they’re staying with, Mum requested for me to bake some cookies for them. Oz is known for being very strict with bringing food products into their country but we heard that home-baked cookies are permitted. Seeing that all the cookies reached their rightful recipients, I gather that it is indeed allowed!
It totally reminds me of this programme I’d sometimes watch back in London. I forget the exact name (Baggage Control? Border Security?) but it was basically a series on working in one of the Australian airports and finding all sorts of illegal things being brought it. I found it really funny because hoards of Chinese people would constantly be found with pretty much everything you’d find in a Chinese Medicinal Store and many of them were repeat offenders. I mean I laughed every single time but a part of me cringed too because uhm… I’m Chinese? And even though I’m not from Mainland China, the fact that I look Chinese means that most people out of Asia would inadvertently lump me together with them.
Anyway, we were talking about cookies!
I baked a batch of Dark Chocolate Cranberry Cookies as requested by my momma and inspired by this blog I chanced upon where cream cheese was used as a substitute for butter in a loaf cake, I decided to wing it and do the same but for my second batch of cookies instead of with cake.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect since cream cheese only contains about 33% milk fat as opposed to butter’s 80-82%, so obviously, it doesn’t work in quite the same way butter does. Still, you don’t know until you try and try I did!
I decided to go with White Chocolate Cranberry since I figured the white chocolate would further highlight the creaminess of the cream cheese, and the cranberries would balance the sweetness off with a touch of tart.
White Chocolate Cranberry Cream Cheese Cookies (Yields about 24 Cookies)
100g Cream Cheese
100g Brown Sugar
90g White Sugar
185g Plain Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
90g White Chocolate Chips
50g Dried Cranberries
- Preheat oven to 175 deg C and line baking trays.
- Cream cream cheese with both sugars for about 4-5min on high.
- Blend in egg and vanilla extract.
- Add in flour, baking powder and salt and mix until just combined.
- Fold in white chocolate chips and cranberries.
- Dollop teaspoon-sized cookie dough onto baking trays leaving about an inch of space between each dollop. After your tray is filled, wet your fingers slightly and gently flatten each piece of dough.
- Bake for 18min, turning tray around halfway through.
- Allow to cool 5 min on tray before removing onto a cooling rack to cool fully.
- You may store these in an air tight container or in your stomach right away – make sure you squirrel a few away from the rest of the family because it’ll be gone in no time!
These cookies have a lovely crust and are incredibly light and soft on the inside. The cranberries gave some chew-factor and the white chocolate chips sweetened everything up. My family tends to prefer their pastries and desserts less sweet though so perhaps I’ll go with dark chocolate chips next time round and through in some chopped nuts. I’ve lessened the amount of sugar in this cookie recipe since cream cheese also tends to have a slightly sweeter flavour profile compared to butter.
I’m still more partial towards using butter in my cookies just because butter is incredibly aromatic and allows for more spread and crunch. I find that in Asia, most people have a preference for crunchy cookies because they see soft cookies as having absorbed too much moisture from the warm humid environment we live in. Funny because in Europe, hard cookies are either seen as having gone stale… or are called biscuits – perfect for dipping into tea at tea time, which is exactly what my Grandpa does whenever I bake him a fresh box of my Ginger Crunch Cookies.
Whatever the case, these White Chocolate Cranberry Cream Cheese Cookies are definitely cookies with their moist, soft, chewy crumb. Give these a go and let me know what you think! 🙂