Indulge

5 Cookie Desserts You Might like Better Than the Real Thing

What’s endlessly snackable, easy to make, and 100% versatile? It’s cookies. The only thing we love as much as making cookies with family and friends, is eating them (by the plateful…’tis the season). Cookies can take infinite forms and flavors, so we transformed some of our favorite holiday desserts into totally craveable, very festive cookies.

Red velvet cake

Originally thought to be red because of a chemical reaction involving cocoa powder, red velvet is a rich, chocolatey cake with cream cheese frosting. Here, we’ve turned it into moist, soft cookies that get a tangy cream cheese frosting on top.

Ingredients
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon red food coloring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1 can (16 ounces) cream cheese frosting

Instructions
In a microwave, melt unsweetened chocolate; stir until smooth. Cool.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, food coloring and vanilla. Add cooled chocolate; beat until blended. In another bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, beating well after each addition. Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 6-9 minutes or until set. Remove to wire racks to cool completely. Spread with frosting.

Key lime pie

Key lime pie is all the things rolled into one: creamy, zesty, and perfectly indulgent. We’re embracing the unmistakeable flavor of lime in cookie form, which get a double dose of the fruit: juice and zest. Powdered sugar on top makes these cookies ready to party.

Ingredients
½ cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 ½ cups AP flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup fresh lime juice
1 ½ teaspoons grated lime zest
½ cup confectioner’s sugar

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease cookie sheets. In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar, egg, and egg yolk until smooth. Stir in lime juice and lime zest. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; blend into the creamed mixture. Form dough into 1/2 inch balls, and arrange on the prepared cookie sheet.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly browned. Cool on wire racks. Sift confectioners’ sugar over cookies while still warm.

Pumpkin pie

There’s pumpkin pie, but have you had pumpkin cookies? These super dense treats are also packed with another delicious ingredient: chocolate chips. More like mini cakes, these sticky cookies are ones to write home about.

Ingredients
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups canned pumpkin puree
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups (12-ounce bag) milk chocolate chips, not semisweet
Nonstick cooking spray or parchment paper

Directions
Heat the oven to 350 F. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick spray or line them with parchment paper.

Using a mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Beat in the white and brown sugars, a little at a time, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, then mix in the vanilla and pumpkin puree. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Slowly beat the flour mixture into the batter in thirds. Stir in the chips. Scoop the cookie dough by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheets and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cookies are browned around the edges. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let them rest for 2 minutes. Take the cookies off with a spatula and cool them on wire racks.

Cheesecake

Typically served over graham cracker crust, cheesecake is a creamy, dreamy delight, so why not transform it into a portable, simple cookie? These feature little graham cracker cups stuffed with cream cheese filling, baked to golden perfection.

Ingredients
1 1/4 cups finely crushed graham crackers (1 sleeve)
1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg, separated
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions
Preheat the oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, flour and baking powder. In a medium bowl, beat together the butter with the brown sugar using an electric hand mixer. Add the egg white and beat until well combined. Add to the graham cracker crumbs and blend until just combined.

In a separate medium bowl, beat together the softened cream cheese with the granulated sugar, egg yolk, lemon zest and vanilla until well combined. Set aside.

Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop out the cookie dough and place on a nonstick or parchment lined baking sheet. (If you do not have an ice scoop, then measure out the dough into scoops of about 2 tablespoons.) Flatten slightly, pressing your thumb in the center of the ball to create a small bowl shape. Repeat with the remaining dough. Spoon the cream cheese into the indents in the cookies.

Bake until the filling is barely set and the cookies are lightly golden, 12 minutes. Allow to cool 5 minutes on the baking sheets before removing them and cooling completely on a wire rack.

Carrot cake

With its bold, bright color and sweet flavor, carrot cake has many loyal fans who won’t stand for subpar recipes. These awesome drop cookies taste just like the real thing—they’ve also got the essential cream cheese frosting.

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