STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE COOKIES

Ingredients
For the cheesecake filling
▢¾ cup cream cheese softened
▢¼ cup granulated sugar
▢½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the cookies
▢2 ¾ cups (330g) all purpose flour
▢1 teaspoon baking powder
▢¼ teaspoon salt
▢2 sticks (1 cup, 225g) unsalted butter softened
▢1 cup granulated sugar
▢1 large egg at room temperature
▢1 large egg yolk at room temperature
▢½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
▢½ cup diced fresh strawberries diced small

Instructions
To make the cheesecake filling:
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl beat the cream cheese with the sugar and vanilla extract.
Use a small cookie scoop to create 12 even balls of cream cheese filling, and place onto the lined baking sheet, freeze for 30 minutes or an hour or until frozen solid.
For the cookies:
Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpat mats.
In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In another bowl, using a hand mixer beat the butter with the sugar until smooth and creamy (2-3 minutes). Add in the egg ,egg yolk, and vanilla extract, and mix again until smooth.
Add in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined, then gently fold in the diced strawberries (do not squish them!).

Scoop out the cookie dough into 24 even balls, and place onto a baking sheet.
Using a teaspoon measuring spoon, create an indention in 12 cookie balls for the filling to fit in there. Then place the frozen filling, and cover with the other piece of cookie dough. Very carefully roll into a smooth cookie dough ball.

Place in the fridge for 30 minutes and preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.
Make sure that the cookies are placed about 2 inches apart, then bake for 14-16 minutes or until the edges start turning golden brown. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes
Full-fat cream cheese or Neufchâtel will give you the best flavor, but low-fat cream cheese can also be used.
The cheesecake filling will be very hot when the cookies are fresh from the oven! Don’t try to eat them right away or you may burn your tongue. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet so that they can be moved easily.

When you add the strawberries to the cookie dough, do it very gently. You don’t want to squish the berries!
To Store: Keep these cookies in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days, or freeze for up to two months.

Nutrition
Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 342kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 136mg | Potassium: 94mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 238IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 3mg

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