Heading into Day 4 of the Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies! I combined two of my kids' favourites and came up with these. It's what you get when you cross a Cream Cheese Brownie with a Chocolate Chip Cookie! They are more-ish and would make a great addition to any festivities this December.
Still no sparkles? If any of you read yesterday's post, I was talking about lack of ingredients that I can't get my hands on locally. To clear up any confusion, yes, we can buy sprinkles here. Just not the array that most of you would probably be used to.
I remember a few years back finding snowflake sprinkles and I was so excited Okay, it might have been June, but I was still pegging them for cookies later in the year. And if you search high and low, you can hunt stuff down. Chances are of them ever being there when you return, zero. So grab it if you see it.
Way back in time, like September I had this idea of doing the Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies. Okay, the original thought was the end of last November 2018. Ah, clearly not not enough time to bake, photograph and write out a dozen new recipes. I guess if I shelved life and sleep, I could have got it done...hahah!
Anyway, I did a quick digging around on Mr.Google to see what my wondering eyes might appear. I searched local companies and Europe wide as duty will be charged if you get stuff from outside Europe. Lesson learned with that years ago. I came up with an overwhelming list and and even more overwhelming price list. Blah, I can't decorate anyway I thought. So, I decided to stick to what I know I can bake and don't have to decorate. But keep your eyes peeled because there are some sparkly cookies coming your way. And please forgive the decorating.
For now, let's take a look at these non Christmassy Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Squares. They might not scream "Santa's stuffing himself down the chimney," but they sure taste great!
Now let's bake some cookies. Well, bars to be exact. My great grandmother, Babbo, always said a cookie isn't really a cookie if it's not a bar. She was precious and clearly right.
There's two layers to make for these, so two separate steps. And remember, get all your stuff out in front of you, read the recipe to the end and get organised before you bake. Turn up the Christmas music, grab a cup of coffee, tea, wine, whisky...whatever you fancy!
Time to get baking.
First thing to get going on is the chocolate chip layer. I used the exact recipe from my Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe for these.
Mix together the butter and the two sugars. Then add the eggs and vanilla.
Also, don't forget to have your baking pan ready to go and your oven preheated. Those are steps you always get out of the way before starting your baking.
Then you fold in the flour and mix only until combined. Why do recipes say this? Well if you over mix this dough you will get more and more air into it which will produce a fluffier texture not a dense one. So, no over mixing.
Add in most of the chocolate chips. Reserve a few tablespoons for later on. You'll see what happens to those.
I'm using an 8 x 8 inch pan for these. I've greased the pan and then lined it with parchment paper. Yes, you can use a larger pan. Just keep in mind you'll have to reduce the baking time and they will be thinner bars. But you'll get more!
Evenly spread out about 3/4 of the cookie dough in the bottom of the pan and press it in as firmly and as evenly as you can. Bake in the preheated 350 F oven for about 10 minutes. Important: It will not look done when it comes out. This is what you want, as they are going back in the oven for a second bake. The first time I made these, I over baked the bottom. I learned my lesson and baked them for less time the second time around.
While they are in the oven, get your cream cheese mixture ready. Mix together the cream cheese, egg, sugar and vanilla. Mix it until it's combined and smooth, just a few minutes.
Evenly spread out the cream cheese mixture over the base. Then mound the remaining dough on the top and sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips. I know this must look over the top, it kind of is really. It's also kind of great. Extra, as my teens would say. Who loved them by the way.
They go back in the oven for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out pretty clean. They will probably been a little wobbly and this is good. They will set as they cool.
I recommend letting them cool completely before cutting into them. Two reasons. First, they will cut easier and they also just taste better. These are quite rich, so I cut them into 25 squares. You can choose to cut them bigger if you like.
Store these in an airtight container when they are finished cooling. They'll keep for about 5 days in the fridge and you can even freeze them.
Here, take a closer look at what you're aiming to get. They are so good and I really recommend them for some Christmas baking this year. We'll be making these again in a week or so. I'm still letting the sugar settle from the all the baking in recent times...hahaha!
With the Christmas period drawing closer, I'm finding myself much less stressed this year. I was trying to figure out what's different this year to past years Oh yes I know, I've let of so much that the holiday period seems to put on us. I've been taking time for me, yes ME. And I've learned that's just fine.
Plus I don't have small kids anymore. Boy, the exhausting stage of small kids....hahaha! But it was worth it and we used to have so much fun in December when they were small. I wouldn't change it for anything, well apart from them being practically grown up now. It's a good stage. I probably wouldn't say easier, just different.
But in all seriousness, people do take on so much through the holiday period and I used to be one of those people. No, I've not turned into scrooge, I've just put more emphasis on what Christmas means to us. And for everyone that's different and we all go to beat our own drum so to speak. My drum is year has a soft beat.
Which doesn't mean I'll letting the season slip away without marking it . I mean, clearly I love Christmas right?
Yesterday, I was just talking to my 17 year old about my early years living with my grandparents and how special and magical Christmas was. Okay, I'm sure many of us view the childhood Christmases as magical. But they really were, and anyone who lived with me through those years would agree, regardless of age. And, there's a lot of us to ask.
Simple, special and magical. You can't put a price on it.
Memory lane aside, I hope you like what you see today and can find some baking inspiration for your cookie platter this season.
And the song I'm leaving you with today is Merry Christmas Darling by the Carpenters. The Carpenters will always remind me of someone so special and remembering her through music is a wonderful thing.
Before things get out of control sentimental, that sums up the Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies friends. Be sure to check back tomorrow to see what's in store. Have a great day and treat yourself to time for yourself.
Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Squares
Makes 25 squares / Prep time: 15 minutes / Bake time: 40 minutes
For the cookie layer:
1 Cup/225 grams of butter
3/4 Cup/150 grams of brown sugar
1/2 Cup/100 grams of white granulated sugar
2 Cups/250 grams of plain flour
1 1/2 Cups/265 grams of chocolate chips
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon of salt
Cream Cheese Layer:
8 Ounces of cream cheese, full fat kind
1/3 Cup/65 grams of white sugar
Dash of vanilla extract
1 Large Egg
Grease and line with parchment paper an 8 x 8 inch baking dish. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl beat the butter on high speed for a minute or so. Add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs and vanilla. Beat until mixture is combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Stir in flour mixture until combined. Fold most of the chocolate chips. Leave a couple of tablespoons of chocolate chips for the top.
Press about 3/4 of the cookie dough mixture into the bottom of the pan. Press it in as flat and evenly as you can. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and leave to cool.
In a medium mixing bowl, add the cream cheese and beat on high speed until smooth. Now add the egg, sugar, and vanilla. Continue to mix this on high speed until a smooth consistency forms.
Pour the cream cheese mixture over the cooled cookie dough. Spoon over remaining cookie dough. Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Leave in pan to cool completely. Cut into 25 squares.
Will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for about 5 days. Can be stored in the freezer.
Click the downloadable link below to print recipe!
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