Introduction: Door County Cherry Cream Cheese Pecan Cookies
If you think the title of these cookies is a mouthful... wait until they hit your tastebuds!
These cookies showcase two of Wisconsin's finest products - cream cheese and cherries from Door County (yes, the "thumb" of the state)! Wisconsin is the 4th largest producer of tart cherries in the USA, ALL of which come from this tiny county of Door. Additionally, Wisconsin is the largest producer of cream cheese in the USA!
Note: There is no beer in this recipe! Well, go ahead and have one while you bake.
2-1/3 cups Flour
1-1/2 tsp Baking Powder
pinch of Salt
1 cup Cream Cheese (8 oz block)
1 stick (1/2 cup) Butter (softened)
1-3/4 cups Sugar
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract (use the real stuff!)
1 cup Pecans
1 cup Dried Door County Cherries (or... any dried Cherry or Maraschino Cherries - drained)
1 large mixing bowl
1 small bowl (for dry ingredients)
1 wooden spoon
"Air Bake " style Cookie sheets - Later you will see why a standard cookie sheet is not good.
Oven set at 350F (degrees Fahrenheit) - Bake Middle Rack
Step 1: Initial Blending
Preheat the oven to 350 Deg. F.
1. In a small bowl, blend thoroughly the Flour, Baking Powder, and Salt. Set this aside for later.
2. In the larger mixing bowl, mix together the Cream Cheese, Softened Butter, and Sugar until soft and fluffy. Work from a slow speed up to a top speed until it is completely mixed together. See Photo.
3. Add the Eggs (one at a time) to the mixing bowl, beating well until well blended. Then, add the second egg and repeat until well blended.
4. Add the Vanilla Extract and blend it into the fluffy mixture.
Step 2: Fold in Dry Ingredients
1. Add approximately 1/3 of the flour mix into the mixing bowl and blend at LOW SPEED to fold in the flour without sending the flour all over the kitchen! Blend until thoroughly mixed in.
2. Add a second third of the flour mix into the blow and blend in.
3. Add the remaining third of flour and blend in well.
4. Scrape off the mixing beaters to maximize your yield of these fabulous cookies!
Step 3: Fold in the Critical Elements!
1. Add approximately half of the Pecans and half of the Cherries to the mixing bowl and fold them into the dough. Keep folding them until it looks well distributed. Use a wooden or stout spoon as the mix gets too stiff to fold with a spatula.
2. Add in the remaining pecans and cherries and fold in until well distributed throughout the dough.
Step 4: Prep to Baking
1. Drop the cookie dough in 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoon balls onto the cookie sheet, evenly spacing them so they do not bake together. Place 12 on a standard cookie sheet, 3 inches apart is about right.
NOTE: If desired, you can place additional cherries and pecans on top of each dollop for a heightened presentation appearance only. This step is optional!
2. Bake for 15 minutes on a NON-Air Bake sheet, 17 minutes on an Air Bake sheet. Look for the edges to become golden brown.
NOTE: An Air Bake cookie sheet is a double walled cookie sheet that has an air gap in the middle (like a thermos bottle). This gives more even heating to the cookie and prevents the cookie bottom from overbaking - see photo of the difference between batches on different sheets!
3. Cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
4. These cookies can be stored in an air tight container and the dough is freezer friendly for next time!
These cookies have the flair that will impress any cookie aficionado. Enjoy with your favorite beverage be it coffee, tea, milk or a holiday drink!
Just make sure the milk is from Wisconsin!
Participated in the
Cookies Speed Challenge