Packing a cream cheese surprise, these holiday cookies are flavored with Heilala Peppermint Vanilla Extract, a dynamic blend of both refreshing peppermint and creamy vanilla. We rounded out the festive flavor by rolling our cream cheese-stuffed cookie dough balls in crushed soft peppermint candies, creating a very merry cookie.
Cream Cheese-Stuffed Vanilla-Peppermint Cookies
- ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, softened
- ¾ cup (150 grams) plus 2 tablespoons (24 grams) granulated sugar, divided
- 1 large egg (50 grams), room temperature
- 1½ teaspoons (6 grams) Heilala Peppermint Vanilla Extract
- 1⅔ cups (208 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons (7.5 grams) baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon (2.25 grams) kosher salt
- 4 ounces (113 grams) cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup (64 grams) crushed soft peppermint candies*
- Garnish: crushed soft peppermint candies
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and ¾ cup (150 grams) sugar at medium speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Beat in egg and peppermint vanilla extract until well combined, stopping to scrape sides of bowl.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture all at once; beat at low speed just until combined, stopping to scrape sides of bowl.
- In a small bowl, stir together cream cheese and remaining 2 tablespoons (24 grams) sugar until well combined. Cover cream cheese mixture and dough with plastic wrap; freeze for 25 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a small shallow bowl, place candies.
- Using a 1-tablespoon spring-loaded scoop, scoop dough into balls (about 18 grams each); flatten into 2-inch disks. Place 1½ teaspoons (about 9 grams) cream cheese mixture in center of 1 dough disk; cover with a second disk, and crimp edges to seal. Gently shape into a ball; roll in candies. (See Note.) Repeat with remaining dough and remaining cream cheese mixture. Place dough balls 1½ inches apart on prepared pans, and gently flatten to ¾-inch thickness, pressing together any cracks in edges, if necessary.
- Bake, one batch a time, until edges are set and bottoms are golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Carefully garnish warm cookies with candies, if desired. Let cool on pans for 3 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.
If crushed soft peppermint candies aren’t sticking well, lightly dampen hands with water as needed before rolling dough into balls and coating in candies.