Cream Cheese Cookies with Cherries and Pecans. An easy to make drop cookie that takes its inspiration from an old family recipe for a favourite pound cake.
The inspiration for the flavours in these cream cheese cookies came from a recipe for Cherry Pecan Cake. The recipe has been in my extended family for many, many years and was first passed on by friends in Badger, Newfoundland.
My mom in particular is a fan of simple, drop cookies, so I had her in mind when I thought about what I would add to a standard recipe for cream cheese cookies. She’s also a big fan of that cherry pecan poundcake too.
We often make that rich cream cheese poundcake during the Holidays, so given the time of year, I decided to go with the same festive theme. The brightly coloured cherries really do look appealing for Christmas.
Like in the cake inspiration for this recipe, and in practically every other recipe on Rock Recipes that involves nuts, I insist on toasting the pecans before adding them. Toasting the nuts gives extra crunch and intensifies their flavour. It’s an absolutely essential step for me in most recipes.
It takes about 7-10 minutes to toast most large nuts in a 350 oven. Be sure to give yourself a little extra time before starting the recipe so that they can have time to cool. They should be mostly cooled down in the time it takes to make the cookie dough anyway.
These soft, rich cream cheese cookies turned out beautifully. The crunchy pecans and sweet cherries were the perfect flavour accompaniments. I think I’ll be experimenting more with additions to this base recipe soon. I already have a few ideas in mind!
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- 2 1/3 cups flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- pinch salt
- 1 cup cream cheese 8 oz/250 g block
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup toasted pecans
- 3/4 cup chopped glacé cherries or drained maraschino cherries
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 or 3 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
First toast the pecans so that they can cool. Toast them on a cookie sheet in a single layer for about 7 to 10 minutes tossing once halfway through that time. Let them cool to room temperature and then roughly chop them with a knife, or snap them into small pieces with your fingers. I like to keep the pieces sort of chunky for best crunchy texture in these soft cookies.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the cream cheese, butter and sugar until soft and fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Beat in the vanilla extract.
Fold in the dry ingredients until a soft dough begins to form.
When almost all of the flour has been incorporated, add the cherries and pecans and fold in well to distribute them evenly throughout the dough.
Drop the dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto the parchment lined cookie sheet about 3 inches apart.
Bake for about 15 minutes until the bottom edges become golden brown.
Cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes or so before transferring the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container. These cookies are quite freezer-friendly.
I like to add a few more pieces of pecans and cherries to add to the tops of the cookies before baking. This is for presentation only and is completely optional.
The nutritional information provided is automatically calculated by third party software and is meant as a guideline only. Exact accuracy is not guaranteed. For recipes where all ingredients may not be used entirely, such as those with coatings on meats, or with sauces or dressings for example, calorie & nutritional values per serving will likely be somewhat lower than indicated.
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