Raspberry Hugs Cheesecake Blossoms

Happy Valentine’s Day!! Are you doing anything special today? I actually prefer to stay in and cook (or preferably be cooked for) on this occasion. It’s too stressful to plan far enough in advance to make reservations at your place of choice, and many times they have a more expensive holiday menu for the evening. Being a graduate student, higher prices don’t excite me one bit. Oh and don’t forget the crazy issue of finding parking if you are going downtown. Instead, I will be wearing my red skinny jeans in all their glory while cooking dinner and watching a movie with two of my friends. Is anyone else staying in to celebrate?

For my coworkers/labmates (whichever term you want to call my little lab family), I made this variation of a blossom cookie. It has a cheesecake cookie base, and a Hershey’s hug on top that is swirled with raspberry. They quite literally smell just like a raspberry cheesecake coming out of the oven. I may have eaten one (or more) of them before the chocolate had any chance of hardening back up, and it was totally wonderful.

One year ago: Sweet Swirl Cookies

RASPBERRY HUGS CHEESECAKE BLOSSOMS

Makes approximately 32 cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

4 oz. reduced fat cream cheese, softened

1-1/2 cups plus 2 Tbsp sugar

1 egg + 1 egg yolk

1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 Tbsp 2% milk

2/3 tsp salt

3 cups flour

2-1/4 tsp baking powder

Course white sugar (or festive sprinkles)

32 Hershey’s raspberry hugs

Directions:

  1. In a stand mixer or large bowl with electric hand mixer, mix ingredients in order (except course white sugar and Hershey’s hugs) until fully incorporated. Cover and chill dough in refrigerator for one hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pour some of the course white sugar into a small bowl. Shape dough into walnut-sized balls (I used my cookie scoop to ensure they were all the same size) and roll in the sugar. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 8 minutes.
  3. Gently push a raspberry hug into the center of each cookie immediately after removing from oven. (Be careful not to push all the way through the cookie.) Let cool slightly before transferring to wire rack. Allow chocolate to harden before serving (transfer to the fridge to speed up the process).

Source: Adapted slightly from Baking Serendipity.

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