I have been planning to share these Slice and Bake Cheesecake Cookies with you for 2 years now…
What took so long? Well, I have to say the blog is to blame. I hate to say it, but it’s true. Yep, baking for a blog gets in the way of normal personal baking activities, which in turn gets in the way of blog baking. It’s a vicious cycle. I’ve mentioned, many times, the boatloads of cookies I bake each year. The first blogging Christmas I had was a challenge to say the least. Trying to schedule in my own baking around a blog baking schedule was new and different; it was trial by fire.
The next year, I handled the crazy schedule better, but I still wasn’t able to get it all done. That’s not to say I deprived you. In the past two years, I’ve shared many of my most favorite cookie recipes, like Italian Biscotti, Egg Nog Kringla, Andes Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies or Classic Butter Spritz Cookies just to name a few. Don’t forget all the chip cookies like Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies or Malted Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies or, ooh, these Soft Chewy Peanut Butter Chip Cookies! Many of those are on my personal baking agenda for next week. We’ll see how that goes…
Slice and Bake Cheesecake Cookies have been on my list to make every year, but for the past two years, they not only didn’t make it to the blog, they weren’t made at all :( I hated that they fell off the list, because I love these cookies. They make such a nice addition to my cookie assortment.
Reasons why I love Slice and Bake Cheesecake Cookies:
- They mix up in one bowl!
- They’re slice and bake! There’s just something about taking a roll of cookie dough out of the fridge, knowing that all that’s left to do is slice and bake them.
- They’re reminiscent of cheesecake. Yep, there’s cream cheese in the dough which makes for a little bit of richness and a lovely tender texture.
- Lemon and orange zest in anything makes me happy and brings a freshness to these cookies.
- They’re rolled in graham cracker and pecan crumbs which make them look like little slices of cheesecake. So cute!
The cookies are easy to mix up using an electric mixer. As I mentioned above, they’re one bowl easy. Once the dough comes together, it will be much too soft to form. So, divide it in half, wrap each piece in plastic wrap and let it chill until it’s firmed up a bit. Then you form the dough into two logs. In the past, I think I went a little long on the length and ended up with much smaller cookies. This year, I made sure I didn’t go beyond 8″. I definitely wanted a larger cookie.
Next up is the cheesecake “crust” or crumb coating. I used my mini chopper to make my graham cracker crumbs and to finely chop some pecan pieces. I actually did that in advance, then just set them aside until I was ready for them.
Once you’ve formed your logs, just lay out some plastic wrap and roll each log in the graham and nut mixture until it is evenly coated. Lightly press the crumbs to help them adhere. Wrap them up in the plastic wrap and send them to the refrigerator to chill for at least two hours. I like to move onto other baking endeavors, so I usually let them chill overnight.
Now here’s a tip…If you wrap up those logs and lay them flat in the refrigerator to chill, you’ll end up with the bottom side becoming flat. No more round log :( Instead of allowing them to lie flat, I prop each roll up so that it is standing vertically in it’s own tall drinking glass. The only part that gets flattened out in this scenario is the end that’s at the bottom of the glass. That’s cool, because we want that end flat for a nice, clean, first slice cut. Don’t worry about the other bumpier end. I just bake that last slice with the nice, flat, cut side up.
Once they’ve chilled, all you do is slice and bake! Normally I cut the cookies into 1/4″ slices, but this year, I wanted to go for a thicker slice. I already insured I had a larger cookie from making the rolls no longer than 8″. Now I was going to cut them at 3/8″ or just a little chunkier than 1/4″ slices. I didn’t measure them. I just eyed a thicker slice that looked good to me and then used that as my guide to cut the rest of the log. (Actually, I did double check the measurement afterwards just so that I could give you an actual size.)
Those two little changes, the shorter log and the thicker slice were great decisions. After years of making these cookies, I think these were my best batch ever. I ended up with a larger and thicker cookie that offered a little more of a satisfying, sink your teeth into it, bite. Feel free to cut them thinner. They will be just a little less soft if you do that, but equally delicious. You can also bake them a little longer to crisp them up more.
Slice and Bake Cheesecake Cookies. After 2 years of deprivation ;)
these cookies have made it back to center stage!
Slice and Bake Cheesecake Cookies
- 3/4 cup 1 and 1/2 sticks salted butter, at room temperature
- 3 ounces cream cheese I use Philadelphia Cream Cheese, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest zest your lemon before you juice it
- 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup finely crushed pecans
- 1/4 cup finely crushed graham crackers
Beat butter and cream cheese in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer for 30 seconds.
Add sugar, lemon peel, lemon juice, orange peel, and vanilla, beating until combined. Scrape sides of bowl as necessary.
Beat in the flour. I was able to mix it all in with the mixer, but if your mixer can't handle the dough, use a sturdy spoon to finish mixing.
Divide dough in half. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until dough has firmed up enough to shape.
Combine crushed pecans and graham crackers.
Shape each piece of dough into an 8" long roll. Roll the dough in the crumb mixture to coat evenly. Lightly press the mixture into the sides to help it adhere.
Wrap each roll in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Cut dough into slices. I cut mine into 3/8" slices for a thicker, softer cookie. If you want a crispier cookie, cut into 1/4" or slightly thinner slices. Roll the log to a different side for each cut so that the bottom of the log doesn't become flat from the pressure of cutting.
Place slices on an ungreased baking sheet, leaving a couple of inches between cookies.
Bake for 8-12 minutes or until bottoms are just lightly browned. Mine had just a hint of brown around the edges of the bottom.
Allow to cool on baking sheets for a minute so that they can set, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.
*Use block cream cheese, not whipped cream cheese.
*Two tips for keeping your logs of dough in a round shape: When I refrigerate the crumb coated logs, I stand them up in tall drinking glasses. As I mentioned within the recipe, I also roll the dough as I cut it. Applying pressure to only one cutting side pushes the dough down on your cutting surface and can create a flat side. I just cut, then roll the dough slightly to a different side and cut again. I repeat this until the log is completely cut.
*If you used my tip for chilling the dough in glasses, one end of your dough should be flat and clean for that first slice. When you get to the end that isn't flat, just bake it with the bumpy side down and the nice flat cut side up.
*I used my mini processor to make the crumbs for the crackers and nuts. I used a slightly heaping 1/4 cup of pecan pieces for the crumbs and about 2 graham cracker sheets for the 1/4 cup of graham crumbs.
*I left my crumb coated rolls in the refrigerator overnight. It's not necessary, but it's great for time flexibility. Mix them and shape them one day. The next day, whenever you're ready, you just slice and bake.
*Baking times will depend on how thick you slice your cookies and how long or short your dough log is. I decided to bake these in my convection oven at 350 and it took about 11 or 12 minutes. I used convection on these to keep the tops from browning too much and because I like baking cookies with convection. They will work out just fine in a regular oven at 375. I've done that also. Either way, just check them at 8 minutes (earlier if you made smaller cookies) and then keep your eye on them. You can lift a cookie off the sheet to check the bottoms to see if they are browning.
Recipe Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Christmas Cookies, December, 2000