Espresso and Cream had shared the recipe on her blog. The cookies were darling and the flavor sounded so very enticing. I made them for hubby and I that Valentine's as a simple treat to enjoy while we were both recovering from the flu. Even with muted taste buds I thought they were fantastic!
These cookies are rather humble and incredibly easy to whip together (the cookie itself is from a cake mix and the frosting is essentially just cream cheese and powdered sugar), but they were so yummy that I began dreaming up other flavor combinations I could try based off this recipe. You might have seen the Orange Creamsicle version I posted about previously. After trying a few variations, I've decided the strawberry version is my absolute favorite. I can't believe it's taken me over a year to make these again. They are just as good as I remember.
I baked and frosted these last night and boxed up all but a few (to photograph and share with you, of course) for the hubby to take to work to share. He let me know that there were many "These are soooooo good!" comments coming from his work kitchen today. Looks like these are as much of a hit with others as they are with me!
I followed Madison's recipe exactly the first time I made these cookies, but found the 1/4 milk suggested for the frosting made more of a glaze and less of a spreadable consistency, so I've decided to omit the milk in the frosting altogether. I've also added a half teaspoon or so of vanilla extract to the frosting, because I really believe everything sweet should have at least a splash of vanilla. Other than those minor changes, I follow her recipe exactly. I suggest you bake and frost these the night before you'd like to serve them, as I find the texture improves after a few hours. The cookies are incredibly soft and the strawberry flavor is strong and sweet and nicely complimented by the tangy cream cheese.
I suggest you grab a box of strawberry cake mix next time you're at the store and make these cookies pronto. You won't be disappointed.
Strawberry Cream Cheese Cookies
1 box of strawberry-flavored cake mix (I used Pillsbury)
1 large egg
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup water
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
a smidgen of pink food coloring (optional)
white sanding sugar and sugar pearls (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, egg, oil, and water. Stir by hand until ingredients are evenly combined. Scoop dough by tablespoon portions and roll between your hands to make a smooth ball. Set on the prepared cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until slightly cracked on top and just lightly golden around the edges. Be careful not to over bake. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
To prepare the frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and food coloring. Continue to beat until fully incorporated.
Using an offset spatula or knife, spread frosting on top of cooled cookies and garnish with white sanding sugar and sugar pearls, if desired.