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Author Notes: On the recipe page of her mother's cream cheese cookie recipe, Merrill Stubbs explained the recipe was given out at a Tupperware party and asked, "Who knows how many subtle variations of this recipe exist today, legendary among countless other families?" [see https://food52.com/recipes/14625-cream-cheese-cookies]. Well, let me offer up a crowd-pleasing variation of the cream cheese cookie, found in my nana's handwriting in one of her recipe boxes. This version has toasted coconut, and quite a bit more dairy. These cookies can be made with or without walnuts (I usually do without). I have successfully halved or, at the very least, subtracted 4 tablespoons of butter from the delectably indulgent 1 cup with good results — though my partner prefers the full fat original version. It's also likely you can get away with using a scant cup of sugar. I have been told not to come to holiday parties unless I brought these with me — people will gobble them up! —lydiaencyclopda
Makes about 60
- 1/2 cup toasted coconut flakes
- 1 cup butter (can use less, see note above)
- 6 ounces cream cheese
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 egg
- 2 cups sifted all purpose flour
- 60 pieces walnut halves (optional)
- While the butter and cream cheese soften in their packages on the counter, toast the coconut flakes. I have found spreading the 1/2 cup (or more, if you like) of flakes on a cookie sheet toasts ~2-4 minutes in a 325˚F oven. Set a timer and check often — many a 1/2 cup has been accidentally burned and tossed out :( When the coconut has a nice golden tinge, remove from oven and scrape into a small bowl. Set aside. Leave the oven on at 325˚F.
- Cream together butter, cream cheese, sugar, salt and vanilla.
- Add egg and milk. Beat well.
- Add flour (can do this all at once or separated by cup) and stir in the coconut.
- Drop from a teaspoon onto a cookie sheet. Nana's recipe says you can use an ungreased cookie sheet, but I have always baked them on top of a silicone pad + sheet. Top each drop with a walnut half, if desired. The cookies do not spread out that much in the oven, so you can bake quite a bit each time.
- Bake in the slow, 325˚F oven for ~20-25 minutes. The cookies should develop a slight golden hue — depending on how moist or crispy you like your cookies, you may want to experiment with the baking time. Remove the cookies to a cooling rack and enjoy before someone else gets to them!