A month or so ago, a friend of mine sent me one of those clickbait food videos from Facebook saying “these look good!” I checked it out, and it was a fairly straightforward stuffed cookie recipe, sort of like my peanut butter and jelly cookies. I thought, you know what? I can make my own version.
Stuffed cookies are deceptively easy to make. The one interesting thing I took from the video was a new technique to try out. The usual method I use is to take a ball of dough, roll it out, add a dab of filling, then pinch it closed and roll it into a ball to bake. This usually leaves an off-center filling and runs the risk of the seam opening up, so I’m always looking for new ideas.
This cookie recipe uses a different method, a lot more like a filled pastry. Divide each dough ball into two before chilling, then roll each one out. Put the filling on one, put the other on top, and pinch the edges closed before rolling it back into a ball. This works best with denser fillings (like cheesecake!) but it’s definitely a method I like and will be using more going forward.
As for these cookies, they turned out great. The cookie itself isn’t super strongly pumpkin flavored, it’s mostly a sweeter cinnamon cookie with a hint of pumpkin. The cheesecake filling is just what it says on the tin; cheesecake flavor in a soft creamy filling. I had a bit of dough left over, so I made one with chocolate that worked out pretty well too, so don’t feel limited to just the cheesecake filling!
One more thing: this recipe, like most pumpkin recipes, calls for a spice mix I made and use in place of cinnamon. You can find that recipe here, or just use an equivalent amount of cinnamon; it’s up to you.
The entire recipe takes less than two hours, and an hour of that is chilling the dough, so you can have these cookies made and ready to go in no time flat. So, if you want a quick pumpkin dessert to make for Thanksgiving, give this one a try!
Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies
- Baking Sheets
- Silicone Baking Mats
- Cooling Rack
- Mixer Optional, it just makes the filling easier.
- Cookie Scoop
For the Cookie Dough
- 1½ Cups Flour
- 1 Stick Salted Butter Softened
- ⅔ Cup Brown Sugar Packed
- ⅓ Cup Pumpkin Puree
- ½ Cup White Sugar
- 1 Tsp Pie Spice Mix See post for details; alternatively, use cinnamon.
- ½ Tsp Baking Soda
For the Cheesecake Filling
- ¾ Cup Cream Cheese Softened
- ¼ Cup White Sugar
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
For the Coating
- ¼ Cup White Sugar
- 1 Tsp Cinnamon
- ¼ Tsp Nutmeg
Make the Coating
- Mix the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl and set aside.
Make the Filling
- Beat together the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. I used a stand mixer, but it's not necessary, it just makes it faster.
- Using a cookie scoop or spoon, measure out ½ Tbsp sized scoops, roll them into balls, and flatten them slightly.
- Places these filling balls on a lined cookie sheet and place in the freezer for at least an hour.
Make the Cookie Dough
- In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and spice mix, and set aside.
- Cream together the butter and sugars until the mixture is light and fluffy.
- Add the pumpkin puree to the sugar mix and mix until combined.
- Add the flour mix and mix until combined.
- Using your cookie scoop or a spoon, measure out 1 Tbsp balls. Divide each of these balls in half.
- Arrange the balls on a lined baking sheet and place in the fridge to chill for an hour.
Assemble and Bake
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Working quickly (the dough and filling will get sticky as they warm up), flatten a dough ball between your palms. Add a cheesecake ball to the center, and put another flattened ball of dough over the top.
- Seal the edges of the dough with a pinch, and carefully reform into a ball and place on the baking sheet you will use to bake them. The cookies will spread out, so leave 2-3 inches of space between the dough balls.
- Bake the cookies for about 16 minutes. When done, remove and let cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before moving them to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
- Enjoy! They will be soft and taste great the next day (if any survive!)