Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Cookies

Summer has officially made itself known.

It's a hundred billion degrees outside. There is nothing like walking outside and having the humidity getting all up in my business.

I love the hot weather, don't get me wrong, but not the sticky, muggy, swimming in lava with dragons breathing fire down my neck while the sun is shooting mega solar flares right in my face kind of weather.

Yeah, it's freakin hot. 

Thankfully, there are many ways to cool down when one doesn't have the amenities at one's fingertips. Can I just tell you how thankful I am for central air and a finished basement? 

Cool as a cucumber.

Speaking of cucumbers, I love lemons this time of year. (What? When you think of cucumbers, you don't think of lemons?) I will literally suck the life out of them and not feel the least bit guilty doing so. They are such refreshing little buggers.  

But pair them with blueberries? Brilliant. 

These cookies are immense and perfect with a cup of tea or a cold glass of milk, although I'll forgo the cup of tea today. Ya know, with the heat and all. I don't need my insides burning as well.

But not the cookies. 

I will never forgo on the cookies.

Recipe adapted and slightly modified from Hot Polka Dot

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons lemon zest
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 eggs
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups flour
1 cup fresh blueberries - frozen for about an hour
1 package cream cheese, cut into 1 inch cubes

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line cookie sheets sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper; set aside. 

In a large bowl using a mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Blend in the lemon zest, juice, and eggs, scraping down the bowl as you go. 

 In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together and slowly add into wet ingredients. Gently fold in the blueberries. I used my hands to incorporate them so they didn't burst and make the cookies blue. Refrigerate the dough for about 20 minutes. 

Roll a generous tablespoon of dough into a ball and flatten slightly. According to Hot Polka's post, she placed a cube of cream cheese in the center of the cookie and covered the cookie around it, but I pushed several cubes around the cookie. I love the way cream cheese bakes and tastes when exposed. 

Bake for 10-14 minutes until the edges brown slightly. This time is about right. One batch took 11 minutes, another took 14. Go figure.

Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Hot fruit on lips is not a nice feeling.

Yields: About 3 dozen cookies.

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