With its mix of chocolate, vanilla, and a hint of sourness, red velvet is definitely a firm favourite of mine. And I’m not alone – everyone seems to love it! It’s becoming a staple flavour when it comes to cupcakes, along with vanilla and chocolate. But it got me thinking, how could I translate that flavour into a cookie? And how could I incorporate the traditional cream cheese frosting? I’d seen pictures online of cookies sandwiched together with a swirl of icing. However I thought it would be much more fun to get the frosting INSIDE the cookie. And to my surprise, my experiment worked! These cookies are incredibly morish – slightly crunchy at the edges with gooey middles, chocolatey, and when you get that hit of cream cheese in the middle, they just scream ‘red velvet’ (not literally of course, that’d be weird…).
This recipe makes about 18 cookies. We’ll start with the cream cheese filling. You’ll need:
- 180g cream cheese (full fat and room temperature)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 80g icing sugar
Mix together all the ingredients until smooth, using a whisk if need be. This is quite runny and just wouldn’t work if it was baked in the centre of a cookie now – it would all pour out! To make it solid, pop it into a tupperware container and freeze overnight. Take it out the freezer about 15 minutes before using.
For the cookies you’ll need:
- 225g butter (room temperature)
- 350g soft light brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 340g plain flour
- 60g cocoa
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
- 150g white chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon red food colour gel
Beat the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time until totally mixed in, then add the vanilla and colour gel. If it’s not red enough, add a couple drops more.
Add all the dry ingredients and mix until combined, then incorporate the chocolate chips. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours – this dough works better cold. You can make it a couple of days in advance if you need to, but if you’re refrigerating it overnight or longer, take it out about an hour before using.
When you’re ready to bake, heat the oven to 170 C, and line your trays with baking paper. I got 6 cookies a sheet.
Now comes the construction! Take a tablespoonful of cookie dough in your hands and work it into a ball, then flatten into a disc roughly the size of the palm of your hand. Take a teaspoonful of the frozen cream cheese mixture and put it into the centre of the cookie disc, then fold the cookie round it so it’s completely sealed. If you can see any tiny gaps where cream cheese is coming out, just take a little blob of mixture from the bowl and plug the gap. Then roll the cookie again so it looks a bit like a golf ball. It’s a little bit fiddly to begin with but you’ll soon get the hang of it.
Place the cookies onto a tray spaced well apart, as they will spread while baking. Put them in the oven for about 15 minutes. They’re ready when the edges are firm and crisp looking and the middles no longer look raw. You don’t want the tops to be too cooked though, so you have a nice gooey cookie. Leave them on the tray to cool for about 5 minutes, then transfer onto a wire rack until cold.
Now all that’s left is to enjoy these cookies! They’re crunchy at the edges, gooey in the middle, and really do taste just like red velvet when you get that hit of cream cheese inside.