Now that summer is in full swing, I’m spending more time at the beach than I am at home (not counting work weeks, that is). I often bring baked goods with me to the beach, or bake a few things in our kitchen at the condo, to deliver to the staff at a local bar. Last summer, I began baking for the bartenders and servers after striking up a friendship with a few of them. When they’re slinging thousands of drinks a night for a rowdy summer crowd, it’s the least I can do to bring a few snacks for them to curb their increasing appetites.
In the process of forging these friendships, I’ve found myself an entirely new group of recipe taste testers. Many of them are less than discerning, scarfing down anything I bring with a smile and a hug of gratitude. A few, however, are helpful in offering me criticism, suggestions and praise when truly deserved.
One of these high-praise moments came last summer with the delivery of this recipe for white chocolate chip cookies, which have quickly become a bar-delivery staple. They’re soft, chewy and decedent, owing to a touch of cream cheese in the batter. Even the health nuts of the group can’t help but dig in! Best of all, they’re easy to make and even easier to eat! The original recipe credit goes to Averie Cooks, and I am so grateful for the new addition to my repertoire!
First, combine the butter and cream cheese in a large bowl or stand mixer. Add the sugars and beat until creamy, about 2 minutes on medium speed. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined, about another minute.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients until well combined. Add to the wet ingredients in 2-3 installments and mix on medium speed until well combined. Add the white chocolate chips and mix by hand or with a sturdy spatula to incorporate. The dough will be very thick.
Using a one ounce cookie scoop, portion the dough into spheres and set on a parchment-lined plate or baking sheet. After portioning out the dough, cover the tray with cling wrap and move to the fridge. Refrigerate the dough for at least 3 hours or up to 5 days. Keeping the dough cold will keep the cookies thick and chewy, as opposed to totally flattening out during baking.
When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350° F. Move the chilled dough balls to a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silpat, keeping dough about 2” apart. Bake for 9-11 minutes, until the edges just start to brown. It’s okay if the middle of the cookies seem soft when removing them from the oven – remember, soft is what we want!
Allow the cookies 10 minutes to cool on the baking sheets, then move the entire silpat or parchment sheet to a wire rack to cool further. Don’t attempt to move the cookies for at least 30 minutes, they’ll be too warm and may fall apart!
Store cookies in an airtight container. It’s best to separate layers of cookies with a sheet of parchment (you can reuse a sheet from baking!). This will ensure the cookies don’t stick to each other. Cookies will keep well for about a week, but around my friends at the bar, they’ve never lasted more than a few hours!
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ¾ cup brown sugar, packed
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups flour
- 1 3.5-ounce packet instant vanilla pudding
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 10 ounces white chocolate chips
- In a large bowl, cream butter and cream cheese on medium speed until smooth. Add the sugars and mix until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and mix again until just combined.
- In a separate, small bowl, mix the flour, vanilla pudding, baking soda and salt. Whisk to combine. Add to the wet mixture in 2-3 installments, mixing well after each addition.
- Add in the chocolate chips and mix by hand or with a sturdy spatula until well incorporated.
- Using a one ounce cookie scoop, portion dough onto plates or baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Place dough balls close together to save room. Once all the dough has been portioned, cover with plastic wrap, move to the fridge and chill for at least three hours, or up to 5 days.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350° F. Remove dough from the fridge and place 2” apart on parchment or silpat-lined baking sheets. Bake for 9-11 minutes, just until the edges of the cookies begin to brown.
- Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool on baking sheets for 10 minutes. Then, move the entire silpat or parchment sheet to a wire rack to cool. Do not attempt to move cookies from the sheets for at least 30 minutes, as they will be too warm and may fall apart.
- Once cooled, cookies can be kept in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Place a layer of parchment paper between cookie layers to keep them from sticking to each other.