Cookie Recipe: Chocolate-Covered Cherry Cheesecake Cookies
1 big bag of milk chocolate chips
1 box of vanilla wafer cookies
1 tub of ready-to-eat cheesecake filling
1 can of cherries for pie filling
36 foil cupcake wrappers
1. Line two cookie sheets or cutting boards with wax paper. Melt about a third of the chocolate chips in a double boiler (I use a stainless steel bowl on top of a small saucepan with boiling water in it). Stir with a wooden spoon until melted and smooth. Use a tablespoon to drop spoonfuls of chocolate on the wax paper at least an inch apart like you would for cookie dough you were going to bake. Do one cookie sheet at a time.
2. Before the chocolate sets up, place one vanilla wafer, flat side down in the chocolate and press down gently. You want to have an even coating of chocolate on the bottom of the cookie and a little chocolate sticking out evenly around the sides of the cookie for later. Be sure you don't press down all the way to the wax paper though. Once you have the first sheet done, stir the chocolate over the hot water to make sure it's still smooth and then do the other sheet. You should make about 36 cookies in all. Save the chocolate bowl and spoon for later.
3. Open the cheesecake filling and fill a pastry bag with some, leaving enough room to twist and hold the top. Pipe the cheesecake filling in a circle on top of each cookie around the outside edge to make a nest. I used the fluted top and went around twice to make a nice tall and pretty nest.
4. Open the can of cherries and use a teaspoon to take out cherries one at a time. Place a cherry with some sauce in each nest. Be careful to keep the sauce in the nest so it doesn't run down the sides of the cookie. If you have little ones that don't like cherries, you can keep a few with just cheesecake filling and no cherry.
5. Use your chocolate bowl and spoon to melt the remaining chocolate. At the same time, wash your pastry bag and dry it very thoroughly. Even one drop of water will ruin the chocolate (unless you're cool enough to have two of those, then get out the other one). Use the smallest tip for the pastry bag and fill it with melted chocolate. Move the pastry bag back and forth quickly over the cookies to drizzle chocolate over the top of each cookie. Try to start from an edge of the chocolate that was peaking out from under the cookie and finish there so that the new chocolate sticks and makes a nice cage to hold in all the yummy cheesecake and the cherry. We found that less chocolate looks prettier, but more chocolate tastes really good of course.
6. Once both sheets are finished, place them in the fridge for an hour or so until the chocolate has hardened. Carefully peel the wax paper off the bottom of each cookie and place them in a foil wrapper. Put as many cookies as you need in the fridge, covered tightly. Put the remaining cookies in small plastic containers in the freezer. If you eat the cookies right after they're made, the vanilla wafers will be almost too crunchy, but by the second day in the fridge they will be quite soft, more like angel food cake. I imagine by the third day they would be too soggy, but they didn't make it that far at our house. That's why I recommend freezing them until you are ready to use them. You can make them ahead and take out a batch for taking to a holiday party while you're getting ready. By the time you get there, they should be perfectly thawed and they'll probably be gone before the party even gets going.
Submitted by Jennifer Wallen