New York Cheesecake Cookies

These are some new cookies I decided to make this year. I saw them on food network -- it was a special where different chefs were talking about their favorite cookies. Sandra Lee talked about these and I got the recipe from her. They are like mini-cheese cakes and really yummy!

1 1/4 cups finely crushed graham crackers (1 sleeve or use Keebler's readymade crushed graham crackers in a box!)
1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg, separated
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
2) In a large bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, flour and baking powder
3) In a medium bowl, beat together the butter with the brown sugar using an electric hand mixer. Add the egg white and beat until well combined. Add to the graham cracker crumbs and blend until just combined.
4) In a separate medium bowl, beat together the softened cream cheese with the granulated sugar, egg yolk, lemon zest and vanilla until well combined. Set aside.
5) Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop out the cookie dough and place on a nonstick or parchment lined baking sheet. Flatten slightly, pressing your thumb in the center of the ball to create a small bowl shape. Repeat with the remaining dough. Spoon the cream cheese into the indents in the cookies.
I actually made tiny balls (same as if you were making meat balls) and flattened it a little bit with my palm. Then I created indents with my thumb.  The cookie tends to crumble but it's ok, it does fine when baked. I created about 16 cookies.
6) Bake until the filling is barely set and the cookies are lightly golden, 12 minutes. Allow to cool 5 minutes on the baking sheets before removing them and cooling completely on a wire rack.


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