Cheesecake-Stuffed Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Every holiday season, I have to make chocolate crinkle cookies. It's an essential part of my cookie exchange mix. But that doesn't mean I'm not willing to switch things up, and after seeing my TikTok and Instagram feeds fill with baseball-sized, stuffed sweets, I got inspired to give the humble crinkle a glow-up.

A simple, three-ingredient cheesecake filling is just the tangy contrast this ultra-rich cookie needs to keep it from tasting too sweet. Freezing the dough balls before baking prevents them from spreading too much, though I recommend holding off on rolling them in confectioners sugar until just before baking, just to prevent the sugar from melting and forming more of a glazed crust than a powdered finish (if it does, it's still delicious though).

17 Cookie Exchange Recipes You Haven't Seen a Billion Times

254 calories

16g fat

27g carbs

3g protein

14g sugars

Cheesecake Filling:

8 ounces cream cheese

½ cup confectioners sugar

Chocolate Cookies:

1 1/2 cups butter, softened (3 sticks)

1 cup brown sugar

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla

2 eggs

2 2/3 cups flour

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup confectioners sugar

1. Make the Cheesecake Filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl using a hand mixer, beat cream cheese and 1/2 cup confectioners sugar until smooth, about 2 minutes. Use a teaspoon to drop rounds of cheesecake filling onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes (or overnight, if you’re making these in advance).

2. Make the Chocolate Cookie Dough: Cream the butter and sugars together until fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add egg and vanilla, beating until combined.

3. In another large bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Stir it into the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined. Chill the dough in the fridge until the cheesecake filling is ready, so it’s easier to handle.

4. Grab a ball of cookie dough, flattening it with your hands. Wrap it around a frozen cheesecake ball. Repeat with remaining dough, then chill for at least 30 minutes.

5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread confectioners sugar on a plate or shallow bowl. Roll each dough ball in the confectioners sugar, then place on a parchment-lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart.

6. Bake for 12 to 13 minutes, or until the cookie has spread and puffed up slightly and is no longer jiggly. Cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Candace Davison is PureWow’s vice president of editorial, overseeing food, home and major franchises, like the Happy Kid Awards. She’s covered all things lifestyle in her 10+ years of digital media experience, with a focus on baking and recipe development. She has contributed to and published multiple cookbooks, and studied fine cooking, cake decorating and food styling at the International Culinary Center.