Every year for Easter, our day is packed with family activities. We start out at my in-laws’ house for lunch and Easter Egg Hunt in Aiken, then we come back home over to my brother’s house for dinner and another Easter Egg Hunt. By the time the day is done, I’m egged out with my belly sticking out and ready for bed.
And every year, my culinary responsibility is DESSERT. Shocking, I know. My other main responsibility for family gatherings is mac ‘n cheese, so that usually gets thrown on the menu too.
While figuring out what I was going to make this year, it hit me…
I AM OBSESSED WITH CHEESECAKE COOKIE TARTS.
Ever since the first time I made the original batch, getting enough of these is just not possible. It’s challenging trying to choose between a soft and chewy cookie versus cheesecake. So, why do I HAVE to choose, why not have both?? I agree.
This opened the floodgates for a HUGE list of different flavors I have created. The ideas just keep flowing into my head, and I had to make a list.
So, welcome to the beginning of the insanity of Cheesecake Cookie Tarts, because it’s only going to grow exponentially from here.
This recipe consists of a thick, soft, and chewy carrot cookie crust, New York style cheesecake, and topped with cream cheese icing. Nuts in this recipe will all depend on your personal preference. Since I’m nutty, they have been included here both in the cookie dough and as a garnish.
Carrot Cake Cheesecake Cookie Tarts (makes 24 tarts)
For the Carrot Cake Cookie Dough
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter , softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup grated carrots
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans (plus more as a garnish)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a medium size mixing bowl, combine butter, sugars, and molasses, beat with electric mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add egg and vanilla, continue beating until combined. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt, continue beating. Stir in grated carrots and pecans, distribute cookie dough into lined muffin pans using a cookie scoop. Bake for 14-16 minutes, until cookie dough has spread to the sides of the muffin cavities and puffed up. Remove pan from oven.
For the Cheesecake Filling
2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2/3 cup granulated sugar
teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup heavy cream
Combine cornstarch, cream cheese, and sugar in a medium size mixing bowl and beat with electric mixer at medium speed for 1-2 minutes, or until mixture is smooth. Add egg and vanilla, continue mixing just until egg is combined. Add heavy cream and continue mixing until smooth. Distribute evenly on top of cookie dough using a cookie scoop, return pan to oven and bake for about 20 minutes. Let cool for 30 minutes before transferring to refrigerator for about 2 hours. Remove from cavities, top with cream cheese icing and garnish with extra pecans, if desired. Store in refrigerator.**
For the Cream Cheese Icing
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners sugar
Beat butter and cream cheese in a small mixing bowl with electric mixer for 1-2 minutes, until smooth. Add vanilla and confectioners sugar, continue beating for another 1-2 minutes, until smooth. Pipe on top of cooled tarts, sprinkle with more grated pecans, if desired.
**Be sure to let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving. This allows the cookie crust to soften slightly, giving it more of a chewy texture!**