Cream Cheese-Truffle Brownie Cookies, Gluten-Free

by Jeanne on December 8, 2010

Today’s cookie recipe combines two of my favorite tastes–cream cheese and chocolate.  Last month I got an invitation from the lovely and talented Silvana Nardone, founding Editor-in-Chief of Every Day With Rachel Ray magazine and author of the new gluten-free and dairy-free cookbook, Cooking With Isaiah: Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Recipes for Easy Delicious Meals to participate in a gluten-free cookie round up. I was honored to be asked and delighted to have yet another excuse to bake cookies!

The recipe I chose is one I adapted from Alice Medrich’s new cookie cookbook, Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt in Your Mouth Cookies.   As you know,  Alice is one of my baking goddesses!  And I got a chance to meet and bake for her last week (I’ll have a post on that later).  The original of this cookie consists of a cream cheese dough wrapped around a brownie center.  I decided to simplify the recipe a bit and placed the brownie part to sit in the middle of a cream cheese cookie.  These look so pretty yet are deceptively easy to make.  And they are so very delicious.  Wow!  The combo of cream cheese cookie with a chocolate cookie is to-die-for.  They taste a lot like I remember chocolate croissants to taste.  Yum…

One of the beauties of this cookie is that you make two simple doughs and then refrigerate them until needed.  You then roll out and cut the cream cheese dough into shapes while you roll portions of the brownie dough into balls and place them on top of the cream cheese dough.  You bake the two together and voilà!  You have a pretty, elegant, and delicious cookie!

Cream Cheese-Truffle Brownie Cookies, Gluten-Free
-adapted from Chewy, Gooey, Crispy, Crunchy Melt-In-Your-Mouth-Cookies, Alice Medrich
-makes about 60-80 cookies

Special Equipment Needed
-stand mixer is very helpful, but a hand mixer will do
-2.25″ square cookie cutter
-plastic wrap
-rolling pin

Note: this recipe uses my gf flour mix, Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix (mix together and store in a cool, dark place):
1 1/4 C (170g) brown rice flour
1 1/4 C (205g) white rice flour
1 C (120g) tapioca flour
1 C (165g) sweet rice flour (also known as Mochiko or glutinous rice flour)
2 scant tsp. xanthan gum
(you can also use the gluten-free flour mixture (not baking mix) of your choice–just be sure it contains xanthan gum. Or, you can add 1/4 tsp. xanthan gum per cup of gluten-free flour. If you use bean flour, it will add a bean taste to the cookies)

Ingredients
For the Cream Cheese Dough
2 1/2 C (350g) Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix
2 TBL granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 C (2 sticks; 8oz; 230g) unsalted butter (or dairy-free substitute), cold
8 oz (230g), cream cheese (or dairy-free substitute), cold

For the Truffle Brownie Dough
6 TBL (3/4 stick; 3oz; 85g) unsalted butter
4 oz (115g) unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 C (200g) granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
2 large or extra large eggs, cold
2 TBL Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix

To Make the Cream Cheese Dough
Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix briefly to distribute the ingredients. Cut each stick of butter into 8 pieces and add them to the bowl. Mix on low speed until the mixture looks like a combination of pebbles and larger rocks. Cut the cream cheese into small chunks and add to the bowl. Mix on medium speed until the dough is mixed and is shaggy-looking.

At this point, use your hands to quickly bring the dough together in a ball that holds together. Don’t take too much time on this–you want the dough to stay cold throughout the process. Divide the dough into 4 smaller balls and shape each ball into a disk. Wrap each disk individually in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.

To Make the Truffle Brownie Dough
In a medium saucepan set over very low heat, melt the butter and chocolate together. Watch closely to make sure it doesn’t burn–remove from heat just before all the chunks are melted. Using a whisk, mix together until smooth.

Remove 2 TBL of the sugar to a small bowl and set aside. Whisk the remaining sugar, vanilla and salt into the chocolate mixture. Whisk in the eggs. Add the flour and whisk until mixture is smooth and glossy–30 seconds-1 minute. Transfer mixture to a bowl and cover and refrigerate until filling is firm, about 1 hour and up to 3 days.

When you are ready to make the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Remove one of the disks from the refrigerator. Place disk between two large pieces of plastic wrap. With a rolling pin, slowly and carefully roll out the dough to 1/8″ thickness. With your cookie cutter, cut out as many cookies as you can and place them on the parchment-lined cookie sheet. Gather together the scraps, re-roll, and cut out more cookies. Each disk will provide around 15-20 cookies. Work as quickly as you can to keep the working dough and the already cut-out dough as cool as possible.

Remove your brownie mixture from the refrigerator. Scoop out rounded 1/2 tsp amounts and roll into balls with your palms. Place each ball onto the middle of a cookie dough square. Once you are done placing a brownie ball onto each cookie dough square, press down lightly on each brownie ball with your finger to flatten it slightly onto the cookie dough. Optional: sprinkle the tops of each cookie with a bit of the leftover granulated sugar.

Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes–until golden brown on the edges. Remove from the oven and place cookies on a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat the process for each of the remaining cream cheese dough disks and brownie dough.

These cookies are amazing–they have a flaky cream cheese layer topped with a truffle brownie circle!  They taste like chocolate croissants–yum!

Enjoy!

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