So here are two recipes I made in the past week that are a must! I have a slight affinity for cream cheese hence both of them are somewhat centered on it :)
Zucchini Nut Cookies with Cream Cheese Filling
*Recipe from: Martha Stewart Living, May 2011
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup finely grated zucchini
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
Sift flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt into a bowl. Beat 1 stick butter and the sugars until pale and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla.
Beat flour mixture into butter mixture. Mix in zucchini, oats, and walnuts. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Then heat oven to 350.
Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop (about 2 tablespoons), drop dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart. Bake until edges are golden, about 17 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.
Beat together remaining 1/2 stick butter, the cream cheese, and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Spread 1 heaping tablespoon filling onto the flat side of 1 cookie, and sandwich with another cookie. Repeat with
remaining filling and cookies.
LEMON CREAM CHEESE COOKIES
*I modified the recipe slightly to make them more lemony and more chewy.
3/4 cup butter, softened
1- 3 oz pkg cream cheese
1 cup sugar
2 T grated lemon rind
2 T lemon juice
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
Heat oven to 375. Blend ingredients. Shape into small balls (approx. 1 in) and place on baking sheet. Flatten with glass dipped in flour (I did sugar). Bake 8-10 mins. Do not overbake. Frost while warm with glaze (I used extra cream cheese frosting I had made).
*PS: I also used embossing stamps to make floral imprints on top of each one...just an idea!
Glaze: 1 cup powdered sugar, 1/2 tsp lemon juice, 3-4 tsp milk until smooth. (You can use less milk and more lemon juice).
Here is a great idea of gift packaging the zucchini cookies!*