Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Chocolate Chip Red Velvet Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

The DDH's favorite cake is red velvet with cream cheese frosting.

I mean, it's really just chocolate, but somehow the red makes it taste special, y'know?

I'm not a particular fan of cake, but then the Roommate brought home some red velvet with cream cheese frosting cookies from the store.

They were those big fluffy Lofthouse-style cookies with a thick layer of cream cheese-flavored icing. And they were not bad.

But I knew I could make them better.

So I trolled the internet and found this recipe first. They looked pretty delicious, but no way was I going to buy a cake mix in order to make homemade cookies. That's dumb, y'all. The cream cheese frosting, though, seemed like a win. It at least gave me a method and ingredients.

Poking about further on Google led me to this recipe for really homemade red velvet cookies. Chocolate chip red velvet cookies, even. I was encouraged that she described them as chewy and cookie-y versus cakey, the way both the Lofthouse cookies and, I'm sure, the cake-mix version were. But she didn't include any cream cheese frosting, which seemed like a fatal oversight.

So I combined them.

It was supposed to be for Valentine's Day for the DDH, but I ended up with a migraine that Monday night and didn't get them made. So instead they were a welcome home present.

And a successful one. ^_^

One recipe, three styles.
Chocolate Chip Red Velvet Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

Note: Your cream cheese should be room temperature when you make the frosting, so get that out ahead of time.

This recipe has you make the frosting ahead of time, freeze it for at least two hours, and then use it as a filling for the cookies. That would probably be the most delicious thing ever. I didn't have time to do that, so I made it while the first batch of cookies was cooking and ended up using it three ways:
  1. Spread thickly on cooled cookies, like you would ice a cake.
  2. Spread onto hot-out-of-the-oven cookies, so it melted and became more glaze-like.
  3. Pressed an indentation into not-yet-baked cookies, filled indentation with icing, put a little extra dough on top, and baked thusly. This was the closest to the filled cookie version, obviously, and my favorite.
So depending on your time constraints and cookie/icing preferences, you may want to make the icing in advance, before/while you're mixing up the cookies, or while they're baking for use afterward.

For the Cookies:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, beat together 1/2 cup (one stick) butter, 1/2 cup white sugar, and 1/2 cup brown sugar until fluffy.
From this...

...to this. Or that's how I interpret "fluffy," anyway.
Add 1 egg and 1 tsp. vanilla and beat until smooth.

From this...

...to this.
Don't let the spatula in the pictures fool you; I'm using an electric hand beater here. And you will need to kick up to medium or high speed in both the previous steps.

Beat in 1 tsp. red food coloring. If you look at the original recipe, you will notice that her cookies turned out bright red, even after being baked. Mine didn't. They were more of a red-tinged chocolate color. So if you want bright red cookies, you may want to add more food coloring, or maybe try adding some after you add the cocoa if they're not still red enough. Because obviously they were really red at this point.

Blood cookies.

It's hard to tell in the picture, but it was bright! red! at this point.
In a separate bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/3 cup cocoa powder, 1 tsp. baking soda, and 1/4 tsp. salt.

From this...

...to this.
Stir flour mixture into butter/egg mixture until just combined.

This dough is really thick and stiff, and I think I had to use a beater.
Fold in 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Toss in a few extra for good measure.

From this...

...to this. And you can't use a beater or you'll break up the chips.
Scoop balls of dough onto a cookie sheet. I tried several sizes, and all came out tasty after ten minutes, though the smaller ones are a little harder.

As mentioned in the note, I took some of the cookies (these were the largest), and made thumbprint indentions in the middle,

It's hard to tell.
filled the indention with icing,

and stole some dough from the edges of the cookie to press on top of the icing.

A semi-filled cookie.
Bake 10-12 minutes (ten turned out perfectly in my oven). Let sit on the pan for a minute (now would be when to spread the icing on if you want it glaze-y),

Small glaze-y cookies. Not really as thin as a glaze, but melty.
then transfer to a wire rack to cool (after which you can ice them for a cake/Lofthouse cookie effect).

Medium Lofthouse-style cookies.
And here's how the big ones turned out:

On the tray.

The icing browned slightly at the tips.
For the Frosting:

Beat 8 oz. (one brick) more-or-less room temperature cream cheese with 2 cups powdered sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla.

There's cream cheese under there somewhere.
Taste and beat in more sugar or vanilla to taste.

Just right.
I liked mine less sweet (2 1/2 cups sugar : 8 oz. cream cheese); the original recipe called for 2 cups sugar : 4 oz. cream cheese, but I think 4 cups for 8 oz would have been too sweet.

This frosting is amazing. I was eating it right out of the bowl (it also makes way more than you really need for the cookies and you would be fine halving it, I suspect). It's tangy and creamy like the cream cheese and not too sweet, with that back-of-the-tongue vanilla taste...nom nom nom. So much better than cream-cheese-flavored store-bought frosting. SO MUCH BETTER.


I ate so much dough and icing that I'm not sure I ever even tried a finished cookie--but the dough and incing were good! ^_~

The DDH loved them, especially the icing. He kept adding more to the already-thickly-frosted cookies.

"That's the right amount of icing."
They are not super-bright red, but they're still reddish. And you can't really argue with a double-chocolate cookie with homemade cream cheese icing, no matter what color they are. :-)

These cookies are definitely best warm--though what cookie isn't? I'll have to fiddle with the recipe to see if I can make them fudgier and chewier, as they end up being just a touch dry (though maybe that's a good thing against the frosting?).

Also, remember that you'll want to refrigerate them if they're going to hang around more than a day or so!


  1. OMG, those look delicious! They are on my list to try once I'm home from the trip...

    I also had food coloring issues when I tried to make the Red Velvet Hot Chocolate on my blog for Valentine's Day...the red just wasn't as red as the picture had led me to believe... But it was still delicious!

  2. You can't go wrong with a chocolate chocolate chip cookie with red food coloring. You just can't.

    Yes. I don't know if the original recipe poster lied about how much red dye she used or if she had magically pale cocoa or what.



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