This recipe actually comes to us by way of a READER REQUEST (!). I was actually having a little bit of trouble deciding which strawberry recipe would be my Grand Finale for the month. I’ve actually reached the point where I am a bit overwhelmed with all of the recipes I’ve pinned. I want to make them all! How do I decide?!
And then, lo! An email arrived in my inbox from a fellow blogger named Justin. (Do you have any idea how happy it makes me when I find out when there are Actual People that read my pieces? People that I didn’t send here directly? I HAVE READERS! I HAVE ARRIVED!) He recommended this recipe for something to try during Strawberry Month.
I like strawberries. I like chocolate. And we all know I like cookies. So I was pretty much sold. Of the three options given for the original recipe, the second one caught my eye the most, so that is the one I chose to make. Additionally, despite how fancy these appear to be, they also seemed somewhat quick and easy. Bonus!
THE RECIPE – CHOCOLATE-COVERED STRAWBERRY COOKIES
- 1 package (8oz) of cream cheese (or use Neufchâtel to lighten them up – tastes EXACTLY THE SAME)
- 1/2 stick of butter
- 1 egg or 2 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 2 cups fresh strawberries
- 1 box of strawberry cake mix
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 cup dark chocolate, melted (each 1/4 of a cup will cover about a dozen cookies)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (Fahrenheit).
Cream together the butter and cream cheese. As usual, I like to zap mine briefly in the microwave first if they aren’t already at room temperature.
Add in your egg (or egg whites, if you’re trying to be healthier), vanilla extract, and honey.
Mash up your strawberries. This proved to be harder than I thought it would be, so I got lazy and pulled out my food processor. At some point in this process I was struck with a dire urge to make strawberry daiquiris, but I persisted with the cookies.
Do NOT drain your strawberry mush. Instead, dump it all into your batter-to-be.
Gradually mix in the box of cake mix until it’s all blended together.
To compensate for the extra moisture of the strawberries, add 1/4 cup of flour and mix.
Scoop balls of batter/dough onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes.
It was kind of hard to tell when these were done, since they were so moist, and, well, spongy. They were very spongy. I tried a batch at ten minutes, a batch at eleven minutes, and a batch at twelve minutes. They all turned out pretty much exactly the same, so you can trust that time, I think.
Melt your dark chocolate (I just used a bag of Hershey’s dark chocolate chips) and stir until it’s smooth.
You can either (a) dip your cookies into the chocolate (mine broke when I did this) or (b) take a spoon and “frost” them, which is what I ended up doing.
I stuck them in the fridge for about 5-10 minutes to expedite the cooling/hardening process. Worked like a charm.
I was trying to keep an eye on how much chocolate I used so I could count the WW points, and I pretty consistently was able to get about a dozen cookies coated with each 1/4 cup chocolate (pre-melted measurement).
[Can regular people actually make this? Is it easy?] I thought they were pretty darn easy. The only real challenge I faced was not being able to dip them in the chocolate without breakage, but I found a way to work around that, and it seemed to work just fine.
[Did it require any weird gadgetry or cookware?] Though not absolutely necessary, I did find the food processor to be quite helpful for smashing up the strawberries. So if you have one of those, I’d use it… if you don’t, no sweat. You can do it by hand. I also recommend a cookie scoop. If you don’t have one, go get one. It’s an awesome tool to have.
[How much did the ingredients cost?] For some reason, I did not have any honey in my house, so I picked up a small (bear-shaped) jar for about $1.50. Bar of cream cheese, another $1.50 or so…. box of cake mix, about $1. (I bought generic store-brand whenever possible, and I’m also kind of guessing because I don’t have the receipt handy. If I write this column long enough, I might get good enough to be a contender for The Price is Right.) I had some dark chocolate left over from my repeat performance of the Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies, and I’ve long since lost the receipt for those, so I have no idea how much they were – probably about $3-4. Strawberries, again, are going to vary so much by region that I’m not even going to try to price-tag those.
[Does it taste as good as it looks? Does it only look good because it was so well photographed?] I brought these in to work (I mean, it did yield 50 cookies, after all!) and the thing I heard the most was comments about how moist they were. And lots of “yummy noises“. I also got a lot of “you made these??” (Yes, yes I did.) I thought they were even pretty good without the chocolate (what? You expected me to wait that long to dive in?) but I will admit, the chocolate does add that extra something special.
[Weight Watchers Points+ Value] The cookies themselves with NO chocolate are 2 points+ each (note: this is with using just the egg whites and the Neufchâtel cheese, which makes them a smidge healthier than normal). Adding the chocolate adds a point. Overall, then, these are only 3 points each – not too terrible at all!
[Final recommendation] These received rave reviews from everyone that tried them. I even had a coworker ask a few days later if there were any left. (No. There were not. Because I finished the last few that were left.) It was suggested that encasing the entire cookie in chocolate might be equally (or more) delish, or perhaps using white chocolate instead of dark chocolate for a different flavor. Both of which are things I will probably try on my next batch of these, because both sound like fantastic ideas. Even without modifications, though, I give these an A.
Born, raised, and currently living in one of those states in the middle that nobody can locate on a map, Kelly has been writing some nonsense or another since she was old enough to string words together. A recovering perfectionist and an unapologetic daydreamer, she spends her free time browsing the Internet with more tabs open than any one person should be able to navigate, getting irrationally angry about misplaced apostrophes, and using her degree in graphic design to awkwardly Photoshop her face onto various other images. She speaks fluent sarcasm and is working on mastering the art of verbal flailing. She also loves to take pictures – both of the artistic variety and the “that’s going on facebook, isn’t it?” variety. She carries a camera everywhere she goes and is always looking at the world through the eye of a lens. She’s also that one person in the group who always insists on a photo op – you’ll thank her later. She has a ridiculous addiction to ice cream, Diet Mountain Dew, anything pumpkin-flavored, and Target.