If you have been reading along with this blogging effort of mine, you have learned one thing about my family: We enjoy just about any kind of food, but we especially love the time spent cooking together!
When my children were little they loved homemade cookies, but, to be completely honest, there were times when the cupboards ran a little bare because I hadn't found the time to make it to town to purchase groceries.
One of those times occurred during a winter snowstorm that trapped me in the house with my two children for several days.
With the pantry bare of the normal items to make "sweet" cookies, I tried my Aunt Genny's recipe for something a little different, Mexican Cheese Cookies. (These unusual treats were always the highlight of her holiday cookie trays, which never lasted long after she delivered them to family members and friends homes.)
With a limited amount of ingredients to make the cookies, my children were able to help, which made it even more fun for them.
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Beat one large egg and a drop of lemon, lime or orange juice (your choice of juice, and I like a couple of drops for added flavor) in a small bowl and set aside for later.
Cream together in a bowl one cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and1/3 cup of butter until fluffy. Stir in 1 1/4 cups of shredded Monterey jack cheese, 1 cup of all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
Since it was just us eating the cookies- I figured "what the heck," they were going to have to roll the cookies into "sticks" later anyway-I let my children dive into the bowl and mix the dough with their clean but well-buttered hands.
Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes before rolling the sticks, makes rolling easier.
My children made "sticks" of all shapes and sizes, even creating a few pretzels along the way, but, if you are a "cookie purist," roll a teaspoon of dough into sticks about three inches long and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. They pushed about four little fingertip-sized wells into each stick then we brushed each one with the egg wash.
Sprinkle each cookie with a touch of sugar and then bake until the edges are a light brown, about 8-10 minutes.
When done, immediately remove and cool the cookies on wire racks.
Either while baking or while the cookies are cooling, make some cream cheese icing by blending 1/4 cup softened butter, 4 oz. of softened cream cheese (half a package), 1/2 of a box of sifted powdered sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla until fluffy.
Drizzle the icing on top of the cookies, making sure to fill those little wells.
You can sprinkle cinnamon, finely shredded cheese or lemon/lime/orange zest lightly over the top of the cookies after icing them for added color and flavor. (My children liked to put everything on top!)
Recipe will make about 24-36 cookies depending on how thick you, or your little ones, make the sticks.