Rich cheesecake flavored with Baileys Irish cream and encased in a soft chocolate cookie makes a deliciously indulgent treat for St. Patrick's Day - or any time of year! These Baileys cheesecake stuffed chocolate cookies are a 10, so be sure to bookmark this small batch stuffed cookie recipe!
Where do I even begin with these cookies? The chocolate cookie is beautifully soft, and its richness comes from the ultra-creamy Irish cream cheesecake filling, whose flavor is the perfect complement to the cookies' delicate chocolatey-ness. They're just the right amount of decadent. Skip the green food coloring and celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a batch of these goodies instead.
This small batch recipe makes just 12 cookies but can be easily multiplied for more cheesecake stuffed goodness!
Not a fan of Baileys (or booze)? No problem! Check out my recommended ingredient substitutions for this recipe below.
Step-By-Step Recipe Instructions
- Begin by making the Baileys* cheesecake filling. Blend cream cheese and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Then add Baileys and salt and blend until well combined.
- TIP: Be sure to use room temperature cream cheese in order to create a smooth cheesecake filling. Check out my post all about baking with room temperature ingredients to learn more about why this is so important.
- Scoop 12 Tablespoons of the cheesecake filling onto a lined baking sheet or plate and place the filling in the fridge to chill while you make the cookie dough.
- To make the cookie dough, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set the flour mixture aside.
- Using a stand mixer or a handheld electric mixer, cream butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until light and fluffy. Add an egg, milk, and vanilla extract. Then slowly add the flour mixture, stirring until blended. Chill the cookie dough for 30 minutes.
- Use a 1 ½ Tablespoon cookie scoop (or measuring spoons) to scoop balls of cookie dough. Flatten each cookie dough ball into a flat circle about ⅛ inch thick. Place one chilled scoop of cheesecake filling onto a flattened cookie dough scoop and fold the edges of the cookie dough up around the sides of the cheesecake filling. Top with another flattened cookie dough scoop, pressing the sides of the cookie dough down so they meet the other piece of cookie dough. Roll the ball between your hands (without squishing the cookie) to seal the two pieces of cookie dough together. Repeat this process to form 12 cookies. See my tips for stuffing the cookies below!
- Chill the cookies in the fridge for 15 minutes while you preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
- Bake the cookies for 12-13 minutes and sprinkle them with salt as soon as you take them out of the oven. Let the cookies cool before enjoying!
*If you'd prefer not to use Baileys or another Irish cream liqueur, see my note below regarding ingredient substitutions.
Stuffing and forming the cookies is not difficult, but these tips will help to make the process easier and minimize mess.
- Be sure that the cheesecake filling is chilled when you stuff the cookies. Working with cold scoops of cheesecake will make forming the cookies easier.
- Scoop just 2 scoops of cookie dough (for forming one cookie) at a time, keeping the remaining dough chilling in the fridge as you work. Keeping the cookie dough chilled will make it easier to work with, as the dough will become more sticky when warm.
- The cookie dough will be a bit sticky, so it's helpful to dust the bottom of your measuring cup and your hands with cocoa powder to keep them from sticking to the cookie dough.
Generally speaking, I am not a fan of ingredient substitutions. Baking is a science, and using a different ingredient than specified in the recipe or changing the amount of an ingredient will impact the outcome of your baked goods. For this reason, I only recommend ingredient substitutions that I have tested and am confident in.
For this recipe, I am able to recommend substitutes for two of the ingredients:
- Dutch Process Cocoa Powder - This recipe calls for Dutch process cocoa powder, which adds a delicate chocolate flavor and deep brown color to the cookies. Dutch process cocoa powder can be found at specialty grocery stores and online. Hershey's brand special dark cocoa powder is Dutch process cocoa powder, and this can often be found at grocery stores. Alternatively, you can substitute an equal amount of natural unsweetened cocoa powder; just know that doing so will change the chocolate flavor of the cookies and their color won't be such a deep brown. (NOTE: Natural unsweetened cocoa powder and Dutch process cocoa powder can not be used interchangeably in all recipes, and it typically depends on the type of leavener used in the recipe. Dutch process cocoa powder is often paired with baking powder, since it is less acidic than natural unsweetened cocoa powder and will not activate baking soda. This recipe uses brown sugar to activate the baking soda, making the cocoa powders interchangeable. Check out my post all about baking powder and baking soda if you're interested in learning more about how these two leaveners work in baking.)
- Baileys Irish Cream liqueur - If you'd prefer not to use Baileys or another Irish cream liqueur in these cookies, try either of these substitutions:
- Milk and vanilla extract - Instead of Baileys, you can substitute 1 Tbsp. milk and 1 tsp. vanilla extract for an alcohol-free vanilla cheesecake filling.
- Kahlua - For a delicious coffee flavor, use 2 Tbsp. Kahlua coffee liqueur in place of the Baileys.
Because of their cheesecake filling, these cookies should be stored in the fridge. They will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. For the best taste and texture, let the cookies sit at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes before eating.