In these unique cookies, a sweet cream cheese dough is topped by a chewy, light pecan-date meringue.
- Yield:makes 24 cookies
- Active time: 20 minutes
- Total time:45 minutes
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for buttering muffin tins
- 1 cup (about 5 ounces) flour
- 1 cup dates, pitted
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup (about 7 ounces) sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, separated
Adjust oven rack to upper middle position and preheat oven to 325°F. Butter two 12-cup mini-muffin tins.
In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter with a wooden spoon until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in flour until combined. Using floured hands (dough will be sticky) divide dough among muffin cups, pressing down on bottom and sides of dough to create shells. Let chill in refrigerator while making filling.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine dates, pecans, sugar, vanilla, and egg yolks. Pulse until almost smooth; set aside. In a medium bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into date mixture.
Fill each cup 2/3 way full with date mixture. Bake until caps are golden and tops have puffed and darkened, about 25 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes in pan, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.