Photo: Linda Pugliese, Hector Sanchez; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas, Buffy Hargett Miller
Hands-on Time
12 Mins
Total Time
1 Hour 20 Mins
Makes about 2 dozen

There's no need to use a pastry bag to fill cookies. Just transfer the frosting to a zip-top plastic freezer bag, and snip the corner.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 325°. Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add egg and food coloring; beat 30 seconds.

Step 2

Sift flour with next 2 ingredients in a small bowl. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating at low speed until combined. Stir in vanilla.

Step 3

Shape dough into 1-inch balls, and place 1/2 inch apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Press thumb or end of a wooden spoon into each ball, forming an indentation.

Step 4

Bake at 325° for 10 to 15 minutes or until cookies are fragrant and dry. While cookies are still warm, press indentations again. Cool cookies completely on a wire rack (about 30 minutes).

Step 5

Stir together cream cheese and melted white chocolate in a small bowl. Fill centers of cookies with cream cheese mixture.

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Ratings & Reviews

Terrible recipe

December 18, 2015
This recipe is terrible, just as DonnaBennett said. I've been having trouble with Southern Living baking recipes lately (anyone else?), and this may be my last one. As a former recipe developer, tester and chef (yes, truly) I wonder what is going on in the SL test kitchen. Are they not testing their recipes enough? Who is their final proofreader? Really, their recipes should work - people should not be having to add baking powder and increase the flour, etc. to get things to work. Not a happy camper.


December 02, 2015
I should have questioned the fact that there was no leavening agent in these, but I made them anyway. They came out totally flat, and the after-taste from the white chocolate is terrible. I've been baking for 30 years, and have never seen an uglier cookie, or one with less flavor!  I wouldn't recommend anybody try this.  I'll find another recipe to add to my Christmas cookie repertoire, thank you very much.

Really good with improvements

December 12, 2016
I added the Baking powder and extra flour, per a review below. I also added Cherry Concentrate and a little more flour adjusting for moisture of the juice. This gives a nice lasting faint cherry taste to the cookie. I added the powered sugar to the filling and added silver Degrees next to the White chip. The cookie firmed up really good for container stacking. I'm sure my friends and family will enjoy this Christmas cookie.

Needs some adjustments....

December 15, 2015
I read the review about the lack of a levening agent, so I decided to add 1 tsp of baking powder.  It made a HUGE difference!  They came out thick and chewy, just like I like them.  The dough is also very sticky at first so I recommend adding about 1/4 cup more flour and chilling the dough for about 30 minutes before rolling into balls.  For the filling, add a little powdered sugar (to taste) to cut some of the tartness from the cream cheese.  Once you make these adjustments, the cookies are outstanding!