Annie's Cream Cheese Cookies

This recipe was inspired by my dear friend Annie. I never use the word dear, but I am trying to mature my blog a little by using some more adult-like words. If I didn't use the word dear, I would use the word great. Annie is a really great friend of mine that I met here in Dallas, at our favorite bar The Loon. Yes, we picked each other up at a bar, and it has been a match made in heaven ever since. From club Suite, to Taco Bell, to Lil Wayne (I actually think those all end up in the same category...) - we have had our share of fun times together. Now to add to the list: experimenting with Cream Cheese Cookies. See? Lil Wayne to Annie's grandma's cream cheese cookies - MATURE.

A couple weeks before Christmas Annie kept sending me cryptic text messages. 'What makes a cookie rise?' 'Do you use salted or unsalted butter?' 'Gross, I just made the worst cookies.' Finally, she came clean. She was trying to reconstruct the cream cheese cookie recipe that her Grandma used to make, with no evidence left behind other than that they were her family's favorite. Oh and that they didn't rise, and there was a hint of orange flavoring. She asked for my help in trying to come up with the recipe in time for Christmas so she could share them with her family. Amazing! The opportunity to help out a friend in need AND participate in a baking challenge. I love this.

The truth is I think Annie probably could have had these cookies on her own - she was just trying to give me good content for my blog. That's just the kind of friend Annie is.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl with a standing mixer (or a handheld mixer will do)...cream the cream cheese, butter and sugar together. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, and orange zest. Add it to the cream cheese mixture, then mix in the mini chocolate chips.  You will definitely need to taste the dough here. Chocolate chip cream cheese cookie dough, are you kidding me? TRY IT.

Drop the cookies in teaspoon-fuls....Annie instructed me they were only this big:
That is not her hand, FYI, but that's how she explained it to me.

Drop them in small spoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet, and bake for 11 minutes.
These cookies are so delicious, I can see why they have a special place in the hearts of Annie and her family.  Thanks Annie! xo.