Recipe Test: Paula Deen’s Savanna Cheesecake Cookies

25 Dec

I needed something quick and guaranteed to please for my parent’s pre-christmas dinner party and these amazing cheesecake cookies were a total time saver and a huge hit. I made these overnight, which meant less work the day of. The fridge could not hold another morself of food so I had to improvise and cover the finished product (uncut and still in the pan) with a shoe box and leave it on top of the trash can in our garage. A bit of snow and frost overnight made for a perfectly chilled dish cake the next morning.

I rarely follow recipes to a tee but since this was a Paula Deen creation, I figured the woman knew her cheesecake. I do have one caveat: I don’t usually cut the fat content of any recipe for health reasons but I did reduce the 1 stick of butter that this recipe called for down to a mere half stick, and the results were just fine–a prudent choice I think, for a recipe coming from a woman’s whose smallest unit of measurement when it comes to butter is by the stick.

Photo by Megan Cui 



  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 stick butter, melted


  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla or almond extract
  • Fresh berries and mint leaves, for garnish


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine flour, brown sugar, pecans, and butter in bowl. Press dough into an ungreased 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
For filling, beat cream cheese and granulated sugar together in a bowl until smooth, using a handheld electric mixer; add eggs and extract; beat well. Pour over crust. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool completely. Cut into squares before serving. Decorate tops with berries and mint leaves.
Recipe courtesy of 

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