Growing up, my pop culture consumption was completely colonised by US-TV and comic book exports. I could recite the Pledge of Allegiance by heart and knew that milk and cookies were a sacrosanct pairing. Oh, and how I love a good chewy American-style cookie.

I found a great recipe on that substitutes butter with cream cheese, resulting in an unbelievably soft and moreish cookie.

I fiddled with the recipe (just a little) to include white chocolate chunks and the burfee-flavoured popcorn I bought from Maverick and Jane in Rosebank. And you should know me well enough by now to know that I add cardamom to anything I can get away with. In this instance, it worked well enough to reinforce the light burfee notes from the popcorn and play off of the white chocolate. I also reduced the amount of sugar to balance the sweetness from the white chocolate chunks.


The recipe seems very versatile and I’ll probably make it again with other spices and combinations of dark choc, regular choc chips, caramelised popcorn, dried fruit or nuts.


Chewy White Choc Chunk and Popcorn Cookies
adapted from
Makes 24 large cookies

  • 2 and 1/3 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons finely ground cardamom (to taste)
  • 225g cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup white chocolate chunks/chips
  • 2 cups of caramelised burfee popcorn or regular caramelised popcorn

Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius.
Line two baking trays with parchment paper or silicone mats.
Combine flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and cardamom. Set aside.
Beat cream cheese, sugars and vanilla extract together. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Add the dry ingredients to the batter a little at a time until fully incorporated.
Stir in the chocolate and popcorn. The final cookie dough will be sticky.
Drop ice cream scoops of batter onto the prepared trays, leaving generous spaces in between each scoop as these cookies will flatten and spread on baking.
Bake for about 15 minutes. You will want the cookies to colour ever so slightly. They will be a bit soft out of the oven, but will firm up on standing.
If you like, once they’ve cooled down, drizzle with melted white chocolate.
Serve warm and with milk, obviously. If you’re going the burfee route, crank the party up and  accompany with cups of foamed milk flavoured with cardamom and rose syrup.