Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a large mixing bowl use a hand or stand mixer to beat together the cookie mix, cream cheese and large egg until combined. You should have a soft dough.
Place the pink or white sanding sugar or non-pareils in a shallow bowl.
Use a 1 ½ Tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop out balls of dough and drop them into the bowl of sugar or non-pareils.
Roll them gently until coated and then roll into an even ball.
The dough is sticky, if you cannot get it to scoop and roll well, you can refrigerate or freeze it for 30-60 minutes. It will still be slightly sticky but will be easier to work and form this way. This is optional.
Place the cookie balls on the prepared baking sheet with about 1 ½ inches of space in between them.
Bake for 8-12 minutes or until the edges are set.
Allow the cookies to cool for 3-5 minutes on the cookie sheet and then press an unwrapped Strawberry Kiss into the top of each cookie.
Move to a cooling rack to cool completely or serve warm.
Serving Size: 16-18 large cookiesStorage:
To Store: Store your cooled cookies in an airtight container and keep them at room temperature for 3-4 days. You can also refrigerate them for up to a week.
To Freeze: You can freeze your cookies for 2-3 months.
Try to avoid covering or storing these cookies while they are still warm, as it will cause the Kisses to deform. After they are cooled you can place them in an airtight bag or container and keep them at room temperature for 3-4 days. You may also refrigerate them for up to a week or freeze them for 2-3 months. Be aware that chilling these cookies may cause them to harden or dry out. For best results bring to room temperature before serving.
Keep in mind that this dough is sticky. If you don’t want to have to deal with sticky dough, you can refrigerate or freeze it before scooping and rolling it. The sanding sugar is also very helpful when dealing with the sticky dough. You can use a little to coat your hands, as you would with flour, and even your cookie scoop. The non-pareils do not work in that way but they do still coat the cookie balls so that you can smooth them into a ball.
Decide how soft or hard you want your Kisses before making your cookies. The time that you allow the cookies to cool before pressing in the Kisses will make a huge difference in how soft the Kisses get. For example, if you press the Kisses in right out of the oven they will melt and any touch will cause them to lose their shape. The longer you allow the cookies to cool, the less the Kisses will melt. If you let the cookies cool completely first the Kisses will remain hard. I like to let the cookies cool for 3-5 minutes but you can adjust that to match your preferences.