Thursday, July 29, 2010

Cookie #45 - Missouri Gooey Butter Cookies

St. Louis is famous for thier gooey butter cake.  It's traditionally served as a coffee cake and not as a dessert.  Sort of like a cheese danish, but better.  Traditionally, it was made with a sweet yeast dough as the bottom and the gooey butter portion on top.  Today, it's most often made with a yellow cake on the bottom.

For the gooey butter cookies, I took the basic ingredients for a gooey butter cake and mixed them all together and baked them as cookies.  Sort of a variation of the cake mix cookies I made for the Smith Island cookies. 

These cookies are soft and rich.  The tang of the cream cheese doesn't really come through, but rather seems to amplify the yellow cake flavor.  When Trusty Tastetester #2 (aka, my mom) initially tasted the cookie, she hated it.  Then, the flavors settled in her mouth and she was in love.  Two more cookies later, she finally decided that they were delicious. 

I mean, seriously look how soft and gooey they are inside.  Who can resist that?

One note about this recipe:  One of my tricks when I make recipes is I add certain things to compliment the flavors in the recipe.  For example, I'll add a little espresso powder to my chocolate recipes, a little extra salt to recipes with nuts, and I'll double the vanilla in recipes that call for vanilla.  DON'T DO THAT HERE.  The recipe calls for 1/2 tsp vanilla - trust me, it's ENOUGH.  I had to remind myself that I was already using a premade cake mix and the vanilla was included in the mix.  I think If I used a full teaspoon of vanilla it would have empowered the whole cookie and that's all you'd taste.  So don't do it.  No matter how much that full teaspoon calls to you....don't do it.

Missouri Gooey Butter Cookies

1 box yellow cake mix (I prefer Duncan Hines)
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream butter and cream cheese together.  Mix in egg until well incorporated.  Add cake mix and vanilla an mix until well combined.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto parchment lined cookie sheets about 2" apart.  Bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges are slightly browned.  Cook for a couple minutes on the cookie sheets to allow them to set a bit.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

If desired, dust with powdered sugar.

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