Sunday, March 30, 2014

Gooey Butter Cake Cookies

Gooey butter cake cookies.  Kind of a funny name, but actually a very fitting and accurate description.  And they're totally simple to boot!  What could be better?

I first tasted these cookies at a luncheon.  They were some of the most decadent cookies I'd ever eaten.  Expecting something lemony and perhaps crunchy, they were soft and extremely buttery.  I knew the cookies had been purchased at Schnucks, so when I had the chance, I checked out the market's website to find out what they were called:  Gooey Butter Cookies.

Once I had the name of the cookies, I learned that gooey butter CAKE is actually a St. Louis tradition.  It was supposedly made by accident in the 1930s when a local baker making cake batter swapped the proportions of butter and flour.  The bakery served the flat, dense cake anyway and it became popular.  A number of bakeries in St. Louis now make the treat.  When we visited St. Louis last summer, we made sure to find some at Park Avenue Coffee.  It was very good and extremely butter (although flatter than I anticipated), but I decided I actually prefer these cookies instead!

 (Traditional Gooey Butter Cake from Park Avenue Coffee in St. Louis)

Gooey Butter Cake Cookies
Adapted slightly from
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1 - 8 oz. package cream cheese
½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 egg
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 18.25 oz. box yellow cake mix
⅓ cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter.  Mix in the egg and vanilla until well blended.  Add the cake mix and mix until combined.  Using a medium-size cookie scoop, roll the dough into balls.  Coat the dough balls in powdered sugar.  Place the dough balls on an ungreased cookie sheet, one inch apart.  Bake for 10-13 minutes.  Remove from baking sheets to cool on wire racks. Store in a covered container.  Makes approximately 28-29 cookies.

Calories:  Approximately 115/cookie

Park Avenue Coffee makes Gooey Butter Cake in 73 different flavors.  This means one could easily swap out the yellow cake mix for pretty much any other flavor of cake mix.  The possibilities are only limited by cake mix varieties!  Enjoy!

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