Sunday, December 15, 2013

Gooey Butter Cookies

This cookie recipe is one that has evolved through the years.  The recipe started out with the use of a boxed cake mix and then there was one created from scratch. That recipe used 1 cup of butter and three cups of sugar. Since then, there has been some variations on those two ingredient amounts and additional flavors incorporated such as Nutella and Red Velvet. However, I landed on the recipe created by by Mathew Rice and Gerard Craft of Pastaria Restaurant.  The recipe does cut back on the amount of butter and also incorporates glucose as an ingredient.

Since I have never ate or baked these cookies, the thing I wondered about was the name.  Would they be liquid and creamy inside or is gooey a misnomer?  After making them, I would say a misnomer. The texture of these cookies are right on the border between being doughy and being crisp. Not really "gooey" as the name states. They are fluffy and light, unlike standard sugar or butter cookies.

Even though there are lots of variations on the net, I thinks that the simple butter/cream cheese flavor is perfect when paried with any of the wintery beverages such as hot chocolate, flavored teas and coffees. This recipe makes about 3 dz. cookies.

All of the variations can be found on the net under different blogs and websites, such as Lottie and Doof, Eating up, Tasting Table, Delightfully Dowling.

Gooey Butter Cookies
adapted from Gerard Craft and Mathew Rice of Pastaria

1/4 cup glucose (substitution ingredient is light corn syrup)
2 1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 lb cream cheese (room temp)
1/2 cup or 1 stick butter (room temp)
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
4 1/2 cups of flour
1 tbs and 1 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 vanilla bean
2 cups powdered sugar and more for final dusting

Prepare 2 baking sheets by lining with parchment paper and have a few extra squares of parchment on hand to fit the sheets.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Also, fill a shallow bowl with the powdered sugar and put aside for later use.

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in a medium size bowl and set aside.  Fill the bowl of a stand mixer with cream cheese, butter, sugar and glucose.  Then split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the bowl as well.  Cream ingredients together on medium speed for about 3 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl at 1 minute intervals.  Add the vanilla extract and one of the eggs and beat until blended.  Beat in the second egg.

Remove batter blade and bowl from mixer.  Fold the sifted ingredients into the butter/cream cheese mixture until a dough is formed and there are no more dry streaks.  Shape pieces of the dough into balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.  Roll balls into powdered sugar and place on prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart.

Bake the cookies about 12-15 minutes.  The cookies should be firm on the edges and soft in the middle and have cracks.  They should not brown on the edges.  Remove the cookies and let rest on baking sheets about 5 minutes.  Slide the parchment paper with the cookies off the sheet onto a cooling rack.  I was able to lightly transfer them off the parchment paper to a cooling rack by hand, but they are very delicate. A light touch is important if you want to do the hand method as opposed to sliding the parchment.

These cookies are best kept in the refrigerator and served cold. Before serving, as an option, you can dust again with powdered sugar. Store cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
                                    **LAST YEAR: Chocolate Tres Leche Cake**