Hey, guys! Happy 2016! I’d like to say that I did something wildly exciting to ring in the New Year this year, but alas, my NYE consisted of staying in with my guy and making Five Guys-style burgers (because that post-holiday diet starts NEVER), sharing a Lady and the Tramp moment over a skillet cookie sundae, and binge-watching Mr. Robot (our latest TV show obsession). And honestly? I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
My New Year’s resolutions? The obvious one: BAKE & BLOG MORE! The less obvious ones: Get better at interior photography, worry less, and fearlessly eat weird things (hey, La Ferme de la Ruchotte, I’m finally ready for you and gelee de laperaux, a.k.a. baby rabbit gelee).
To kick the year off (and remain committed to my paramount resolution), I made gooey butter cookies. And no, not the variety that involve boxed cake mix. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not NOT about that shortcut life, but when it comes to baking, I usually try to avoid using processed ingredients when I can. These cookies are easy to make from scratch, so there’s no need for shortcuts, anyway.
The funny part about these cookies is that they look like those horrifically dry, chalky Italian wedding cookies I’ve hated since I was a kid. Honestly, I’m actually vehemently anti- hard, crunchy, crumbly cookies; I gravitate towards anything super soft and gooey, and I always make a point to slightly under-bake whatever cookies I’m making. Anyway, it appears that I’m not alone, because these cookies did NOT fly off the plate the first time I served them. My friends later admitted that they thought they were aforementioned Italian cookies from Hell; it wasn’t until after the first bite that they realized that their preconceived notions were completely wrong. After that, all bets were off, and the cookies disappeared quickly.
Gooey Butter Cookies
*Recipe adapted from Tasting Table
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse Kosher salt
- 2 8-ounce packages (or 1 pound) full-fat cream cheese, softened
- 1 stick (or 1/2 cup) unsalted sweet cream butter, softened
- 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (I use Nielsen-Massey brand)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar, plus more for serving
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
- In a medium mixing bowl, sift together flour and baking powder
- Add salt and stir to combine
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together cream cheese, butter, and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes)
- Add eggs and vanilla bean paste and beat on medium until blended (30 seconds)
- With mixer on slow, gradually add dry ingredients to wet; mix until homogenous (dough will be sticky!)
- Gently mold dough into 1-in balls; roll each ball in confectioner's sugar until coated
- Place coated dough balls on prepared cookie sheet about 2 inches apart
- Bake for 12-14 minutes; edges should be just set and centers should be very soft (you DON'T want cookies to brown!)