I've decided to have a fabulous array of desserts at my annual Christmas Dinner. I bought a three-tier plate holder at World Market and found I liked it so much at Thanksgiving when it held all three swoonably delicious desserts, that it would be the perfect venue for serving dessert at Christmas. The top tier, I've decided, will feature mousse shooters (This idea comes from the "Tasting Party" section of the Pier 1 website, recipe and all. Clearly, I spend waaaaay too much time on the Pier 1 website!) The second tier will hold the molded and shaped cookies that are always so delicious and eye-catching, and the bottom tier will hold traditional holiday offerings such as pecan tassies, mini whoopie pies, Mexican wedding cakes, and other family favorites.
The delicious-looking cookies pictured above, derive from the Gooey Butter Cake*, a St. Louis, MO creation, and are hugely popular in this area. As much as I do like the Gooey Butter Cake, I'm not sure I like the cookies quite as well. They are soft and cake-like, and I prefer a crunchy cookie, but people seem to go wild for them here, so I'm making a batch for the holidays.
This recipe comes from The Blue Owl, a delightful restaurant and bakery in Historic Kimmswick, Missouri, located 25 miles south of St. Louis. It is family owned and operated and has been for the past 24 years. They specialize in an incredible assortment of desserts (along with serving a delicious lunch); their "Levee High Caramel Apple Pecan Pie" (truly a sight to behold) was featured on The Food Network's "Paula's Party" program.
GOOEY BUTTER COOKIES
The Blue Owl Restaurant and Bakery (Kimmswick, MO)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened (no substitutions)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 (about-18-ounce) box yellow cake mix
1 cup powdered sugar
In large bowl of electric mixer, beat together butter, vanilla, egg and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add cake mix; beat until well blended. Cover dough and chill 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in powdered sugar. Place about 1 1/2 inches apart on a lightly greased cookie sheet (see note). Bake 12 minutes; do not let brown.
Let cookies cool, then sift additional powdered sugar over the tops.
Yield: About 4 dozen cookies
Note: Recipe may be doubled.
Note: Recipe may be doubled.
Tester's note: It isn't necessary to shake off excess powdered sugar after rolling. Baking on a greased sheet results in just enough spreading to make the cookies a perfect two-bite size. If you bake on parchment paper, the cookies spread a bit less and are more ball-shaped. These should not brown; baking 12 minutes allows the cookies to stay soft. I also tested this with chocolate cake mix with good results.
|*The St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake story and original recipe.|