Gooey Butter Cookies

Three years ago I was in St. Louis for Urbana 2009.  We asked the concierge at the hotel where we could go for a quick lunch. She suggested a Whole Foods type grocery store.  She added, “Try the Gooey Butter Cookies, you will come back and thank me!” She was right I went back and thanked her!  I know Paula Dean makes varieties of Gooey Butter Cake and that is good, but the cookies is where it is at!

Before you start your New Year’s Resolutions to lose weight, make sure you make these cookies for your parties this week, actually they are good through out the year.

I don’t know where I found this recipe three years ago, so I am sorry I can’t give credit where it is due!

Gooey Butter Cookies

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese

1/2 cup butter (softened)

1 egg

1/4 tsp vanilla

1 (18.25 oz) package yellow cake mix (I always use Pillsbury)

Confectioner’s Sugar for rolling

– Cream together the cream cheese and butter until smooth.

– add egg, vanilla and cake mix

– Roll batter into balls and roll in confectioner’s sugar

– Bake at 350 for 8-10 min (Don’t over bake)




If you are anything like me your kitchen will probably look like it snowed.

Happy Baking!


Everybody’s Favorite Cookies

The tree is decorated, itunes is playing my favorite Christmas songs and the fire is blazing (okay, I don’t really have a fireplace, but I wish I did), what else is there to do but make some cookies.

A couple of years ago I found a recipe in Taste of Home magazine that used chocolate cake mix and thin mint cookies.  I thought they sounded pretty good so I went to get the ingredients.  When I was at the store, I couldn’t find any thin mint type cookies, so I opted for York Peppermint Patties.  Sounded good to me!  Thus I created “Everyone’s favorite Cookies.” My nephew loves these cookies so for a long time we called them Ben’s Favorite Cookies until my sister declared that they weren’t just Ben’s favorite, but everyone’s favorite.

Here is what you will need. Devil’s Food Cake Mix, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup butter (s0ft), 1 TBS water and confectioner’s sugar for rolling

ebf cookie (1)

Mix water, softened butter and cake mix together with a mixer.  Add egg and a little vanilla if desired.

ebf cookie (2)

My parent’s brought me my Kitchen Aid, I am so happy.

ebf cookie (3)

Roll into balls, the smaller you roll them the more you will get.

ebf cookie (4)

Roll in Powered Sugar

ebf cookie (5)

Bake at 350 for about 8 mins.  Honestly it is hard to tell when they are done, don’t over bake them.  Less is more with these cookies.

ebf cookie (6)

Make sure you have your peppermint patties ready!

ebf cookie (7)

When they come out of the oven push a patty into each one.

ebf cookie (8)

Seriously how could these be bad?

Merry Christmas and Happy Baking!



Become a Better Baker, tips and tricks…

Since I went to culinary school, people often ask me if I have any tips on how to be a better baker.  Here are some of my tips that separate a good baker from a great baker.

1. Follow the recipe: This sounds basic, but I would say this is the number one thing that people don’t do correctly.  You are baking, not cooking, when you cook you can play with the recipe, when you bake follow the directions.  And not just the ingredient measurements it is also the instructions.  There is a reason you are supposed to cream the sugar and butter before adding the flour.  Follow the instructions!

2. Under-bake things: I claim to have a sixth sense that I know when the things I am baking are done.  The only time this doesn’t work is with the last batch of cookies (anyone with me?).  Brownies, cookies, cookie bars, should be under baked. They are better that way.  Cakes and pies should not be under-baked, however cakes should be taken out the second they are done.  Under-baking some of your items will mean that your baked goods are more moist and tender.

3. Liquid and dry measures:  Remember in Jr. High Home-ec class when you learned the difference between a wet and dry measuring cup?  There IS a difference.  Don’t use a wet measuring cup to measure flour our sugar, you won’t get a nice even measurement.  A dry measuring cup wasn’t meant to measure wet ingredients, you will spill and have a mess.  A dry cup is a little less than a wet cup measure.  So use the proper measuring cup for the job.

4. Saran Wrap is your best friend: In professional kitchen there are always large film wrap.  They wrap everything,  A LOT!  As soon as your items are cool wrap them up well.  That means over and under.  This goes for cakes, pans of brownies and breads.  If you are going to freeze something, wrap it over and under 4 times.  Also I will often freeze something the same day I make it.  When I get it out of the freezer it tastes as fresh as the day I made it, because it was properly wrapped.

5. Aluminum foil is NOT the same:  People seem to easily confuse Aluminum foil for film wrap, this drive me CRAZY!  Seriously, aluminum foil is for the oven.  Don’t use aluminum foil to keep your items fresh.  It doesn’t work and might leave a funny taste on your items.

6. Cakes, cookies and brownies, DON’T belong in the fridge:  This drive me a little less crazy than aluminum foil.  Cakes, cookies and brownies have no need to be chilled.  The fridge doesn’t keep them fresh.  The only reason a dessert needs to be in the fridge is if it is filled with an egg or milk based filling. (Butter doesn’t need to be refrigerated.)  One time I found a plate of brownies and cookies in the fridge covered with aluminum foil, I almost lost my mind!

Some of these things may seem a little too too, but like I said this separates the good from the best!  Anyone have a tip to add?

Happy Baking!