Monday, December 24, 2012

Gooey Butter Cookies

It's Christmas eve! After having spent the whole day in the kitchen, baking and cooking, it's time to rest up for tomorrow, to be able eat, drink, and be merry! 

These downy butter cookies from St. Louis chef Gerard Craft and his former pastry chef Mathew Rice live up to their name. A favorite of Craft’s daughters, these sweet cookies glean their soft texture from the addition of glucose and get an initial coating of confectioners’ sugar before baking. Keep them stored in the refrigerator and dust with another layer of confectioners’ sugar before serving for an especially snow-kissed appearance.

The cookies totally live up to its description above, quoted from Tasting Table's 12 Days of Cookies series. I preferred the cookies the next day, but some of the other 'eaters' preferred them the first day, fresh out of the oven. (Yes, we have been eating cookies since yesterday and hope to eat them through Christmas day!). The extra sprinkle of confectioners' sugar before serving makes these cookies even more divine. 

Recipe adapted from Gerard Craft and Mathew Rice, Pastaria, St. Louis, Missouri
Makes 3 dozen cookies
Cook time: 45 minutes

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 pound (450 gms) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick (8 tablespoons / 125 gms) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar (or 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar and 1/4 cup glucose syrup)
1/2 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped away and reserved
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners' sugar, plus extra for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 325F (160C). 
  2. Sieve over a large bowl the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the cream cheese, butter, sugar, and the vanilla seeds. Mix on medium speed until the batter is light and airy, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat until well combined.
  5. Add the flour mixture, then mix on medium-low speed until just combined.
  6. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. To a medium bowl, add the confectioners' sugar and set aside. 
  7. Scoop the dough into 2-inch balls around the size of a golf ball, then roll each ball into confectioners' sugar before placing them 2-inches apart on the baking sheet.
  8. Bake the cookies until they spread and puff slightly, 12 to 15 minutes. They should be set around the edges and very soft in the center (don't let the cookies brown). 
  9. Remove the cookies from the oven and cool 5 minutes before transferring the parchment paper with the cookies on top to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.
  10. Once the cookies are completely cool, stack them in an airtight container and refrigerate. Serve chilled and dusted with more powdered sugar.
Make ahead: The dough can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days before baking.
Storing:The cookies can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

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