On Baking and Being Neighborly

The implements

In what could be a sad commentary on what it is like to be my neighbor, I recently had to ask around to make sure delivering cookies to neighbors didn’t make me look like a weirdo who wants to poison their children or someone who is is looking for an in to start peddling Amway products. The answer was a resounding no from all who responded, so I decided that baking twelve dozen cookies to disperse throughout our new ‘hood was ok, and wouldn’t put me on some neighborhood weirdo watch list.

I started the baking on Saturday night, just before Snowmageddon 2010 struck St. Louis. I got all the fixins for Gooey Butter Cookies, Chocolate Mint Cookies, Peppermint Bark, and Snickerdoodles. (All nut free recipes since I didn’t want to be the crazy lady who ruined Christmas for some unsuspecting neighbor child… who would surely take it out on Boogie in the future.)

What the neighbors may or may not have thrown in the trash

For me, the baking was the easy part. I threw on an apron and set about mixing, chopping, stirring, and finally using my pastry blender for it’s intended purpose. (It really is a handy stand-in for a potato masher.) The hard part was after I filled the tins and cut little parchment paper circles to keep the contents (which hopefully didn’t end up in the trash) fresh. I had to deliver them. The snow put a damper on car deliveries I had planned to make to close friends – they get cookies, too. And that afternoon the winds were whipping the snow all over up in here.

Finally the blizzard abated, just after the sun set and of course right when The Simpsons came on. If you know me, you know that I get really nervous about meeting new people. I put on a good act though, so when I told the Mister I would just stay in with the baby and let him do all the delivering, he balked and told me that not only was this whole thing my idea, but some random dude delivering cookies really would put us on all those watch lists.Β I bundled up Boogie in her snowsuit a’la Randy, made the Mister put on a pair of shoes that weren’t covered in paint, and headed out with my canvas bag of cookies. We stopped by the neighbors houses, and yes it was kinda painful since we just moved in a few months ago, but I felt really good about it after after the feeling returned to my toes. (Lesson learned: canvas tennis shoes in the snow is never a good idea.)

I had never heard of Gooey Butter cookies before, and haven’t really heard much from them since trying them the first time. I guess they are the strong silent type, or since Gooey Butter Cake is a St. Louis thing that may explain it. But I really thought it was an easy, delicious recipe… and perfect for making massive quantities for say a brunch (and yes, I am serving these at our family’s Christmas brunch). I thought it would be fun to pass along the recipe and share the gooey butter lovin’s with all of you who haven’t had the opportunity to dump my cookies in your own trash can.

Dusted and ready to eat

Gooey Butter Cookies
(yield 4 dozen)

1 stick sweet cream butter
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 package yellow cake mix
1 pkg cream cheese
1 bowl powdered sugar (for dipping)

Directions: Beat butter, vanilla, egg & cream cheese until light and fluffy. Mix in dry cake mix. Cover and chill for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly coat cookie sheet with cooking spray. Form 1 tsp of dough into a ball. Roll in powdered sugar until coated. Bake 12 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Let cool and serve (they are especially good when served cold from the fridge).

I would be happy to send along the other recipes if you are interested as well. Just drop me an email!

8 thoughts on “On Baking and Being Neighborly

  1. I love gooey butter cookies! πŸ™‚ And I think it is definitely a St. Louis thing. We all love them πŸ™‚ Thanks for the recipe! I’ve never actually made them myself but I am going to try.

  2. Happy Holidays girly – Gooey Butter cookies were featured in our cookie exchange at work several years ago…good times!

  3. I cannot bake to save my life! LOL. Blame my mom who never cooked when I was a kid. But I want to start baking for my kids, homemade stuff, not the pre-made cookies and brownies that I usually buy.

    This recipe looks fab and easy enough for a beginner like me. I am going to try it. πŸ™‚

  4. These cookies are ooey and gooey in the middle and soft on the outside. It got me thinking Paula Dene has a couple variations to her Gooey Butter Cake so why not do different variations to the cookies.

  5. My first batch was slightly gooey on the inside. I flatten them w/my fingers dipped in milk (or you can use a glass bottom) and then sprinkled w/regular sugar (raw sugar or sprinkles would probably do better). They turned out so great that I had to hide them from myself!

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