Friday, March 16, 2012

St. Patty's Vanilla Gooey Butter Cookies

Want to know a secret? I am not a sweets fanatic. I think I may have told you that before and it's true. I definitely LIKE sweets but give me the option of chocolate cake or cheese fries and I would choose the later. However there are certainly times I make exceptions to that tendency. Two years ago at our second annual cookie exchange, my friend made DELICIOUS chocolate crinkle cookies. They tasted exactly like Dunkin Donuts chocolate glazed doughnuts and I could not stop gobbling them down. I thought about them often but thankfully never made them again.

Well last month at the beautiful bridal shower I attended, there was a cookie there that caught my attention. One cookie quickly turned into three and I could not get over how good they were. I asked my friend Tiffany, the baker of THE cookies, who told me that it was Paula Deen's chocolate crinkle recipe, just with a white cake mix instead. That made perfect sense - it was the SAME cookie that swayed me over to the sweet side just as it had two years ago.

The great thing about this cookie is that you could make it however you like. Tiffany made them with funfetti cake mix at her sister's bridal shower last weekend and I know red velvet and strawberry would be good too. This week I decided to go with the same version I loved at the bridal shower, just with a little green dye to get in the St. Patrick's Day spirit.

This is an easy recipe that I promise you people will rave about...even us savory lovers!

St Patty's Vanilla Gooey Butter Cookies
Original recipe from none other than Paula Deen y'all!
Adapted by my friend Tiffany

1 (8-ounce) brick cream cheese, room temperature (I used Neufchatel)
1 stick butter, room temperature
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (18-ounce) box moist vanilla cake mix
Green food coloring (just a couple small drops will go a long way)
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in the egg. Then beat in the vanilla extract. Beat in the cake mix. Add small amount of green food coloring and mix until incorporated. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to firm up so that you can roll the batter into balls. Roll the chilled batter into tablespoon sized balls and then roll them in confectioner's sugar. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake 12 minutes. The cookies will remain soft and "gooey." Cool completely and sprinkle with more confectioners' sugar, if desired.

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