Introduction: How to Bake Gooey Butter Cookies
Finding time to bake while in college can be difficult. When you need to bring a snack of some sort to share to an event, you don’t want to have to be the person that just bought a bag of chips. This is a really simple recipe that you can prep and bake around your schedule. You prepare the dough quickly then refrigerate until you have time later to actually bake it. I've used this recipe many times for get-togethers and events and it has always been a hit. You get to impress your friends with a delicious little treat that’s incredibly easy to make!
Estimated Cost of Recipe: Under $10
Total Time Estimates:
5 minutes to make the dough
4+ hours of refrigeration
11-13 minutes baking per batch (typically 3 to 4 batches of 12 to 15 cookies on a tray)
Large mixing bowl
Electric hand mixer
1 box cake mix (traditionally yellow cake mix)
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Step 1: Allow Butter and Cream Cheese to Soften
Set the cream cheese and butter out to soften if very cold/frozen. Don’t microwave the cream cheese and butter. You just want them soft enough to mix well, not melted.
Step 2: Combine and Mix Ngredients
Combine cake mix, cream cheese, butter, egg, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on a medium setting until well mixed. Well mixed is creamy, no lumps, and no cake mix powder unmixed in. It shouldn't take more than a minute or two to achieve a well mixed state.
Step 3: Refrigerate Dough
Refrigerate your dough for at least 4 hours or overnight. Make sure to cover the dough when put in the refrigerator or the dough will dry out or take on the flavors of other things in your refrigerator. If you’re bowl does not come with a lid, seran wrap will be sufficient.
Step 4: Preheat Oven
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Note: Raise by 25 degrees Fahrenheit if you live in a high altitude area (3000 or more feet above sea level).
Step 5: Cover in Powdered Sugar
Pour powdered sugar in a small bowl and roll dough into balls roughly 1 inch in diameter. Roll the ball in the powdered sugar in the bowl. Make sure the whole cookie ball is well covered in powdered sugar before placing onto the cookie tray.
Step 6: Bake the Cookies
Place each ball on the cookie tray approximately 2 inches apart.
Place cookie tray in the preheated oven and bake for 11-13 minutes until bottoms are golden brown and the tops are just starting to look lightly golden.
Step 7: Sprinkle With Sugar
Remove cookies from oven. Sprinkle each cookie with more powdered sugar using the sifter.
Step 8: Enjoy the Cookies!
Allow cookies to cool for several minutes and then enjoy!
Step 9: Suggestions
- Get creative with your flavors. I have personally made these in yellow, white, chocolate, and red velvet cake form. You can also add a little something special to your cookie mix like small chunks of chocolate.
- A higher medium setting for the mixer will get everything mixed very quickly but if you are not comfortable using a hand mixer, a lower setting will be more manageable for you.
- The longer you refrigerate, the better your dough (to a certain point). 4 hours is long enough to let the dough set but overnight is best. Don’t leave it in the refrigerator for more than a day.
- When rolling your cookie dough balls, place the dough back into the fridge in between batches. If you allow it to sit out and reach room temperature, the consistency will become off and the will become very difficult to roll until they are cold again.
- Rub some powdered sugar on your hands when rolling the dough balls to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands.
- Check your cookies at 10 minutes in. Some ovens run hotter than others.
- If you don’t own a sifter to sprinkle the powdered sugar with, I’ve found that a coffee filter or paper cup with small holes poked in the bottom works in its place.