I am still on vacation in North Dakota, visiting my family. We’re having a great time, despite the 90 degree temperatures. My kids have had so much fun with their grandparents. Aria (all of two years old) rode her first horse today. She has been asking to ride one for awhile, and now that she has a new pink cowboy hat and pink boots, my Dad figured he should line up a horse ride. She loved it. Anyway, I wanted to leave you with a fantastic recipe for this 4th of July weekend.
This is a St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake. Actually, it’s not much of a cake– more like a bar. It may not visually be a show-stopper, but trust me, the flavor and texture more than make up for it’s lack of flare. I may overuse the word ‘amazing’ from time to time in describing food, but trust me, it REALLY applies here! These are creme brulee in bar form. They start out as dough that rises for a few hours, but then you add this perfectly-sweetened topping and bake it. The cake rises and falls in the oven and when it’s done there is a slight crispness to the top layer. The middle layer finishes gooey and delicious, while the cake layer is simple and sturdy. I suggest hoarding the corner pieces, as they’re the crispiest. Heavenly.
The Recipe: St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake
For the Crust
3 tablespoons milk, at room temperature
1 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large egg
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
For The Topping
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon honey (or corn syrup — I’ve done it both ways)
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large egg
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
In a small bowl, mix together the milk with two tablespoons lukewarm water. Add the yeast and whisk gently until it dissolves. The mixture should foam slightly, though mine doesn’t always.
Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, and salt. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in the egg. Alternately add the flour and milk mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition. Beat the dough on medium speed until it forms a smooth mass and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, 5 to 7 minutes.
Press the dough into an ungreased 9 x 13 -inch baking dish at least 2 inches deep. Cover the dish with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise until doubled, 2 1/2 to 3 hours, in a warm, dry place.
When the dough is almost ready, preheat the oven to 350°F and make the topping. In a small bowl, mix together the honey with two teaspoons water and the vanilla. Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar, and the salt until light and fluffy, 5 to 7 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in the egg. Alternately, add the flour and honey mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition.
Spoon the topping onto the risen dough and gently spread it out evenly in the pan. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes. The cake will rise and fall in waves in the dish and will become golden brown. Allow to cool in pan. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving. Enjoy!
For those of you in the United States, I hope you all have a very happy and safe 4th of July holiday! Thanks for stopping by Relishing It today.