This year is the 250th anniversary of St. Louis. Known as the gateway to the west long before the arch went up, St. Louis has served as one of the most important cities as America went from the east to the west.
While we boast several “food firsts”, Gooey Butter Cake is a St. Louis tradition that has spread nationwide. The original gooey butter cake had a sweet yeast dough topped with a gooey butter filling that was sweet and yes, gooey.
The modern version features a packaged yellow cake base with a cream cheese gooey filling. The more I thought about it, the more I wondered why it had to be a yellow cake. As I wandered the aisle of the baking section, I spied a box of Betty Crocker Turtle Premium Brownie Mix. How great would that be with a gooey butter filling? So I grabbed that along with a package of cream cheese and off I went. What evolved was a moist chocolate brownie with caramel oozing out under the gooey butter filling.
These couldn’t be easier for an out of this world St. Louis specialty that everyone is sure to love.
1 package Betty Crocker Turtle Premium Brownie Mix
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup water
Gooey Butter Filling
4 ounces cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
Take the packet of caramel in the mix and submerge it in hot water (do not microwave it) while you make the rest of this.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 6 cup Texas muffin pan very well. Be sure to spray the top edges of the individual cups really well also.
Place the cream cheese, egg, vanilla and powdered sugar in the bowl of a processor. Process to combine completely. If a processor isn’t available, place the cream cheese and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl and beat to combine. Add the egg and vanilla.
Place the brownie mix, water, oil and 1 egg in a bowl. Whisk to mix well. Divide between the 6 cups – about a heaping 1/3 cup each.
Remove the packet of caramel from the water and dry it off. Snip 1/4 inch off one corner. Squeeze the caramel evenly into the center of each of the six cups.
Top each brownie with 1/4 cup of the gooey butter filling.
Bake for 30 to 32 minutes. The gooey butter filling will still be soft and somewhat wiggly. If you insert a cake tester to the bottom of the cup, it should be clean or have just a few crumbs on it when pulled out.
Cool to lukewarm. Go around the edges and loosen each one of the desserts. Carefully lift each one out.
These are best served slightly warmed. If microwaving, do it briefly.
These are great by themselves but can be served with vanilla ice cream if you want to gild the lily.
Yield: 6 Individual desserts.