So a month or so ago I read this post by Dave Fairies over at City of Ate, and I thought I'd made a food discovery roughly on par with a Dallas Morning News writer finding something amiss at DISD. Gooey. Butter. Cake. yum. And the entire post was a kind of checklist of how to be a good Missouri Mom, did I mention that we have one child up at Mizzou? Don't worry, he's not studying journalism.
But seriously I read this post and got too excited, because I knew I could do this! Cardinals fan? No problem, they are my favorite bird - and red happens to be my best color. Everyone up at Hillcrest High School knows I can talk through an entire 7 innings of baseball, what's two more? But wait - there was no recipe included, and not personally knowing Dave's mom, this was a game stopper - like a rain out or a dugout-emptying-fight.
Of course the real challenge for me is the cooking throwdown. And I confess I was hesitant to take it even though Dave's references to the ingredients included my favorite three: eggs, butter, sugar. So I thought about it for a few days as I sat in the kitchen entering accounts payable on QuickBooks. Thought about it as I waited for my daughter to finish theater practice, thought about it as I waited for my husband to come home from a double shift.
I decide to take an inventory of the recipes on Cooks.com and what is in the pantry, hmm, got this, and this, not that. What was really needed, I determined, was to forge a way to a new Gooey Butter Cake concoction - because that is what Dallas food is, taking other foods and making our own mark on them (and besides I only had Carrot Cake mix on hand). After all, what is more tasty than Carrot Cake and sweet cream cheese at the holidays?
Well "perfect" took four tries, a few of the Cooks.com recipes were total failures and my desire to have a round shaped cake required purchasing a 10" spring form pan when the 8" attempt was still too gooey after two hours in the oven. But I think I got it, the Dallas version that is, and it is a delicious and easy option as either dessert or coffee cake for company or as a gift.
GOOEY BUTTER CARROT CAKE
1 package Duncan Hines Decadent Carrot Cake
1 cup hot water
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
1 lb. confectioners sugar
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (for dark or glass pans, 325 degrees). In small bowl, mix packet of carrots and raisins with hot water and let sit for 5 minutes. Drain all water thoroughly. In medium bowl, add (cooled) butter, 2 eggs, cake mix, when well mixed add carrot/raisin mixture and pecans and stir. Pour into ungreased 10" springform pan (or 9" x 13" pan), gently pushing batter up sides slightly. Reserve 2 tablespoons of confectioners sugar, pour the rest in a bowl with 2 eggs and cream cheese, mixing until pretty smooth. Pour into center of springform pan, allowing it to spread to edges naturally. Bake for 20 minutes, sprinkle top with reserved confectioners sugar. Continue baking for 70 minutes.
Have insulin ready.