This is the ninth in our monthlong series, 12 Days of Cookies, featuring classic and inventive recipes from across the country.
Even if your part of the world isn't covered with snow this holiday season, we've secured just the cookie to conjure images of frosted windowpanes. These downy butter cookies from St. Louis chef Gerard Craft and his former pastry chef Mathew Rice live up to their name. A favorite of Craft's daughters, these sweet cookies glean their soft texture from the addition of glucose and get an initial coating of confectioners' sugar before baking. Keep them stored in the refrigerator and dust with another layer of confectioners' sugar before serving for an especially snow-kissed appearance.
Gooey Butter Cookies
Recipe adapted from Gerard Craft and Mathew Rice, Pastaria, St. Louis, Missouri
Yield: 3 dozen cookies
Cook Time: 45 minutes
4½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2¼ cups granulated sugar
¼ cup glucose syrup (or an additional ¼ cup granulated sugar)
½ vanilla bean--halved lengthwise, seeds scraped away and reserved
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners' sugar, plus extra for serving
1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Set a fine-mesh sieve over a large bowl and sift together the flour and baking powder. Add the salt and whisk once to combine.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the cream cheese, butter, sugar, glucose syrup and the vanilla seeds. Mix on medium speed until the batter is light and airy, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat until well combined, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Turn off the mixer, add the flour mixture, then mix on medium-low speed until just combined.
3. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. To a medium bowl, add the confectioners' sugar and set aside. Scoop the dough into 2-inch balls about the size of a golf ball, then roll each ball in confectioners' sugar before placing them 2 inches apart on the baking sheet.
4. Bake the cookies until they spread and puff slightly, 12 to 15 minutes. They should be set around the edges and very soft in the center (don't let the cookies brown). Remove the cookies from the oven and cool 5 minutes before transferring the parchment paper with the cookies on top to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.
5. Once the cookies are completely cool, stack them in an airtight container and refrigerate. Serve chilled and dusted with more powdered sugar.
Make ahead: The dough can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days before baking.
Storing: The cookies can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.