Ooey Gooey Berry Butter Cake

Baking is really my favorite, hence this name of this happy little food blog, but I can’t keep these delicious things around the house all the time.  I’d be as big as a barn and probably need some medication to regulate my cholesterol.  So getting invited to a friend’s house for dinner is always the perfect excuse to make something that I would not and could not otherwise.

This little gem of a cake is baked in two layers.  The bottom layer is like a giant, fluffy sugar cookie, crunchy around the edges.  The top layer bakes on an egg/cream cheese mixture with those berries floating in it.  This is the Ooey Gooey part and it is by far the best reason to make this cake.  Take this to contribute to a meal along with some vanilla ice cream to dollop on top and you’re sure to be a big hit.

Ooey Gooey Berry Butter Cake (adapted from here)

Printable Recipe

– INGREDIENTS –

For bottom cake layer:

5 tablespoons melted butter (don’t you dare try to use margarine or some light crap)
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

For the top ooey gooey layer:
4 ounces softened cream cheese
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup blackberries
1 cup blueberries

– PREPARATION –

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Butter and flour an 8-inch springform pan. Cut a circle of parchment and lay in the bottom of the pan to easily remove after baking.
3. In your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar, and 1 egg until pale and thickened. Beat in sour cream. Combine dry ingredients – flour, baking powder and soda – in a separate bowl and then beat the flour mixture into butter mixture until smooth. Spread evenly into your prepared pan.
4. Bake until cake is pale golden and springs back slightly when gently pressed, approximately 20 minutes.
5. While the cake layer is baking, beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and remaining egg in a medium bowl until smooth. When the cake is removed from the oven, spread this mixture over the cake and arrange berries on top. Bake until edges of topping are set and lightly browned, but center still jiggles when pan is gently shaken, about 30 minutes.
6. Allow cake to cool completely on a rack. Loosen sides with a knife, then remove the rim. Sprinkle powdered sugar over the top.  May be made a day ahead if kept refrigerated in an airtight container.

NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’m a sucker for a good cookie.  It requires so much less commitment than a piece of cake, which I feel I need to plan and prepare for all day in order to eat in good conscience.  This cookie has been floating around the food blogging world, begging me to try it and put my two cents in on its “best cookie” status.  But I avoided it.  I printed the recipe.  Filed it.  Looked at it each time I flipped through, but refused to make them.

There’s a little issue with these cookies that completely flies in the face of my controlling, instant gratification type of personality.  After you put the dough together, you must wait at least 24 hours before baking them.

Go ahead and be brave.  Be stronger than I and go for it.  These little lovelies are worth the wait.  And the recipe makes a large amount of dough for a large amount of large cookies.  Unless you plan on gaining about 15 pounds, don’t make them all at once. Cookie dough freezes incredibly well.  Go ahead and scoop it out the size you would if you were going to bake them.

Then, just put them in a freezer-safe container and come back to them when you’d like a warm cookie treat.  Amazingly, there’s no need to adjust your cooking times or temperatures.  They bake up just as wonderful as they do cold from the fridge.

NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookies (adapted slightly from the adaptation by Jacques Torres for the NY Times)

Printable Recipe

– INGREDIENTS –

2 cups minus 2 T cake flour
1 2/3 cups bread flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt (like kosher or sea)
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate chips (look for at least 60% cocoa content)

– PREPARATION –

1. Sift together your flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl.  Set aside.

2. Using your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until very fluffy and light in color – about 5 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each one.  Stir in vanilla.  Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture until just combined – 5 to 10 seconds.  Stir in the chocolate chips by hand so they don’t break up in the mixer.

3. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate 24 to 36 hours.  Can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

4.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line your baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat.  Set aside.

5. Scoop large golf ball sized mounds of dough and bake for 15 – 18 minutes, until golden brown but still soft.

6.  Cool for 10 minutes.  Enjoy warm – with a napkin.