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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Lemon Gooey Butter Bars

My mom has been hinting around that she'd like me to bake her something.. and well I didn't want to give her the Mexican Double Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies because, unfortunately, they weren't so hot the day after. They are the kind of cookies that are so YUM! the day you make them.. but they kinda lose their umph the next day in both flavor and texture. I ended up freezing a 1/2 doz. to let Hubbs try when he gets home and then ditchin' the rest of them :(

One of my mom's favorite flavors is lemon.. so I started thinking about what to make. I had so many wonderful choices, both in my books and on my favorite blogs.. finally I decided to go with the Queen of ButterMayoCreamCheesedom, Ms. Paula Deen. Bless her cotton socks. I make her Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake for Thanksgiving every year as no one wants pumpkin pie anymore after trying it, hehee. I remembered she had a lemon variety so I looked in her "The Lady & Sons, Just Desserts" book and the recipe was there.

If you've had her Gooey Butter Cakes you know how rich they are. I thought maybe the lemon would cut that richness a bit, but it does not. So I cut them into smaller bars. And I was feelin' a lil "saucy" so I got a little fancy and made myself a small batch of ganache and took advantage of strawberry season by making a coulis and some mashed strawberries for a lil added punch.

Lemon Gooey Butter Bars
Lemon Gooey Butter Cake courtesy of Paula Deen

For the Cake:
1 (18.25 oz.) box of lemon cake mix
1 egg
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, melted

For the Filling:
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened (I used mascarpone)
2 eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 (16 oz.) box confectioners' sugar
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, melted
2 lemons, zested and juiced, you should get approx. 1/4 c. juice

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Lightly grease a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine cake mix, egg and butter and mix well. Pat into the bottom of prepared pan and set aside. Still using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth; add eggs and vanilla. Dump in confectioners' sugar, lemon zest and juice and beat well. Reduce speed of mixer and slowly pour in butter. Mix well. Pour filling onto cake mixture and spread evenly. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. "Don't be afraid to make a judgment call on the cooking time, because oven temperatures vary. You want the center to be a little gooey, so don't bake past that point!" Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Cut into squares, serve plain or with a dollop of whipped cream.

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Comments on "Lemon Gooey Butter Bars"

 

Blogger Acme Instant Food said ... (5/17/2006 8:44 PM) : 

Southerners can get away with things that the rest of the world can not. If they could bottle "it" I'd buy some.

Those chocolate cookies that refer to look amazing. I'm afraid that I wouldn't be able to find out if they lose something the next day--there wouldn't be any to try. My Mom's hubby is from New Mexico and he's introduced us to a different world of cooking. He'd put a pinch of cayenne in the cookies (I know...I know...you couldn't tolerate it) but it makes chocolate sing! Kinda like Juliette Binoche in "Chocolate" with her hot cocoa with chili powder. I've done that--it really does make it amazing and sorta sensual. Yummm

 

Anonymous Ellie said ... (5/17/2006 11:01 PM) : 

Can't comment. My eyeballs just exploded.

OH GOD, I miss strawberries...

 

Blogger Lis said ... (5/18/2006 6:24 AM) : 

Kevin - it's so true. Especially Paula. I sometimes worry about her cholesterol, my gawd. =)

And I really do agree with you about the cayenne in the cookies. Maybe a more potent pepper would have allowed them to keep their punch the next day. The next mexican chocolate recipe I try will definitely include cayenne instead of just black pepper. And how lucky you are to have been exposed to your Stepdad's (?) cooking. I really think if I had been exposed to spice while growing up, I wouldn't be so afraid now. You'd think my Italian father would have used much more spice, but he didn't. I think it might be because our restaurant was established before the big spice craze came about, so most of the items were made so that the customer could spice his or her own dish, so he cooked for his family the same way. I know he enjoyed heat on occasion, he made jarred peppers in oil that would set your hair on fire, quite often.

Ellie - you crack me up! Why do you miss strawberries?

 

Anonymous Ellie said ... (5/18/2006 7:47 AM) : 

It's pretty much winter here - the "fresh" berries (and I use the term loosely) in punnets are up to $10AUD, and you can't get frozen strawberries like you can blue/black/raspberries :(

Strawberries are my faaaaavorite, I can't believe I have to wait 6 months for them to be fresh and in season again!

Excuse me while I go shed a tear in remembrance of that sweet, sweet fruit...*sniff*

 

Blogger T said ... (5/19/2006 3:55 PM) : 

Ive been interested in what gooey butter cake tastes like ever since I saw Paula Deen make them on her show. The pumpkin version sounded really good to me, but your lemon version sounds even better. Good call on cutting them into small pieces- anything with butter in the name calls for moderation!

 

Blogger Lis said ... (5/20/2006 9:24 AM) : 

Hi tanvi =) Them lemon is very pronounced in this cake.. even more so with each passing day, which I like a lot. And oh yes, small bites are so much better when eating this butter filled cake. I did realize though, a day or so later, I forgot to put the 2nd stick of butter in the filling! And being a "professional" now when it comes to Paula's butter cakes, I can say that it didn't make a difference at all in taste or texture.. so that's a great thing.. I probably will not add that 2nd stick ever again. Do try the pumpkin version as well.. if you like pumpkin pie, you will NEVER want it again after trying that cake :D

 

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