This is something you make for a person you love. If you are nice enough to give it to someone, you know you love them because: 1) You are willing to part with it and lord knows you will not be willing to do that for anything less and 2) it calls for two and a half sticks of butter, and butter is a very precious commodity. Then you add sour cream in the mixture, and you know you really want to impress them!
The bottom cake is soft and slightly crumbly and kind of cakey, but really moist. The middle is gooey; like melt in your mouth goodness that simultaneously melds into the vanilla bottom. The top is sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar right before it bakes, and becomes a caramelized bite, and where it hits the edges becomes just slightly chewy.
You may also struggle not to just take a spoon right too it and burn your mouth when you pull in out of the oven. I did not do either of these things, but it was only by the greatest practices of self-restraint. I wish you luck.
P.S. The person I gave them too described them as "the perfect meeting of coffee cake and cinnamon roll." I really like that :)
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen's "Gooey Cinnamon Squares" in The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
8 TBSP unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 C all-purpose flour
1 TSP cream of tartar
1/2 TSP baking soda
1/4 TSP table salt
3/4 C sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1/4 C (generous) full-fat sour cream
1/4 light corn syrup (honey is fine too)
1/4 C (generous) sour cream
1 1/2 TSP almond extract
1 1/2 TSP vanilla extract
12 TBSP butter, room temperature
1 C sugar
1/4 TSP salt
1 large egg, room temp.
1 1/4 C all-purpose flour
3/4 TSP cinnamon
2 TBSP sugar
3/4 TSP cinnamon
1. Preheat your oven to 350 F and butter and line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper. Allow 2 inches of excess parchment paper to go up the sides so you will be able to lift the bars out.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until incorporated.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Add them to the wet mixture in 2 additions and mix until combined.
4. Pour the base into the prepared pan; spread it evenly over the pan using an offset spatula- the dough will be sticky. Set the pan aside.
5. Whisk together the corn syrup, sour cream and extracts in a small bowl.
6. Wipe down the bowl of the stand mixer, and beat together the butter and sugar. Add the salt and egg and beat until combined.
7. In a small bowl, whisk together the cinnamon and flour.
8. In alternating additions, starting and ending with the flour, add the sour cream and flour mixtures (flour, sour cream, flour, sour cream, flour). Mix until incorporated and scrape down the sides between the additions.
9. Dollop the cinnamon mixture over the cookie base and spread evenly.
10. Stir together the cinnamon and sugar in a small cup and sprinkle it over the top. It will look like a lot but it will cook and while baking-don't worry about it.
11. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the cookies have bronzed. Remove and all the cookies to full cool on a rack before removing. These will keep at room temperature for at least a week.