Sweet Dough: Mix sugar with shortening and salt in a large bowl.
Add egg and beat with an electric mixer for 1 minute, until well blended.
Dissolve yeast in warm milk.
Add flour, then milk-yeast mixture and vanilla
extract to batter. Mix for 3 minutes with a dough hook or stir well to combine
with wooden spoon.
Turn dough out on a floured board and knead for 1 minute.
Place in a lightly greased bowl, cover with a clean towel, and set in a warm
place to rise for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, prepare Gooey Butter.
Gooey Butter: Combine sugar, butter and salt.
Add egg and corn syrup. Mix enough to incorporate.
Add flour, water and vanilla extract.
Divide dough into 2 pieces. Place in 2
well-buttered 9-inch square pans. Crimp edges halfway up sides of pans so gooey
butter will not run out and seep underneath. After dough is spread out, punch
holes in dough with a fork (to prevent dough from bubbling when baking).
Spread Gooey Butter evenly and equally over dough in each pan.
Heat oven to 375 degrees F, and let cakes stand for 20 minutes.
Bake cakes for 30 minutes. Do not over-bake, or topping will not be gooey.
After cakes are cool, sprinkle tops with confectioners' sugar.