Around here, birthday cakes aren’t always cakes.
Does it really matter? All that matters is that it’s sweet and special and just what the birthday girl/boy wants. And that you can stick a candle in it. (Come to think of it, it doesn’t even need to be sweet.) I’d choose pie and ice cream over cake, and truth be told I’d likely go for a dense, chewy chocolate chip cookie over a slab of layer cake. As a kid, my cake of choice was ice cream, and I have on many birthdays picked a pile of chocolate smothered cream puffs. (B had cake topped with cream puffs back in January.) One year, our 10something neighbour requested a cinnamon bun cake; two layers of yeasted cinnamon buns, glued together and covered with cream cheese frosting.
This year, Em shrugged at the question of cake, and so I baked a batch of enormous chocolate chip cookies and stacked them, keeping them in place with vanilla frosting.
There’s a good tutorial here, if you want a higher level of perfection than I aimed for. (At 4pm, I was going for speed.) Essentially you take your favourite chocolate chip cookie recipe, make big, uniform mounds on a baking sheet (use a big scoop or measuring cup) and press them down to flatten, covering with a piece of waxed paper or parchment first if you don’t want to get your fingers sticky.
(I did this, and took pictures, and then deleted them. So.)
A single, standard batch of dough made at least 10 ginormous cookies. Had I spread them thinner, we might have been able to cut the stack in wedges. Instead we opted to take them off the pile two by two, cutting each enormous sugary sandwich in half and passing them around. It worked. And wasn’t too over-the-top for a freshly fifteen year old.
What have you chosen to celebrate with, besides cake? Hungry minds want to know. Jan tackled a similar situation with her son’s 13th birthday last week – her solution? A pile of Nutella brownies and a tableload of toppings…
Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
Inspired by Half Baked – the Cake Blog, 15 years and many days of chocolate chip cookie baking.
1 cup butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup mini chocolate chips (or 1 1/2 cups regular)
3-4 cups vanilla, chocolate or cream cheese frosting
Preheat the oven to 325F.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugars for a couple minutes, until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Add the flour, baking soda and salt and stir or beat on low speed until almost combined; add the chocolate chips and stir just until the dough comes together.
Scoop about 1/3-1/2 cup of dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet; you should be able to fit two on one larger sheet, spacing them well apart. Cover with a piece of waxed or parchment paper and press down to flatten them to about 1/2″ thick. Peel off the paper.
Bake for about 14 minutes, until pale golden and just set. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Spread cooled cookies generously with frosting, stacking them as you go. Let sit for several hours, then slice into thin wedges, or remove each cookie from the stack to serve.