Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cookie Cake

So this one is not my best work. The concept was good--two layers of chocolate chip cookie sandwiching vanilla ice cream. But I think some of the details need improvement.

I guess I should explain why I am making a chocolate chip ice cream cookie cake at all. This is what I refer to as Cake Week in our house. My birthday, my son's birthday, and my mother's birthday all fall within a 5-day span. Add in the sandwiching weekends and the assorted cake-eating occasions (celebrate with my in-laws, celebrate with just the immediate family, celebrate with my extended family, celebrate with the preschool, celebrate with the non-preschool kid friends), I get caked-out.

My attempt at a cookie cake was (is) for the immediate family. The end result was extremely tasty, and it looked nice, but it had a few flaws.  Here is what I did:

  • 1 recipe Nestle Toll House chocolate chip cookie dough. Yes, the one from the package.*
  • ~1 pint vanilla ice cream (you could use more, but I had less on hand than I expected).
  • Decorating frosting
  1. Mix cookie dough according to the recipe.
  2. Spread in two greased, 9" cake pans and bake at 375 for about 20 minutes, until the center is done.
  3. Cool the cookies in the pans for about 10 minutes, then remove from the pans.  Cool completely.
  4. Freeze the cookies for an hour or two before filling.
  5. Soften the ice cream in the microwave on about 45-second bursts at low power until it is spreadable.
  6. Spread softened ice cream on top of one cookie, then top with the other.**
  7. Freeze stacked cake until firm, then decorate.***
Where I went wrong:
* I love the regular, boring, tried-and-true Nestle recipe, but I should have remembered that the cookies tend to crisp up when they cool.  Crisp cookies are hard to slice. Crisp, frozen cookies are nearly impossible to slice. Even with a sharp chef's knife.  If I do this again, I think I'd look for a more cakey recipe that is soft when cool.  Probably one without the real butter, which makes it tasty but crunchy.

** My second mistake was I should have topped one cookie with softened ice cream, then put it back in the freezer to firm up before topping with the other cookie.  Even pre-chilled, my cookie layers worked like slabs of styrofoam and kept the icecream filling from freezing up firm.

*** This is not so much an error as something I feel compelled to explain. I love to bake, and I decorate cakes and cookies. But I'm not really into the decorating thing. I spend more energy on the taste and preparation of the finished product than on the looks. Part of me just doesn't have the patience for all the detail work, and part of me really prefers to make food that is NOT too pretty to eat. I want my food consumed, not left un-cut on the buffet table. And my decorating style (which this time included store-bought cake candies and chocolate frosting leftover from the preschool cupcakes) totally reflects it :)

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