How to make your own chocolate chip cookie cake

Over the years, it has become a family tradition to serve ice cream cake at our kids' birthday parties, but this year Jammy wants a party at a science museum and 3Po wants a party at a rock climbing gym.  Alfie and I are going to have our hands full at both parties, herding kids around the museum and belaying them at the gym, so I don't want the added stress of picking up an ice cream cake and keeping it cold.

Both boys decided they wanted a cookie cake like they've seen at the Mrs. Field's kiosks -- but they cost $40 each (that's one expensive cookie!), and we'd probably need 2 per party.  I decided to try making one myself.  Here's what I did:



Supplies:
2 rolls of ready-to-bake Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (16.5 oz each)
1 Wilton aluminum jelly roll pan, sized 15.5 x 10.5 x 1 inch
Parchment paper to line the bottom of the pan, with a bit of extra parchment paper over the sides

Instructions:
1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.

2. Line the jelly roll pan with parchment paper.



3.  Open up the 2 rolls of cookie dough and press the dough onto the parchment paper.  Try to get the dough at an even height (a rolling pin may help). You'll have to spread the dough pretty thinly in order to get it to cover the pan;  however, don't try too hard to fill the pan completely.  Leave some space at the edges because the dough will expand, and you don't want it to expand over the sides of the pan.



4.  Bake for 30-34 minutes.  I set my timer for 30 minutes, but it wasn't done at 30 minutes so I left it for 4 more minutes and it was perfectly done.  You can see from the photo that the dough has expanded to fit the pan almost perfectly, without too much of a lip.



5.  Grab hold of each corner of the parchment paper (you'll definitely need another person to help!) and quickly lift the cookie out of the jelly roll pan and let it rest on a wooden surface.  It's best to wait 1-2 minutes after you take it out of the oven, so it has had a bit of time to set, but it hasn't cooled down too much, so that if any part cracks, it can still be mended.

6.  Trim the cookie to a 9x13 in. rectangle. Use a long knife and do it before the cookie has cooled, while it still has the texture of a brownie, so you can make a nice, clean cut.  If you want to cut it into a shape like a heart or a flower, lay a cardboard template on top and cut along the edges with a knife.   Don't forget to eat the edges :)


7.  Let the cookie cool completely.  If you use the same ingredients and same size pan as I did, your cookie cake should turn out to be about 5/8 inch thick (or should I say thin).  Even at that thickness, the texture is still nice and chewy.


8.  Decorate your cookie!  You can use whipped cream and fruit, or cover it with fondant, or pipe designs with buttercream icing.  You can make 2 of these cookies, spread ice cream over the first cookie, lay the second cookie on top and freeze.

We plan to ice the cake the way they do at Mrs. Fields.  Here's what I did for our practice cake:

Supplies
1/2 can Betty Crocker cream cheese frosting
1/2 can Betty Crocker strawberry flavored frosting
2 tsp meringue powder (this firms up the frosting a bit)
2 Wilton decorating bags
4 Wilton icing tips (2 round, 2 star or flower)


Instructions:
1.  Add 1 tsp meringue powder to 1/2 can of cream cheese frosting.
2.  Add 1 tsp meringue powder to 1/2 can of strawberry frosting.
3.  Fill 1 decorating tube with cream cheese frosting and attach a star or flower decorating tip.
4.  Fill 1 decorating tube with strawberry frosting and attach a star or flower decorating tip.
5.  Pipe stars or flowers around the edge of the cookie, alternating between cream cheese and strawberry frosting.
6.  Pipe out a message in the center of the cookie, (I used strawberry frosting for "EAT" and cream cheese frosting for "ME")
7.  Remove the star/flower tips and attach round tips.
8.  Use the round tip to outline the letters (I used contrasting colors on top of the piped flowers).

You can alter the instructions to suit your desired color and design.  Easy Peasy!



Obviously, I took the easy way out and used ready-made dough and icing, but you could definitely make the chocolate chip cookie dough and icing from scratch.  If I were making this from scratch, I would use the Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe that appears on every pack of Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips, and I would use a basic buttercream icing recipe (I would still add the meringue powder).  I'm sure it would taste way more delicious than the one I plan to make for the boys' parties.

I admit I'm choosing convenience over taste and quality -- but this one is pretty delicious, and I'm sure their 9 year-old guests will devour it.  Anyhooo, whichever route you choose -- storebought or made-from-scratch with the finest ingredients (Tahitian vanilla bean paste, organic eggs and butter, etc..) -- it's sure to be cheaper than buying a ready-made cookie cake!





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