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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Cookie Dough Layer Cake

Happy Birthday Boyfriend!

Boyfriend doesn't really do dessert.  He's not too keen on cakes, pies or ice cream.  He's a very simple guy and loves vanilla ice cream and chocolate chip cookies.

To celebrate his big day I decided to make a chocolate chip cookie cake.  Not one of those huge, heart-shaped cookies from the mall, but a layer cake inspired by the classic flavor of the cookie.

I decided to break out Lindsay Landis's - The Cookie Dough Lover's Cookbook and give her brown sugar cookie dough layer cake a try.

The sweet, brown sugar cake was layered with chocolate ganache and Lindsay's egg-free cookie dough.  The whole thing was slathered in a brown sugar buttercream and I topped it off with Hershey's kisses.  Boyfriend (and I) were really pleased with the results.

I ate it for lunch for the rest of the week.

One Year Ago: Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread
Two Years Ago: Nectarine Melba Crumble
Three Years Ago: Peach and Blueberry Buckle

Brown Sugar Cookie Dough Layer Cake

I cut the recipe in half to yield a 6-inch three layer cake and put it together using a metal cake ring.  You can make the cake in the same manner or pile the cake up in the traditional manner!  The brown sugar frosting could use a little more brown sugar flavor in my opinion.  I plan on making this frosting again, so I think I'll tweak it a bit in the future!

For the cake
1 1/2 cups cake flour
3/4 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter (8 tablespoons)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
1 medium egg
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Coat a quarter sheet pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper.

In the bowl of your stand mixer (or a large bowl with your hand mixer), beat together flour, baking powder, sugars and salt.  Add butter and 1/2 cup milk.  Mix on low until everything is moistened.  Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 2 minutes until fluffy.

In a small bowl, whisk together remaining 2 tablespoons milk, egg, egg whites and vanilla.  Turn mixer onto low and slowly stream in this mixture.  Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth out with an offset spatula.  Bake for 25-30 minutes (rotating halfway through) or until the cake is golden brown and the edge springs back when gently poked.

Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.  Wrap the cake in plastic and toss in the freezer while you prepare the fillings.

For the cookie dough

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Beat butter and sugars with a mixer until light and fluffy.  Add milk and vanilla and beat until combined.  Add flour and salt and mix completely.  Stir in chocolate chips.

For the chocolate ganache

1 1/2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons heavy cream

Place chocolate in a heat proof bowl.  Heat heavy cream in a small saucepan until it bubbles.  Pour over chocolate chips and stir until smooth.

For the buttercream

Prepare the buttercream while the newly layered cake is being frozen.

3 medium egg whites
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Using a double boiler (or a metal bowl set over 1-inch of simmering water, like I did), whisk egg whites with the sugars and salt.  Once the sugar has dissolved and the solution is hot to the touch, transfer to your stand mixer (or a large bowl).  Whip egg white mixture on medium speed until shiny, thick and cool to the touch.

Switch to the paddle attachment and turn speed to medium.  Add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition before adding the next.  Add vanilla and beat on medium until fluffly, about two to three minutes.  If the frosting is really

Assemble the cake!  

(You'll find cake rings and cake collars on Amazon or at my Amazon store under Baking Essentials)

Remove cake from the sheet pan and peel parchment paper from the bottom.  Using a 6-inch cake ring, stamp out two full circles and two half circles.  Clean cake ring and place it on a baking sheet, lined with a silpat or parchment paper.  Place a cake collar inside of the cake ring.

Set two half circles in the bottom of the cake ring.  Fill in any missing pieces with the remaining cake pieces.  Press the pieces together with the back of your hand/fingers.  Add half of the cookie dough and spread into an even layer.  Add half of the chocolate ganache and smooth over the cookie dough.  Add your second cake layer, the other half of the cookie dough and remaining chocolate ganache.  Top with the final cake layer.  Gently press down on the cake to set all the layers.  Toss this whole thing in the freezer for at least 2 hours.  (make the buttercream during this freeze time)

Remove cake from the freezer and remove the cake ring.  Peel off cake collar.  Add about 1/2 cup of buttercream to the top of the cake and cover the entire cake with a light coat.  This is our crumb coat and we don't want it too thick.  Place cake in the fridge for 1 hour to set the crumb coat.

Remove cake from the fridge and frost with the remaining buttercream (I had some leftover after frosting the cake).  Top with chocolate chips, Hershey's kisses or swirls of buttercream.
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