Is a Cookie Cake Better Than a Cookie or Cake?: Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

My former paralegal Adam recently took a job in the private sector and we had a little send-off for him at the office. I asked him if he had a baked goods request and he surprised me by requesting a cookie cake. I had never actually made a cookie cake before -- but it turns out that Adam likes cookies more than cake (I guessed poorly when I decided to make a chocolate cake with mocha-milk chocolate frosting for his birthday last year).

I did a few internet searches for cookie cake recipes and decided to go with one I found on Sally's Baking Addiction. It was easy to put it together. You beat softened butter until creamy; add brown sugar (I used dark brown); mix in an egg, egg yolk, and vanilla; incorporate the dry ingredients (flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt); and stir in chocolate chips. Instead of regular chocolate chips I used Cacao Barry Extra-Bitter Guayaquil 64% pistoles, which are larger and flatter than supermarket chips. I wasn't reading the recipe carefully and put 225 grams of pistoles in the batter instead of reserving some to use for garnish. I spread the dough into a 9-inch cheesecake pan with a loose bottom that I had buttered and lined with parchment.
The edges of the cookie cake were higher than the center after baking. For some stupid reason I got impatient and tried to pull the cookie off of the parchment paper on the base before it was completely cool; I ended up cracking the top in a few spots. If I hadn't done that, I would have had a nice intact cake. The recipe includes an optional chocolate buttercream, but I just looked around in the freezer to see what buttercream I had on hand. I pulled out a small container of frozen strawberry mousseline (Rose Levy Beranbaum's recipe from The Cake Bible), and after defrosting it and re-beating it to restore the texture, I used it to pipe a border and a short message.
Adam was delighted with the cookie cake. I didn't love it, though. (And I apologize for the potato quality of the photo above; I forgot to take my nice camera to work to take a picture.) I wish I had used regular chocolate chips instead of the pistoles, or maybe just used fewer pistoles; I found the chocolate to be a little overpowering. I also thought this cookie cake was too sweet. But most of all, I missed the crisp edges that you get with a normal-sized chocolate chip cookie. A cookie cake might be festive, but I personally would have preferred either a cake or a cookie to this cookie cake.

Recipe: "Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake" from Sally's Baking Addiction.