Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Boyfriend's Birthday = Ice Cream Cookie Cake

Today is my boyfriend's birthday!

Yet, to both of our displeasure, we are not in the same state or even time zone today. He's in Georgia at Graduate School and I'm back home getting ready to travel to London. Very different places, not to mention he had class today so it wasn't all that fun for him.

But! to try and make up for me not being there, his birthday being on a Tuesday, and the loneliness that involves a birthday without that group of friends beside you, I made him a birthday cake last Friday before I left on the bus Saturday. I stole his car Thursday, loaded up with ingredients, hid them, and then while he was taking a 3 hour nap on Friday I baked. I think the best part of that was that he woke up and asked "Were you cooking?" and I told him no. He assumed it was some weird dreams. tehehe.

The recipe came from my good friend Betty Crocker: Here.

It is entitled: Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Dessert.
I call it the Ice Cream Cookie Cake.

It took me a while to debate between this or Brown Eyed Baker's Root Beer Float Cake. Yet, when it came down to it, my boyfriend looooves ice cream, ice cream cakes, and cookie cakes. So what would be better than mixing it all together?

Not to mention the ingredient list was pretty simple:
  • a 1 pound 1.5 oz bag of Betty Crocker chocolate chip cookie mix
  • 1/2 cup margarine, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 7.25 oz bottle of hard shell chocolate topping (like the Hershey or Smuckers ice cream kind)
  • Chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream (it says 6 cups, I got a big thing and used however much I wanted and had leftovers)
You begin, of course, by preheating to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. You should then either spray, butter, or cover in tinfoil a 13 x 9 inch pan. I did tinfoil since a lot of reviews said it was hard to get the cookie crust off the pan. Then you stir in a bowl the cookie mix, softened margarine (or butter), and egg to form a soft dough. This may be more difficult than you expect,especially if you're like me and you're used to brownie or cake mix that uses oil and not margarine. The softened margarine is a lot less liquidy and it'll take more effort to mix it together to get a consistent soft dough.

Then you take a cookie sheet and spoon out 5 cookies worth of dough. I just used a teaspoon and made smaller cookies, since they'll just be crumbled on top of your finished product and you'd rather have more to spread over the bottom of the pan.  Bake these 9 to 11 minutes, if you make them smaller it may only take 8 though. Then cool them for around two minutes, remove from the pan and finish cooling on a cooling rack. The two minutes isn't as important, but you don't want them to fall apart when you take them off because they're too hot. I know, seems silly since you are crumbling them, but that's a lot later and the crumbles don't belong on the stove or the counter.

While they're cooling, you can begin the grueling task of putting the rest of the cookie dough into the bottom of the 13 x 9 inch pan. This is one sticky job. A lot of people recommended using wax paper to press the dough down, since it's messy, but I don't mind really getting my hands in there. Instead I wet my fingers lightly and used them to press the dough after I spooned a bit into each section. Doing it in sections also helped me be able to spread them across the pan evenly. It reminded me a lot like trying to press pizza dough into a round shape - the only difference is the enormous difficulty you'll have trying to get it all evened out. You want it even like cake batter, but it's a lot harder to spread across when one side is thicker. It took a lot of time, but ended up being kind of fun having doughy fingers afterward. Once it's even and you feel satisfied with the dough, bake it for 8 to 10 minutes or until the cookie is set. Then you have to cool it for quite a while - it says 30 minutes, but mine took closer to 45 minutes to completely cool (which is what you want).

Beginning the ice cream process on top of the chocolate
When it's finally cool to the touch, spread the hard shell chocolate topping over the baked crust. Again, recommended 1/3 cup, but I just made sure it was a nice, pretty even layer over the entirety of the cookie crust. Flash freeze that for 10 to 15 minutes in the freezer to help it set quickly. Also: NEVER keep a bottle of the hard shell topping in the fridge. It says not to, so read that and do it. Instead keep it in a cupboard or other room temperature state, because it'll become a shell and not come out of the bottle until you re-melt it if you keep it in the fridge. I was really frustrated after the cookie had cooled and I had to hold the chocolate topping bottle under hot water to get it to melt.

                                                                 Speaking of melting... you see that transition there? Pretty nice.

You'll want the ice cream to soften just as you're taking the crust with the frozen topping out of the freezer. This way it'll be ten times easier to spread evenly over the crust in the pan. Which, again, is pretty time consuming and more difficult than you think. Especially since i wanted not too thick of a layer and for it all to be even. Those cookie dough bites just get in the way! I used my hands, a spoon, and a butter knife to help me even it out all across. The hands might be more risky if it's for more than just your boyfriend, but either way make sure you clean your hands a lot.

With ice cream set, even, and beautiful you crumble your baked cookies on top. This may be the most fun, especially if you steal nibbles like I did. Smoosh the cookies up and make them whatever size you'd like on top. Then drizzle more chocolate topping over the cookie crumbs and ice cream however you'd like. As you can see, I did a swirl and waves for a fun ice cream topping look. Cover this and then freeze for 2 hours.

When you're ready to surprise your boyfriend, or just serve up your delicious Ice Cream Cookie Cake, let it thaw for around 5 minutes and cut into it. Just be sure that you aren't serving up the tinfoil as well.
Doesn't it look yummy?

Just be careful using a fork to break it apart, the other side might fly across the room - aka what happened to my boyfriend. It was a sweet, simple tasting, warm dessert for my love's special day. I hope you can make your loved ones smile with it too.

- Mollie

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