As I’ve mentioned before, I try to eat healthy most of the time—but I also love baking. I don’t think the two have to be mutually exclusive. And one of my favorite things to make are cookie cakes! Not to brag, but I’ve mastered the art of baking and decorating them—and they’re always a hit. Take a look at some of my creations:
Pretty fun, right? And the nice thing is that they’re (a) super-easy to make, and (b) a cinch to transport (so, so crucial when you have to take your baked goods on the New York City subway system). Even better? You can really use any cookie recipe you love to make a great cookie cake; you don’t have to stick to chocolate chip like Mrs. Fields did. After you mix up the dough, just follow these steps:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Prepare the dough as usual. (If you don’t feel like doing this step, you can totally cheat and buy a log or bucket of ready-to-bake cookie dough from the store.)
3. Roll the dough out into a disc roughly 3/4″ thick and 12″ in diameter. (Hint: Use a clean wine bottle to do this if you don’t have a rolling pin.) If your dough makes a bigger disc than this, cut off the excess (you can use it to make extra cookies!).
4. This is the only slightly tricky part: gauging how long your baking time will be. Basically, you want to take the cookie cake out of the oven as soon as it starts looking golden brown around the edges. I recommend beginning to check around 25 minutes, then checking again every 2-5 minutes after that if your cookie cake isn’t done yet.
5. Let cool for at least an hour. At this point, you can either decorate your cookie cake or just serve it as-is. Either way is fun, but if you’re decorating, you’ll probably want some disposable pastry bags and decorating tips. I’d just recommend practicing with the frosting on some wax paper first so you can get the hang of piping it through the bag and plan out where you want your writing/drawings to go before you start on the cookie (it’s not hard, I promise!).
Make sure to keep the cookie cake on a flat surface (if you put it on a plate that’s not completely flat, your cookie cake will crack, like the panda one I made above). And if you need to transport your festive dessert, ask your local pizza joint if you can buy (or just take) one of its pizza boxes. They’re perfect for this, as are pizza cutters. Enjoy!