Monday, July 2, 2012

The Triple Birthday Bash: Claire and the White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookie Cake

Despite my insistence on celebrating my birthday for over two and a half weeks, our triple birthday bash's two other participants had far more timely claims on the party and its desserts. Honorary housemate Claire had the distinction of turning 25 midway through our party. While her heart may have desired traditional British fruitcake, the months of soaking it in alcohol combined with my planning the party a week in advance relegated her to settling for the staple of the almost as equally culture rich American mall- the cookie cake. Would the white chocolate and macadamia nut cookie cake fill her with birthday joy, or would it cause her to cut off my supply of free beer?

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookie Cake
Adapted from All Recipes
Servings: 2 9" cookie cakes
Time: 30 minutes (plus decorating)

1 cup butter, room temp
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1 cup white chocolate morsels
Colorful decorative icing
A picture of the Union Jack

Prior to fancy decorating, I already considered this cake a victory since I managed to resist the urge to eat all the glorious cookie dough.
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Cream the butter and the sugars together until smooth.
  3. Add in the eggs one at a time until thoroughly incorporated.
  4. Mix in the vanilla and almond extract.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
  6. Slowly add the flour mix into the creamed mixture.
  7. Stir in the macadamia nuts and white chocolate.
  8. Distribute evenly between two ungreased 9" round pans and spread until smooth.
  9. Bake for 10-14 minutes or until golden brown.
  10. Attempt to upstage the people of the Great American Cookie Company with your designs (and turn down any ensuing offers of employment from them that may develop no matter how tempting they sound).

Between making Union Jack cakes and absent mindendly singing "Rule Britannia" at work, I'm hoping my coworkers start to think I'm a British secret agent. 
Given the traditional chocolate overload from my yellowcake and Dennis' German chocolate cake, it was nice to "mix things up" with some rich white chocolate. The perfectly baked giant cookie of delightfulness was everything one could hope for from a mall storefront. While white chocolate and macadamia nuts are always a winning combination in cookie form, the hit of almond extract really made it memorable. My only regret was that I couldn't find a ridiculously large round dish to bake this in because there's nothing more absurdly amazing than a cookie the size of the birthday girl.

It turns out it was Andy's birthday too! Ever the gracious host, I made him a special cake as well.
Somehow, my delicious baking was not the highlight of the evening for Claire. Normally, that would break my fragile teenage girl heart, but nothing stood a chance against the face-melting awesome that transpired. That honor went to unleashing one of her birthday presents on our unsuspecting guests in the form of dropping 350 bouncy balls down the stairs (I like to think this was a very scientific simulation for what the partygoers would be like after eating all the sugar from 3 cakes). Even though I'm still finding bouncy balls in random places over a week later, it was totally worth it (even if no one comically tripped over them).
Sadly, the person giggling like a girl is not Claire....

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