Thursday, September 9, 2010

Chocolate Cookies - CAKE

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AARON!
Today is my team mate and co-worker's birthday.  He LOVES anything with chocolate cookies.  Crunchy chocolate cookies to be exact.  There were several cookie-cake options that came to mind- like a giant cookie (on a pizza pan) but that's an easy answer!!  Another co-worker of mine, Molli had suggested stacking the cookies to create a box like-cake-shape with the cookies.  What a unique idea!!  And the best part was that it was assembled in about 30 minutes!  By far, the quickest assembly yet!  (The fondant bow took a few days of prep- but easy!)

To create the cookie cake, I purchased two bags of Chocolate Chip Cookies - Crunchy cookies (I sorta believe that the crunchy ones have a little more stability than chewy).  I also purchased store bought chocolate frosting.  For your first row, be sure to put icing on the bottom of the cookie so it stabilizes the base- it won't slide or move in the tray.  Frost the top of each cookie prior to stacking them on top of each other, row by row.  I used about 1/2 tablespoon worth of frosting on each and applied pressure when stacking to make sure they were stable. You can make these a few hours before presenting; I made it the day before and the cookies were stuck together like glue!  As an after thought, I probably should have put a little frosting in between each neighboring cookie to ensure each column wouldn't tip over, but it didn't!

On to the fondant bow...

This is my FIRST experience with fondant of any kind...  It's taken me a long time to grow balls for this project- and I have NO idea why I found it SO intimidating!?!  It was so pliable and play-dough-like that it was actually FUN to play with!!

I pulled out a chunk of fondant about the size of a racquetball and kneaded it for a few minutes to soften it up.  Roll it out to 1/8th inch thickness.

I cut the edges to create a straight edge.

Each piece is about 1/2 inch thick and about 6 1/2 inches long.  I used 6 of these strips to make the outer section of the bow.

Dab a drop of water on the end and fold the two ends together.  Keep the loop open and shape it the way you want it.  Lay it on it's side- like shown above- to dry for approximately 24 hours.  Once it's set, there's not much movement, so plan accordingly!

I made 7 additional loops- about 5 inches long - this will be the inner part of the bow.  The seventh one is used for the center of the bow.

The next day, I assembled the larger bows together, dabbing water in between each of the bows and held it fairly tight until they binded together.  I also used small amounts of softened (fresh) fondant to help bind each  loop. Continue with the next row (the smaller sized loops) and the last bow in the center to hide all of the imperfections.

I also made a few more strips, about 1/4 inch in width and 7 inches in length.  I wrapped it around a chop stick and let them dry.  I used these as curly ribbons.

I also made a few more strips to use as a ribbon on the edges of the cake.  Quick and Easy as pie!

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