Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake & New Years Battle Plan

2010 is coming to a close. I hope yours was filled with laughter, lessons, and love. Not every day is going to be filled with rainbows and sunshine, let's get serious. This is a chance to reflect, not dwell on the negative, and make a battle plan! So. What's your battle plan? Tell me one of your new year's 'resolutions.' And make it positive. I got a few things poppin in the lab.

Grad school in fall. I want a Masters. In what, still not 100% not sure. Idealism vs Reality.

Office moves in 5 months thus adding an additional 20 minutes to my commute. EFF THAT! Must find apartment and/or new job. Looking for work outside of VA, primarily San Francisco. I fear that I'll get an apartment, sign the papers and then bam! I get that job out of state. One step at a time grasshopper.

Take 6 week course and go for the PMP certificate. Attack!

Comptia Project Plus exam in January. The book is collecting dust thanks to the holidays, God bless it.

Have my left side checked. Every time I do windmills it feels like someone beat the sh*t out of me with a baseball bat. Most times, I take a deep breath and something pops in my shoulder blade region. It's starting to get too hard to ignore.

Finish my sketchbook and submit it.

Find a volunteer organization.

Travel.

'How would you know what it is to lose if you never had to choose? You can't appreciate color till you have the blues. And what is sacrifice if you never had a sad night? You can act the part yet you don't know what that's like. But when it really hurts that mean it's time to get to work.' Pursue them dreams people.

And eat chocolate chip cookie cake. It's essentially a giant cookie: soft, gooey, and fun to share with friends! The ganache is optional; I thought there was more than enough chocolate in the cake. We ate it straight out of the pan. Very easy to make and fresh out of the oven in under 20 minutes.

Have a safe, happy, and dopetastic New Years Eve!



Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

Ganache (optional)

3/4 cup of semisweet chocolate chips or chunks (58%-62% cacao), roughly chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream

Cake

1 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips or chunks (58%-62% cacao), roughly chopped
4oz (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus 2 tablespoons for the cake pan
1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powders
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 large egg

Make the Ganache (optional)

Put 3/4 cup of the chocolate in a small bowl. bring the cream to a boil over medium-high heat and pour it over the chocolate. cover with plastic and set aside for 3 minutes then whisk it from the center of the bowl out to the edges until smooth (don't vigorously whisk the chocolate mixture, you don't want to whip in the air bubbles). cover again with plastic and set aside at room temperature for 6 hours. To expedite, you can place bowl within a bowl of ice until it's the desired consistency.

Make the Cookie Cake

Position rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350. Grease a 10 inch cake pan with the butter, then press a round of parchment into the pan. Grease the top of the parchment with remaining butter.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt. Using mixer, cream the remaining 4oz butter, brown sugar, and vanilla and almond extract on a medium speed until well combined. Increase the speed to high and beat for 15 seconds. Stop the mixer, scrape the bowl and add the egg. Blend on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add the dry ingredients and combine on low speed until just a few dry streaks remain. Add the remaining chopped chocolate and mix for a few seconds until combined. Scrap the batter into the prepared cake pan.

Bake until light gold and puffy around the edges (the center should still feel soft), 18-22 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes and then run a paring knife around the edge of the pan to release cake. Cool for at least 4 hours before turning the cake out of the pan... if you're seriously that patient.

Fill a Ziploc or pastry bag with ganache. Pipe ganache to your heart's desire.