Birthday Report

First things first.

The cake, obviously. It was fantastic. Here is SO much more than you wanted to know about it.

I used, at Natalie’s suggestion, Ghiradelli’s Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. And I used mini chocolate chips, because when the cake is cold, a full-size chocolate chip is a one-way ticket to the dentist’s chair.

The most stressful part of making cookies for me is not overbaking them, so it was very refreshing to have cookies that need to be overbaked and crispy (if they aren’t, your cake will be mega mushy). I cooked mine for 11 minutes.

The first batch I made, I used my medium-size cookie scoops and they were too big (I used those cookies for the center of my cake). After that, I did about 3/4 of a tablespoon and those were just about perfect.

It made exactly 48 cookies and, since I was halving the original cake recipe, that was ideal. I did seven cookies on each layer (one of the too-big ones in the middle and six smaller cookies around that) and I ended up with seven layers (on the top layer, I did five of the too-big cookies and called it good).

I didn’t buy mascapone cheese because I am cheap, instead I just used this substitute. When you make the whipped cream, it’s not very sweet. I was a little worried, but I shouldn’t have been.

This is an extremely rich dessert – I cut pretty small slices (the original recipe says it serves 10; I served my half-sized cake to SIXTEEN adults) and we still had a few slices left afterward. Some people couldn’t even quite finish their slices, it was that rich.

Bart said it was about what he was expecting and that he’d prefer either cake or cookies, rather than a combo of the two. But the next day, when it had sat an extra night in the fridge and was very cold? He kept going back for another bite. We polished it off after lunch with no problem.

I will totally make this again. I’m tempted to try other combinations (like chocolate cookies with mint whipped cream or gingersnaps with pumpkin whipped cream). Seriously, I loved this dessert.

And, in case you don’t care about dessert and cookies and whipped cream (who are you?), here’s the dress Merrick made me for my birthday.

A dress I will probably never fit into again after eating that cake (worth it!)

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  • Reply Creole Wisdom September 21, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    That cake looks out of control! Wow! I am crazy about marscapone cheese, too, but it IS expensive 🙁

  • Reply Marie September 21, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    LOVE the dress, you look fabulous! And glad you had a great birthday – I'm going to have to give your cake recipe a try! 🙂

  • Reply Janelle September 21, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    That dress is gorgeous! Did she paint it?

  • Reply RA September 21, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Whoa, I love the pumpkin variation idea. Maybe I can pull together a version in time for Pumpkin Month at my office…

    Great job on that dress, Merrick!

  • Reply Merrick September 21, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Wow, that dress does fit pretty darn perfectly! Whew!

    Although I would imagine it might be a bit tight after a cake like that!! 🙂

  • Reply Rachel September 21, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    That cake is brilliant. My birthday can't come soon enough. And, your dress is gorgeous. Merrick is truly amazing.

  • Reply Nicole September 21, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Cookies…AND cake? mmmmmmm. I will definitely have to try this out.

    You look gorgeous, by the way. Way to go Merrick!

  • Reply Erica September 21, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    Oh dear, I have to try this recipe! I much prefer cookies over cake (but I still love cake), so this seems perfect. And way to go Merrick! What a beautiful dress!

    North Meets South

  • Reply Heather September 21, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    You look incredible in Merrick's creation! How lucky you are to have such talent in the family!

  • Reply craftyashley September 21, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    I suppose I should have mentioned how much of a disaster I am in the kitchen before raining on that cake's parade. You can make anything scrumptious, I am sure.

    Happy Birthday!

  • Reply Carole September 21, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    Another no-pattern Sewing Miracle from Merrick! You amaze me. Lou, you look lovely!

  • Reply Peaceful Reader September 21, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    I'm so sad because I'm at school reading this on my lunch hour and pictures are NOT loading up at all. The cookie cake sounds delicious though and love your other combination ideas.

    Can't wait to get home and see the photo of the dress though…

  • Reply heidikins September 21, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    Um, gingersnaps and pumpkin cream? Yes. Yes, yes yes.

    Also, the dress is fab! Merrick, you rock!


  • Reply Chrissie September 21, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    Oh my, that cake looks scrumptious. I love your combination ideas too – yum! And the dress? So, so lovely!

  • Reply Hawke September 21, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    Great dress, and really fun idea for a cake. I am glad you had a great birthday!

  • Reply Angiegirl September 21, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    Happy birthday, Janssen! Cake and dress both look divine.

  • Reply Natalie September 21, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    You are adorable! I love that dress! For my birthday next year, I would like a friend who makes me dresses on my birthday.

    Glad you liked the cake!! Let me know if you try any other variations 🙂

  • Reply Monica September 21, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    i. am. salivating.

    And the dress is beyond gorgeous.

  • Reply Packrat September 22, 2011 at 3:24 am

    Looks wonderful. (Just sorry you had to make your own birthday cake. There is something just wrong with that.) The dress is darling on you. Merrick, great job!

  • Reply megan September 24, 2011 at 1:02 am

    That does sound great. Marscapone has no substitute, though. 🙂 Well, ok, I would try your substitute if you could ship me some cake next time. And Merrick is so talented!

  • Reply Michelle September 30, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    The dress is lovely and looks fantastic on you. Again, happy birthday!

  • Reply Shannon April 8, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    Ever since I saw this posting back in 2011 I've kept this idea in mind for a perfect occasion. It's my husband's 30th birthday this weekend and he's not much of a cake or pie person but he LOVES snickerdoodles. What do you think about making this same recipe with snickerdoodles? Due to the lack of chocolate, would it not work as well?

  • Reply Shannon April 8, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    My e-mail should be liked, but in case it isn't (I'm not the most savvy commenter) it's

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