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whole wheat chocolate chip cookie cake with dried cherries and smoked salt

Once, we did something for Valentines day. It was nine years ago, on the first Valentines day we spent together. We made reservations at a favourite restaurant, only to discover once we arrived that friends of ours had decided to go to the same restaurant, and our romantic table for two was now a rowdy table for four. The restaurant was predictably swamped and the menu was set. I grilled our server about the contents of some of the menu items; he lied rather than bothering to check with the kitchen, and I was very quickly headed to the bathroom in distress while Paul was headed to the kitchen to confirm that the offensive ingredient was in my soup. Our date-crashing friends were yelling about how we definitely deserved free drinks for that, which I believe we did get. That was the one and only time we ever bothered to go to a restaurant on the 14th of February.

Paul and I are not a particularly romantic couple. If we do anything to acknowledge the 14th of February, it will be something along the lines of this: I will email him this card:

I Choo Choo Choose You

And he’ll respond with this one:

Let's BEE Friends

The 14th of February falls on a Thursday this year, so we’ll have a frittata for dinner, because Thursday night is frittata night in our house. We won’t exchange gifts or anything, that’s not our style, but maybe I’ll make him a special treat. Perhaps even this giant heart shaped chocolate chip cookie cake.

There is pretty much nothing easier and few things better than a cookie cake. You just make your cookie dough as per usual, then press it into a cake pan rather than forming individual cookies. You won’t overcook your cookie cake and produce crispy cookies when you were going for soft and chewy (which is what happened with the individual cookies I made from half of this dough – hate that!). The cookie cake will be soft and chewy and buttery and perfect. This cookie cake is my favourite whole wheat chocolate chip cookie recipe, fancied up with dark chocolate, dried cherries, walnuts, and smoked salt. It’s a great thing to make and share with someone you love – on the 14th of February, or just whenever.

whole wheat chocolate chip cookie cake with dried cherries and smoked salt

One year ago: Spicy Kohlrabi Salad

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake Recipe:

Don’t have a heart shaped cake pan? What?! That’s crazy. Just bake your cookie cake in a round or square cake pan instead – an 8 or 9″ cake pan will do. This recipe makes enough for *two* cookie cakes. You can bake two, or bake one and make a dozen or so cookies, or just halve the recipe and make one cookie cake. Smoked salt? You need this in your life. I received a box in a swag bag last year, and I am so in love with the stuff. It really elevates these cookies, and many other things.

Recipe adapted from Good to the Grain

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3 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp coarse smoked salt
8 oz / 240g cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch / 1 cm pieces
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup / 4 oz / 120g chocolate chips, or dark chocolate chopped into pieces
1 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped (optional)
more smoked salt for sprinkling over top

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Preheat oven to 180 C / 350 F. Butter the bottom and sides of your round, square, or heart shaped cake pan(s).

In a large bowl use a whisk to mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the cold butter pieces with the sugars until well blended, about two minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time. Give the bowl a good scrape down and ensure everything is well combined, then add the vanilla.

Add the flour mixture to the wet mix all at once, and blend until just barely combined. Next add the chocolate chips, dried cherries, and walnuts, and mix until evenly combined. I like to finish the mixing with a wooden spoon.

Press approximately half of the dough into each cake pan, using your hands (wet hands are good if the dough is sticking to you) to press the dough into an even layer. Bake for about 25 – 30 minutes. The cookie cake is done when puffed and golden on top, and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set the cookie in it’s tin on a wire rack to cool. Serve in slices, with a glass of milk or a scoop of iced cream handy. Also amazing served warm, and eaten straight from the pan. Enjoy!

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You’re eating a giant chocolate chip cookie. Yes, a giant whole wheat chocolate chip cookie, but a giant cookie loaded with butter and sugar all the same. Moderate! Enjoy your cookie today, then tomorrow how about a kale salad?

All text and photos Β© The Muffin Myth 2013

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