Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Happy Birthday Matt!: Whole Wheat Skillet Cookie Cake

It's All You Want to Be on Your Birthday

Happy 29th Birthday Matt!

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It's that time of year again.  Time to spoil the good old husb because he's one year more mature, one year more well-aged, one year the wiser, one year the better, and one year closer to being able to claim he's "distinguished" because of his premature gray hair. :) 

We celebrated his birthday last weekend with a trip to the beach where Matt learned to Wake Board, then we had hot dogs and cake for lunch, and then I took him to dinner at a steak house called the Rodeo Grill, where he tried Wagyu beef for the first time (a filet of grade 9 marbling which probably had a more pampered life than either of us, for the record).  We ended the night at the bar in the Cedar Lounge at the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr: a scenic Lebanese restaurant with an outdoor sheesha bar on the water.  My only complaint is that the belly dancer stayed inside. :)

Anyway, onto the cake!
Remember those shops in the mall where all they sold were giant cookie cakes?  They'd have little plates with cookie samples on them and I always made it a point to stop by and pretend I was going to buy a cookie just so I could steal a sample.  Lame, but worth it.   I am such a shameless chocolate chip cookie addict!  And the wonderful thing is that Matt is too.  So when I saw the recipe for a whole wheat skillet cookie on 101 Cookbooks a couple of weeks ago, I immediately knew that's exactly what I would make him for his birthday.  Not only is it exactly something that Matt would love to devour, it is also less time consuming than a regular sponge cake, and easier to eat.

I used some store-bought icing to write him a simple message.  My only advice is to wait until the cookie cools completely before doing any kind of decorating or your letters will turn into fat, blobby messes like mine did.  I kind of like to think of it as the "I'm-29-I-don't-need-precious-cake-letters" motif (right.).  Not sure if I pulled it off. :)

Baking a giant cookie in a cast-iron skillet is the kind of thing that foodie dreams are made of.  Cast-Iron skillets are like the old-tried-and-true kitchen gadget that everyone should have.  You can use them to make anything from biscuits, to gravy, to Spanish tortillas, to, well, skillet cookies.  You can sautee, bake, fry in them.  They are versatile and sturdy.  And best of all, you don't have to use soap to wash them (ok I admit, this part of cast-iron grosses me out but I bear with it).  I used them a lot in my Girl Scout days when we camped.  My leaders taught me to use some dirt and a wadded up piece of aluminum foil to clean them out before rinsing in water.  Pretty amazing how this keeps them "seasoned" and better for using than washing with soap!

The recipe Heidi at 101 Cookbooks used is fantastic.  It calls for 100% Whole Wheat flour, which I was a little bit wary of using for a cookie, but the result is actually amazing.  It gives the cookie a slightly nutty taste that I think we would not have liked to go without.  I also added a generous amount of roughly chopped walnuts to the recipe (next time I might go with pecans), which also gave it a nice touch.  I chopped up and froze about 3/4 of the cookie (I used a 12" cast iron skillet, which is GIGANTIC!), and we ate the rest, gluttonously, as only a 29, 30 and 2 year-old can do.

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Whole Wheat Skillet Cookie Cake
a pictorial journey


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  1. I'm making this, stat. It's been too long since I've made a skillet cookie, but this whole wheat version has me inspired to do it again.

    Yours looks like it has the perfect crispiness.

    Happy Birthday, Matt!

  2. Sweet, that's my kinda cake, and you can focus totally on the healthy part with the whole wheat. I'm devouring this because its good for me.