Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Cake of the Week: Girl Scout Cookie Upside Down Cake

When I was growing up, the cookie tin in the corner of my family’s kitchen was rarely empty and usually full – chocolate chip, biscotti, molasses ginger, or oatmeal raisin were our faves. But of course, to my elementary school self, there was nothing cool about homemade anything. In my silly little head (or big head…I was overall a pretty big kid), my wildest dream lunch included a lunchable, or those yogurts with the sprinkles in them, “store-bought” cookies, and a soda! All I wanted was to open my lunch box to a package of Oreos, or Nutter Butters or, GIRL SCOUT COOKIES!!!

By now my lunch fantasies have matured. At this point I would be psyched out of my mind if anyone packed me any kind of lunch.  And cookie-wise, well well well, I can eat any kind of cookies I want!

So 'tis the season, let’s talk Girl Scout cookies. I did not grow up with them, and therefore have far less experience than most, but I know that people get CRAZY excited the second spring rolls around and little girls all over the city sit at tables covered in tantalizingly colorful boxes.

My roommate SpeedyKate volunteers with Girl Scouts, so now I have direct access! We have a very safe and controlled three boxes to eat (Thin Mints, Samosas, and Tagalongs), but then she has a couple leftover from last year. What do you do with a surplus of stale Girl Scout cookies? You bake with them well duh!

On Saturday I went to yoga, which is the ideal time for my monkey mind to daydream up delicious treats to try. So I pondered my options (Do-Si-Dos), and what I was in the mood for (chocolate), and came up with this Girl Scout Cookie Upside Down Cake.

This would work with any Girl Scout cookies, stale or otherwise. It’s a Texas sheet cake recipe, which is super-moist and much less crumbly than regular cake, plus a sleeve of Do-Si-Dos. The cookies rose into the cake while baking, so it wasn’t quite as upside-down-y as I anticipated, but then I covered it all in frosting and trust me, no one is complaining!

Girl Scout Cookie Upside Down Cake

Cake ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa  
  • 3/4 cup lightly packed premium unsweetened natural cocoa
  • 1 ½ tablespoons canola oil  
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour  
  • 1 cups sugar  
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk (OR soured milk – add a splash of vinegar to milk and let it sit for 10 minutes)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 sleeve Girl Scout cookies, chopped (I used Do-Si-Dos)
Frosting ingredients:
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 1/8 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cookie for garnish

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan. 
  2. Melt ½ cup the butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the cocoa (1/4 cup). Add the oil and water and bring to a rolling boil for 30 seconds. 
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside to cool slightly. 
  4. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
  5. Pour the warm cocoa mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined. 
  6. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk (or soured milk),egg, and vanilla. 
  7. With a rubber spatula, stir the buttermilk mixture into the batter. 
  8. Spread chopped cookies evenly in the bottom of your prepared pan. Pour the batter over the top and place in the center of the oven. Bake until the top is firm and the cake starts to pull away from the sides of the pan – about 30 minutes. 
  9. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack to finish cooling. 

  10. Upside-down, pre-frosting.

Make the frosting: 
  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the cocoa and bring the mixture to a rolling boil; boil for 30 seconds. 
  2. Remove from heat and whisk in the milk and vanilla. 
  3. Add the confectioners’ sugar 1/2 cup at a time while whisking continuously. (This will be an arms workout for you!)
  4. Immediately pour the frosting over the cake (the cake should be bottom-side, i.e. flat-side, up), spreading with a spatula. The frosting will harden pretty quickly. Sprinkle an extra crumbled cookie on top.