2-3tbspmilk or cream,if needed for desired consistency
¼cupchocolate chips,for garnish
1cupunsalted butter,softened to room temperature
⅔cupdark brown sugar,loosely packed
2 ⅔cupsall-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, then heat treated
2tspcoarse Kosher salt(if using table salt, use half the amount)
1tspinstant espresso powder(optional)
⅓ - ½cupwhole milk
1 ½cupsbittersweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 and grease three 8-inch pans, then line the bottoms with a circle of parchment paper.
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar, cream cheese and butter on medium speed for 5 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally.Beat in the vanilla, and the eggs, one at a time, beating for a full minute before adding the next one.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the coconut milk, starting and ending with the flour. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Divide the cake batter between the pans, spread the batter out to evenly cover the bottom of the pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely in the pans, on wire racks, covered loosely with clean kitchen towels.
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter and shortening for 1 minute until smooth.
With the mixer on low, stir in the powdered sugar and meringue powder until combined. Add the vanilla bean paste and the cream/milk, then increase speed to medium high; whip for 4-5 minutes until very light and fluffy.
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars for three minutes. Scrape the bowl down and beat in the vanilla.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and espresso powder. Add the flour mixture to the butter, mixing on medium low to combine, then add the milk, until the dough is moistened, but still very thick. Stir in the chocolate chips and pecans.
A food scale is helpful for the next few steps so you can portion out the dough evenly.Weigh out 8 ounces of the dough, and divide into 8 one-ounce balls to garnish the top of the cake. Set the 8 balls of dough in the refrigerator in an airtight container until needed.
You’ll have about 40 ounces of dough remaining – divide into two 20-ounce portions.Take a cake pan (the same size that you baked the cake in) and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper. Press one 20-ounce portion of dough into the pan, using your hands to press it out as evenly as possible.Set another circle of parchment paper on top of the dough, and use the bottom of a glass to smooth the dough out completely. Turn the pan over to remove the disk of cookie dough and set aside.Repeat with the other 20-ounce portion, so you have two cake-sized disks of dough.
Place one cooled cake bottom side up on a cake pedestal or cardboard cake circle. Frost the cake with a very thin layer of buttercream, then set one of the disks of cookie dough on top of the cake (after removing the parchment paper). Frost the cookie dough with a very thin layer of the buttercream. (You don't want to spread the buttercream thickly, but just enough so that the layers of cake and cookie dough stick together.)Repeat with the rest of the cake and cookie dough so that you have three layers of cake filled with two layers of cookie dough.
Frost the cake all over with a thin crumb coat of the buttercream, then chill for about 20 minutes.
Frost the cake with a final coat of buttercream. Garnish the top of the cake with the eight balls of cookie dough, and press the chocolate chips (pointed side in) around the cake for decoration.Finish the cookie dough balls on top with a sprinkling of salt.
Leftover cake should be stored in an airtight container or cake carrier at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Note that the cookie dough doesn't contain any leavening or eggs, and isn't meant to be baked.
Keyword Cake, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Cookie Dough, High Altitude