Sweet And Crumby

Baking, a Love Story

A Birthday Cookie and One Last Hurrah


The dust has settled. It’s weird. My kitchen looks rather naked without its beautiful wood floors. It makes me uncomfortable; to see it like this…pulled apart at the seams.

Yesterday morning I knew this was the beginning of the end of my baking for a few weeks, at least in my own kitchen anyway. You know me, I will probably become a squatter in somebody else’s kitchen. I barely can breathe without baking.

My son had requested a sheet cookie instead of a cake for his seventeenth birthday party that day. Everyone eats cookies. It’s the truth.  Clean up after any party where a store-bought sheet cake was brought, and you will find plates and plates of nibbled on slices of cake, sugary frosting scraped off.  Think back…I am right, aren’t I?

But a ginormous, homemade chocolate chip cookie, oozing with Ghirardelli chocolate chips, golden brown to perfection, now THAT gets eaten…every last crumb.  Seconds get had, and fingers get licked with melty bits of chocolate stuck to them.  No need for ice cream. There’s nothing to cover up or make better.

Except right now, maybe a kitchen. It needs bandaids and a big hug. It is not getting made better or more beautiful. It was perfect just as it was. I remodeled it over 12 years ago, but it still looks looked fine, really great. Until the fridge leaked, grew its own mushroom underneath it (no I did NOT cook it up) and then, a week later, there was a leak in the bathroom which poured water onto the floor all day while we were at work.

Yeah, all that happened in two weeks and I still blogged. Aren’t you proud of me?  Or maybe it’s just an illness. Hm.

Two separate leaks and a floor that feels more like a speedway with ripples beneath it. Should have gotten on our rollerblades.  And now noise is everywhere from gargantuan fans, like helicopters landing, five of them.

Dust everywhere. Beautiful maple floors torn from their base, shredded like a slow cooked pork butt.  Sorry, I am a cook…that’s where my similes lead me. So for now my beloved kitchen and I are parted. I know it’s technically still here, but it’s more like a demolition zone.  Not really the kitchen I am used to which feels like a comfy sweater wrapped around my shoulders.

But at least I got to make my son’s birthday cookie “cake” and I got to give my kitchen as I knew it, it’s last hurrah. My son and his friends inhaled the cookie like it was their last meal.

This recipe is my ALL TIME FAVORITE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE RECIPE! It’s just a smidgen different than your typical one.  Note the dark brown sugar and espresso powder. It is legendary and amazing, and I really think you should give it a try!  And if you have a kitchen you don’t mind sharing…let me know and I’ll pop by with my Emergency Baking Box and whip you up something wonderful. I’ll let you do the dishes. I hate dishes.

Geni’s Own Legendary Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
All mine, adapted from nowhere! 🙂
This recipe makes a double batch or one cookie sheet “cake”.
4 c. all purpose flour, spooned into measuring cups, not scooped.
2 t. baking soda
2 t. salt
1 T. instant espresso powder or coffee powder
3 sticks (1 1/2 c.) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature (if you are using salted, don’t add the 2 t. salt)
1 c. light brown sugar
1 c. dark brown sugar
1 c. granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 T. natural vanilla extract
2-3 c. chocolate chips (I like to use half  semisweet and half Ghirardelli 70% dark chocolate chips)
optional: 1 c. walnuts, rough chopped

To make the cookies: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. For the sheet Cookie: Line a cookie sheet with a silpat mat or parchment paper. Spray coat or grease the SIDES ONLY of the cookie sheet. Do not spray the mat or parchment.For regular cookies, just use line two cookie sheets with mats or parchment, no spray coating needed.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together your flour baking soda, salt and espresso powder.  In a bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the room temperature butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat on low speed for each addition to incorporate. Add your vanilla and beat on low speed.  Add 1/3 of the flour mixture at a time, combining on low speed until just mixed together.  Don’t over mix. Add your chocolate chips and stir them in with a rubber spatula.

For the sheet cookie, scoop out large portions of the cookie dough onto the prepared pan, filling in any large gaps with mounds of cookie dough. Using a sheet of wax paper, spray coat your wax paper (or parchment will work fine) and press the wax paper on top of the cookie dough, flattening it out and filling in the entire sheet with dough.  Smooth it over with your hands to try to level the sheet of cookie dough.  Gently remove the parchment or wax paper which is on top.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes on a MIDDLE shelf. Half way through the baking, turn the cookie sheet around so you bake it evenly and it gets golden brown over the top.  The cookie should feel a tad bit soft to the touch when you take it out of the oven. It will firm up as it cools.  Let it cool COMPLETELY. To remove it from the pan, gently use a butter knife to release the cookie from the sides to begin with.  With a rectangular serving platter or cardboard cake base you can buy from Michael’s Craft Supply Store, place the platter over the cookie sheet and flip over.  You will have to do this again with another platter or cardboard cake base to get it right side up. DO NOT THINK YOU CAN USE A SPATULA.  It will crumble to its demise.  SO sad but tasty when you eat the crumbles.

To make regular cookies, scoop out the dough with a medium-sized ice cream scoop three across and four down onto your cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes depending on your oven.  They should be barely soft to the touch when you take them out.  Cool or eat warm…we’re all adults here…do what you darn well please.

40 thoughts on “A Birthday Cookie and One Last Hurrah

  1. Ohhhh… this would be perfect for my husband’s birthday in a few months time. It looks amazing! I love the addition of the espresso powder.

  2. Looks divine and I bet it would taste a treat!
    And u r so right about leftover cake!

  3. I would love to have you in my kitchen, tho it is SO TINY i would have to let you do ALL the cooking!!! and a sheet cookie is such a good idea, i can’t believe how sensible that is, I am going to make one for my nephew! But where has your wooden floor gone? what is next! c

  4. This is very much like what I did for my BF’s 30th this past February. He LOVES cookies. Giant chocolate chip cookie (also with purple and black frosting). It’s true. No one really eats the store-bought cake.

    Good luck with the kitchen!

  5. You are welcome anytime! If you want to make the trek to Seattle, that is. 🙂 Lucky birthday boy – I’d eat that any day of the week.

  6. Yum! What a great cookie cake! Love it!

  7. So sorry to read about your water problems. I hope the damage isn’t too severe and the repairs speedy. Such a great recipe and clever idea! Thanks for sharing both.

  8. Your son is a very lucky guy! Make sure he knows that!!

  9. My birthday cookie was AWESOME Mom! Thanks!!!

  10. Awww, what a disaster to live through! AND you made a giant beautiful Birthday Cookie despite it all! You really are AWESOME! Zack’s a lucky boy!

  11. A wonderful cookie. A fabulous idea.

    You will have a kitchen again and you hopefully will love it more than the last one.

  12. What a great birthday cookie! Love the lavender color frosting.

  13. The cookie looks delicious! I hope you are going to blog the kitchen changes….

  14. Cookies do seem to make everything better, even renovation miseries. Giant cookie: good idea for rescuing giant renovation miseries. Not to mention grade-A yummy birthday treat!!

  15. Geni, I’m only about 6 hours from LA, come on over! This cookie is such a great idea and absolutely perfect for a bunch of teenage boys. Well, technically, it’s probably perfect for everyone. Good luck with the floors. I am so sorry you are dealing with that!

  16. I usually had a 3 layer chocolate cake.. with the hard chocolate frosting.. and everyone would eat it lol. I had no left overs.. but I completely understand how much cake is leftover from sheet cakes. I love this huge cookie.. I would totally eat this.

  17. Happy B-Day to Zack!!! I think you are right about birthday cakes, so much end up in a trash, and I think that he picked amazing cookie cake..I would love that for my birthday..no mess, no stress:))
    Good luck with a floor, and the kitchen.. I am sure you will look better after everything is done!
    Have a great week ahead, darlin’!

  18. Heavenly ! ! !
    Happy Birthday Zack 🙂
    I know just how it feels to be uprooted from one’s kitchen. I am also going through the process now. I am shifting cities. All my stuff will be gone 2mrw n I will only have a functional kitchen by the end of the month.

  19. That’s a giant cookie ;-)) Happy Birthday Zack!

  20. Shredded like a pork butt… ha! That one made me laugh out loud. Ugh… I hate that your kitchen is in disarray, but perhaps you can just much on some of that gorgeous cookie whenever the floorless kitchen gets you down?!

  21. Looking back at birthday parties passed, you are so right about cake and cookies, lol! I’ve always been a big fan of cookie cakes too. Happy (belated) Birthday to your son!

    Hope you get your kitchen back soon, I’m always like a fish out of water when I don’t have mine!

  22. I could definitely use a good chocolate chip cookie recipe. 🙂 Mr. N has been requesting some and I’ve actually never made them (shocker I know). Happy birthday to your son! And good luck with the kitchen. How absolutely aggravating. If I lived closer I’d say you could crash in my kitchen…I’ve got two great “apprentices” and I’d be happy to be a taste tester for you. 😉

  23. You’re welcome in my kitchen anytime, Geni! Though I’m a bit far away. I love the idea of this birthday cookie, it looks just perfect! I can see why it was completely devoured. 🙂

  24. I don’t know if I’d be able to survive seeing my kitchen ripped up! Good luck chica! You are always welcome to come bake in my kitchen, if need be!

    I so want a cookie sheet cake for my next birthday, now….looks amazing!

  25. Your poor kitchen! So sad! Come cook in my kitchen 🙂 I want to go make this cookie right now, we can start with that.

  26. Oh no. You’re going to have serious withdrawal symptoms. Kitchen work is the worst. But it will be worth it.

  27. Happy birthday to your son
    I never thought of it before but you are right about the cookies and cake!
    Love the cookie and the recipe..when it comes to all things chocolate you are my mentor Geni

  28. Geni, I am sorry for the issues on your kitchen/bathroom, but you make it SO funny…if you want to use my kitchen, come down to Redondo 🙂
    The cookie cake looks delicious, love the idea of making into a cake. Happy Birthday Zack!
    Hope you have a good week and good luck with your kitchen…

  29. What a cookie! I think I’ve tried making an over-sized cookie once years ago, but it was an epic fail. If I decide to try it again sometime, I’ll take your tips. Happy birthday to your son, I’m sure he loved his cookie cake! And I definitely know what you mean about cleaning up plates with one bite taken out of the cake. I was probably one of the people who did that, ha!

  30. This is my type of cake and one that I would request for my birthday as well…either that or a doughnut cake. 😉

  31. Oooh Geni, I feel your pain! When I think of having any work done in my kitchen, I cringe at the thought of it being unusable for a time. I’ve never thought of squatting on my friend’s kitchen tho…good idea! And great idea for this bday “cake”. You are correct, cake get left but only crumbs are left from the cookies! I’ll definitely be trying your recipe; I love that you added in espresso!

  32. Happy Birthday to the lucky birthday boy! I love cookie “cake” — I made something similar for my mom and husband before, they are the best! Yours looks great 🙂

  33. Happy birthday to Zack! Just think how lovely the kitchen will be when finished! New follower on Twitter! (How was I not following you already!)

  34. You do know that you are a genius, don’t you?

  35. curious…..you say use a cookie sheet….what size? I have three different sizes.

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