Times spent around my kitchen table are honestly the best. I think that’s one of the reasons I love cooking and baking so much. The process is wonderful to me, but the outcome is immeasurable. It’s a rare week at my house when we don’t sit down together each night for dinner.
Studies can tell you over and over again how important having dinner as a family is, but when you do it, day after day, year after year, you realize those studies are right on the money. There’s really nothing like sitting together, talking, laughing, arguing, spilling and guarding your plate from the Golden Retriever, gripping it for dear life.
I do realize that we are more than fortunate to be home together at the same time every night. For others, there are night shifts and schedules that just don’t accommodate eating together…so please never hear a guilt trip coming from this blog. I know that I can’t possibly understand everyone’s circumstances. I just know for us it’s been irreplaceable and I am grateful.
Seventeen years have gone by since we started a family. My son will be off to college next year at this time. Just this week we were “arguing” at dinner over the air conditioning which was pummelling him with air and my daughter, who sits in the hot seat, didn’t want it turned down. I started to smile at this familiar quarrel. I told them we would not have to worry about this regular routine next year…Zack would not be in “his” seat and we could have the air any ol’ way we wanted. They got quiet.
I am having pre-College “migration” sadness. Why on earth would one start missing someone a year early? I am just special like that. I am hyper sentimental (note that word contains “mental” in it and I am absolutely on that crazy train). Zack’s friends come over almost every weekend, playing computer games and then going out to a local burger hangout. It’s loud here those nights, our family room is infiltrated, our kitchen table is claimed as their own and yet, I will miss them. All four of those “bozos” as we affectionately refer to them.
I told my daughter that I would be sending all four of them cookie care packages next year, and if I really am missing them, I may show up and deliver them in person. My daughter informed me that having a friend’s mom arrive at your dorm room would be creepy. I suppose she’s right. That would be very strange. Let’s nix that idea, shall we?
Anyhow on to these cookies. Being the card-carrying crazy foodies that we are around here, our weekend centered around trying out Milk’s famous home made customized ice cream sandwiches. I actually had a sundae made with their warmed ooey gooey double chocolate cookie, topped with house made coconut ice cream, fresh whipped cream, hot fudge sauce and toasted coconut. Yeah, I was dieting. Big time. 😉
The ice cream was yum but those ooey gooey cookies were INSANE! And yep, just like usual, I googled them and low and behold the LA Times came through like a knight in shining armor. That’s how my knights ride up to me in my dreams…with ooey gooey cookies or awesome recipes in tow. I never, ever claim to be normal.
Last night I re-created these bad boys and right before bed, we all sat at the table together, dunking cookies, talking about the next day and commiserating over the fact that each kid had struggled over too much homework. It was perfect. I have about 364 more days like this, and you can bet I am going to be appreciating every last one of them.
Milk’s Ooey Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookies
Taken from the Los Angeles Times’ Food Section
Makes about 18 cookies
The batter requires 1 hour of refrigeration so plan ahead!
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder (best you can afford makes a huge difference)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 lb bittersweet chocolate (chunks or chips, I just used one 10 oz bag and that was honestly plenty)
To make the cookies: Chop the unsweetened chocolate in half so they are easier to melt. Heat a double boiler over medium-high to simmer, then turn down to medium-low, and in the top pot or heat proof bowl, put in the unsweeted chocolate and butter until fully melted. But if you just want to do it easy style, do it in the microwave this way…In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate first for one minute. Stir and cook for another 30 seconds. Then add the butter and melt for 30 seconds and stir. If it is fully melted, great, otherwise keep cooking for 30 more seconds and stir. Cool the melted butter and chocolate while making the rest of the batter.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla together on medium speed.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour through salt.
Take the cool-ish melted chocolate and drizzle just a bit (1/4 c. about) of the chocolate into the egg mixture while the mixer is on medium speed. This helps you avoid curdling the egg mixture. Now you can continue to drizzle the chocolate in while the mixer is on. Scrape down the sides of the bowl now and then. Once mixed, you can add the dry ingredients to the chocolate batter and mix on low speed until just barely combined.
Add the chocolate chips and mix on low until just combined. Don’t over mix. The batter will be a slightly “pudding-like” consistency (maybe a little thicker than that but not much). Scoop the batter into a tupperware bowl or other bowl with a lid and store in the fridge for one hour.
Fifteen minutes prior to baking, heat your oven to 350 and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Once the batter is done refrigerating, spray a medium-sized ice cream scooper with cooking spray and scoop cookie dough on to the prepared sheet, three across and four down. They will spread out a bit when baking. Bake for 12 minutes total, spinning the cookie sheet around half-way so that they cook evenly about 6 minutes into baking. Cool before serving (we did not…they were AMAZING!).
Bake the last 6 cookies on a different cookie sheet (warm cookie sheets cause too much spreading and this second batch would come out thin) and call it a day folks. Thank me later.