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.
September 5, 2012 at 5:26 pm
Sweet post, Geni, in every way. These cookies sound delicious. Savor them, and the next year with your son.
September 5, 2012 at 6:13 pm
This is such a lovely post my friend, I can understand why you feel this way being in such a close family 🙂
Trust me though those care packages filled with cookies like this will be godsend!
Choc Chip Uru
September 5, 2012 at 7:33 pm
Seriously, I have at least 10 years before college, and even then I have a feeling my kid is going to hang around, and I still get all anxious when it’s mentioned. So I get it! 🙂 LOVE these cookies, they rock.
September 5, 2012 at 8:20 pm
Oh, Geni.. I think your family will never stray very far with cookies like these in the kitchen! I am a sentimental fool myself.. I know how you feel! I thought last year would be so difficult.. and it was, but only for a short while. Then I realized I could text, skype, phone, email, and fly to visit. That made me feel so much better. And if he was happy, so was I. Anyway, he’s back home for school this year.. and we will have squabbling at the table, just like you.. and I’ll love every second of it!! xx Smidge
September 5, 2012 at 9:17 pm
Geni, this is such a sweet and loving post. These ooey gooey cookies look divine.
September 5, 2012 at 9:42 pm
As well as you cook and bake, Geni, you’ll never have to worry about your kids not returning home. My Mom’s cooking brought me home every time and, trust me, these cookies will do the same. They sound fantastic! 🙂
September 5, 2012 at 9:51 pm
This was such a beautiful post! My son is only 15 months, but I try to cherish every second I spend with him. I’m sure that you too feel like your kids grew up in the blink of an eye. From the sounds of it you have a very tight-knit family, and there is no no doubt in my mind that your son will be home to spend time with you guys more than you might think 🙂
Btw, the cookies look absolutely divine!
September 6, 2012 at 6:05 am
Sweet post! My baby just went off to her first year of college and I find myself thinking of her so much more. It definitely takes getting used to, but you are doing good preparing yourself a year early 🙂 Hopefully your son will have some delicious care packages like those cookies. YUM!
September 6, 2012 at 6:21 am
Oh you did it to me again Geni! I hope I get to enjoy the kids teen years as much as you have. You always describe things as I imagine (and hope) they will be for us as the kids grow. And I’m so on that crazy senti”mental” train with you! (Miss A has a song for that!) enjoy every quarrel, laugh and hug you can this year!!!!
September 6, 2012 at 7:18 am
Wow. These cookies look absolutely incredible! I don’t think you’ll have to show up at the dorm next year – I think your kids will be happy to make a trip home for some of these. 🙂
September 6, 2012 at 9:24 am
There really is nothing like time spent with loved ones around the table enjoying good food. We are expecting our first child in just a couple of weeks and I plan to start family dinner traditions. These cookies look incredible!
September 6, 2012 at 11:13 am
Those do look delicious. Can’t wait to try them!
September 6, 2012 at 1:24 pm
Love the post!! Cookies look yummy too!! Miss you!
September 6, 2012 at 1:41 pm
Great looking cookie! I need to try this amazing Milk place, where have I been??
September 6, 2012 at 3:46 pm
Geni, you are special in every way!! And you are certainly creating special memories that all the bozos will share! I made sure to have dinner together with my kids too as often as we could with their sports and schedules. Just like you sneak over to your parent’s home for coffee (I just love that post!) yours will be finding a reason to come back to you….and those cookies!!
Wow, Geni, your phots are so professional too! Makes me want to pick up a cookie and dip right in….would espresso be okay for dipping??
September 6, 2012 at 3:54 pm
Those cookies look AH-mazing!!! Don’t even get me thinking about college and mine are still little.
September 6, 2012 at 4:12 pm
Thes would be so great with a tall glass of milk! YUMMY!
September 6, 2012 at 9:40 pm
I know what your talking about. Dinner’s together are the best times.
September 7, 2012 at 5:08 am
That title has me hooked! How am I ever going to get into that bikini when you post things like this?
September 7, 2012 at 5:36 am
Bikinis are highly over rated. 😉
September 8, 2012 at 9:33 am
Those look fabulous.
September 8, 2012 at 10:26 am
I can’t agree more, having a meal together with friends and family is definitely the best time together. 🙂 These cookies looks divine. I would love to receive a care package with these yummy goodness in it too.
September 9, 2012 at 1:57 am
Wow look at those cookies! they look amazing
September 9, 2012 at 11:04 am
My family had dinner together every night also and I do like to think that’s why I turned out okay. 🙂 There’s something about that time together that just instills good values and good sense in you! If you want to show up on my doorstep with these cookies…I promise not to be creeped out. 🙂
September 9, 2012 at 8:42 pm
These cookies sound great, Geni. I would LOVE to get a care package from you. Your kids will be very blessed next year!
September 10, 2012 at 9:18 am
Family dinners stopped being a good idea at my house when my brother and I were in high school. It never, ever ended well. I think its so great that your family actually gets along. That seems to be getting more rare all the time.
September 10, 2012 at 3:53 pm
I also am a firm believer in family dinners. It is the best way to stay connected in our busy lives. My husband adores Chocolate Chip Cookies! I just might have to suprize him with these charmers! A luscious post!
September 11, 2012 at 6:48 pm
Oh wow, well your son will definitely be missing his amazing mom next year and these amazing cookies. Don;t send them to him in a package make him come home for them! LOL! That is what my mom used to do:)
September 11, 2012 at 6:53 pm
Maybe you’re grieving the slow shift to an empty nester….have another cookie. That’ll help! 🙂
September 11, 2012 at 9:42 pm
Oh Geni, I know how you feel…but with these cookies I am sure that they will be back for more…time together around the dinner table are the most precious ones.
September 16, 2012 at 1:00 pm
Love chocolate & those look fabulous! Thanks for sharing!