Notebook Experiments: Chocolate Chip Cookie Bowl Sundae

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Amy at MomAdvice puts together a notebook entry every Wednesday with fabulous ideas for activities, crafts and recipes you can do with your family…great ideas that she has rounded up around the blogosphere. She invites anyone who wants to try one of the projects out to blog it and link up on Thursday when she posts her own experiment.

I used to do this quite regularly… I enjoyed it so much and found it was a great way to inspire me with new ideas of activities to do with Brendan … I’m not sure why I drifted. With my new plan for blogging in place, I have scheduled this activity for me…and my family. A weekly Notebook Experiment. I hope you enjoy it…I hope you check out MomAdvice and see how absolutely wonderful her site is….and maybe you will join the Notebook Experiments, too!

This week I chose to try out The Chocolate Chip Cookie Bowl Sundae from Michael Ruhlman’s blog. His son James inspired him to make these awesome ice cream bowls…and my son thanks him, profusely. This idea was posted in the June 24th edition of Amy’s Notebook.

The idea is simple enough…make cookie dough….mold into cups and bake. I do have fairly decent skills in the kitchen…but I had a little more trouble with this than I anticipated…in fact I don’t think we are quite done experimenting.

Michael Ruhlman gives an adapted cookie recipe that makes for a slightly lighter, crispier cookie…which should hold up well for the bowls. I say “should”.

We followed the recipe…
We thoroughly enjoyed the cookie dough…I think the problem came when I loaded up the bowls…

The directions call for two different sizes of bowls..one slightly bigger than the other. We didn’t have this…all of our little bowls are the same size…so we forged ahead that way. We made one at a time so that we could learn from our mistakes without wasting all of the dough. Here is a Twitpic of Michael and James’ original crafting of the bowl.

Round 1: We put the cookie dough in the cup and squished the other down on top of it. The dough barely moved up the sides of the bowl…so I decided we needed more dough. Took the top bowl up…added more dough and re-squished. Stuck it in the oven, re-read the directions and noticed it said “Until dough begins to creep up the side of the bowl…rising will take care of the rest”…oops. As you can guess….between pulling the bowl out after the first squish…and adding too much dough…this bowl was a flop. (In shape only, hubby devoured it.)

Round 2: Added only 1/3 c. dough as prescribed. Very carefully centered the top bowl and squished it down…then placed it in the oven. This one also failed. It was still way too thin on one side and when I removed the top bowl most of the top part of the cookie bowl came with it on one side. Again, that didn’t prevent it from being eaten. :)

Round 3: Looked for something else to do the initial squish…wanted to thin out the bottom of the cookie bowl a little more and give us more dough to work with on the sides. Used a drinking glass to pre-squish…the centered the top bowl and gave it a good push. This version seemed to be doing much better…but at the end of the first cooking round was again much larger on one side.

I’m told my husband that I think perhaps our oven is slanted.

Round 4: Proceeded as in Round 3, but half way through first baking time turned the bowl 90 degrees in case my oven is, indeed, slanted. This worked a little better.

That is all I’ve gotten done so far. We had a fair amount of trouble getting the cookie bowls out of the glass bowls…but I attribute that to the top sides being so thin. In the comments on Michael’s original post I saw suggestions to bake the cookie then mold it over a muffin tin when you pull it out of the oven. I may give this version a spin next.

So why am I blogging my failed experiment? Because I believe that when the smile is this big….

You haven’t failed.

I’m going to keep trying at these. I see this as an awesome make ahead dessert for playdates or birthday parties. You can make up the bowls and fill them with ice cream…stick the whole thing in the freezer and pull it out when you are ready for them… you could serve them as is…with chocolate syrup…or make it into a sundae bar (be sure you are sending kids directly home afterwards if you plan to do this! LOL!)

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