It didn’t dawn on me until too late that graduating college would mean no more Spring Break. This loss might have been enough incentive for me to stay in school and go for a Ph.D., but then again, the fact that it didn’t occur to me that school holidays don’t follow you throughout life probably shows I am not a strong doctoral candidate.
Fast forward 22 years and I’ve managed to still sneak in a few great Spring Break trips here and there, but this year between my work and the boys’ school baseball games, my family just can’t find the time to get away.
So…I am trying to convince them that we will enjoy what the world now calls a “staycation.”
My teenage sons are all for the sleeping late part of the plan, but after that, I’m having to use my imagination to help them believe Tyler, Texas, is as fun as oh, say, Breckenridge, Colorado.
Without snow, snowboards and snow bunnies, I am not having much luck. However, I do know one thing teenage boys love, no matter where we are. Food.
To try and make the week more fun, I thought I would cook some of the boys’ favorite foods from vacations we’ve taken over the years. We discovered an affinity for fried grouper sandwiches one time down in Florida. Shrimp and grits in South Carolina. Steak and cheese sandwiches in Philly. You get the idea.
Tonight, I’m making Warm Cookie Sundaes we enjoyed on a trip to Colorado one March. I like to make homemade cookies and hot fudge, but the world won’t come to an end if you decide to buy refrigerated cookie dough and hot fudge sauce in a jar. Either way, these sundaes are warm, gooey, delicious and full of happy memories.
It’s the perfect way to end a family…staycation.
Warm Cookie Sundaes
6 Chocolate chip cookies (recipe below makes about 18, so you’ll have leftovers )
1 (half-gallon) Goldenbrook Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream (you’ll have leftovers)
1 cup Hot Fudge Sauce (see recipe below)
1 cup purchased Food Club frozen whipped topping, thawed
Place individual warm cookies in bowls. Top with scoops of ice cream, warmed hot fudge sauce and whipped cream. So easy!
For the cookies:
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips (chunks are even better!)
Combine flour, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl, and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix butter, sugars and cinnamon until thoroughly blended. Beat in egg, yolk and vanilla. Using the lowest speed possible, add dry ingredients just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips with a wooden spoon. Refrigerate dough until ready to use.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 325°F. Shape cookies into 1/3-cup size balls. Place on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet, at least 2 1/2-inches apart. Bake 12 minutes for gooey cookies, 15 minutes for more well done. Remove from oven and let sit on cookie sheet 2 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool or to your sundae bowls.
For the hot fudge sauce:
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup dark or semisweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a saucepan over medium heat, bring cream, corn syrup, sugar, salt and chips to a low boil, stirring constantly. Simmer until mixture thickens, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla. Serve warm. Store leftovers in refrigerator up to two weeks.