We had an entire weekend of birthday.
First, on Saturday, we had a gaggle of kids in the house to see a magician, and enjoy cupcakes and loot bags.
Sunday was the "family" party, with more cake. And left over cupcakes.
The actual birthday was on Monday the 12th. And by then we had had enough of cake, whether a big one or in cupcake form.
I'm a mother, however, so there is no way I could let the day go without some sort of celebratory treat. Afterall, I once went through labor and a c-section to have this child. I needed a treat!
Sure, I could have gone very fancy and made a pie or a tart. Or just made individual cookies that could be made into ice cream sandwiches, the perfect dreary winter type dessert (that makes you long and appreciate summer even more.)
Yes, some people would appreciate the fancy. But we are talking about an 8 year old boy. He doesn't want fancy. He wants lots and yummy, in that order!
Instead I went both simple and grandeur at the same time. Cookies, yes, but not many little cookies. I went BIG! A giant cookie, large enough to be written on, and perfect for a low key celebration.
Rather than go to my standard chocolate chip cookie recipe, I instead went with the classic Toll House recipe, which I had actually never made before. And I stuck to the recipe, with no tweaking or changes (except the usual omitting of the nuts.)
I had a bit of a size issue - my cookie puffed and expanded a bit unevenly, so I ended up fishing out a few knocked off pieces off my oven floor, but all together baked up beautifully. Crispy edges, soft interior, a good ratio of cookie to chips.
And completely successful in the eye-popping, WOW department for the birthday boy.
Then I added to his surprise by serving him some of his giant cookie with a big scoop of homemade chocolate ice cream.
Can you think of a better way to follow up on a spaghetti and meatball dinner than cookies and ice cream, both loaded with chocolate?
While chilling my ice cream, I was reminded of a recent post by Brilynn where she made ice cream and cooled down her mix by putting the pot into a snowbank. I admit, I was tempted. We had the cold, and the snow. What I didn't have was trust - I was leaving to bring the littlest one to school and didn't trust that my pot, or covered bowl, would stay untouched in a snowbank! (I guess I could have tried my closed in backyard, but didn't think of that until just now.)
Instead I chilled it in a sink full of ice water.
Despite the unadventurous chilling, my ice cream turned out smooth and chocolatey. I hadn't bothered measuring out the 5 ounces of chopped chocolate, reasoning that more wouldn't hurt it and that my scale is not very good (which it really isn't.)
Oh and I made a few more tweaks:
I only had 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream so subbed in light cream for the balance. I had 1% milk instead of whole milk, and I added an extra egg yolk to make up for the thinner milk/creams and to help with the custard.
So much for following a recipe through the first time!
Finally the birthday is done, all the presents are opened, and we can get back to normal. Now, what was a baking before all this cake stuff came around? :-)
My recipe, btw, came from the book that came with my ice cream machine, and here it is, the original recipe, not my tweaked version. If you'd prefer to try mine, just make the changes listed above.
Rich chocolate ice cream
5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Combine milk, cream and chocolate in a medium sauce pan over medium heat and cook until mixture almost boils and chocolate is melted, about 5-8 minutes. Reduce heat to low.
Meanwhile, beat yolks, sugar and vanilla in a small bowl until light yellow and smooth. Add 4 tablespoons of warm cream mixture and stir until combined.
Gradually add egg yolk mixture to warm cream, stirring continuously to prevent the eggs from curdling. Cook over low heat until slightly thickened and mixture coats the back of a spoon, about 3-4 minutes. Cool completely. Stir gently and pour into freezer bowl. Follow machines instructions for mixing and chilling ice cream.