Half-Baked Triple Chocolate Sundaes

It's Food Network Star season!!!

Like I've said many times before... I am a winter person. I like the cold and fuzzy socks and warm clothing and hot drinks and anything that has to do with Christmas. I also despise the heat. I'm just not really a summer person. I don't like water or swimming or beaches that much. 
BUT... there's one thing I look forward to every summer that makes the insanely humid weather a little less dreadful. And that's Food Network Star.

Personally, I think Food Network Star has turned into a really cheesy reality TV show that probably is more acting than actual cooking. And the fact that the winners never actually get a continually running show ticks me off. I also think that Food Network itself has turned into one big game show and that couldn't be more disappointing... but that's a rant for another time. Despite what Food Network Star has turned into, it's still nostalgic and exciting for me to watch every Monday morning when I wake up (I hate commercials so I never watch it on Sunday). I also like finding a person to root for and then follow them on Instagram in hopes that they'll notice this blog...

This season, I'm totally rooting for Jess (Jessica Tom). She reminds me of the old Food Network where every show carried so much authenticity and there weren't 75 different competition shows flooding the channel. To me, she's the most genuine, while still being put together and articulate on camera. And her food looks bomb. And she also has a really cute wardrobe.
I also just bought her book "Food Whore" and can't wait to start reading it!

We'll see what happens in the end... but those are just my thoughts on it.

My oldest brother was home a few weeks ago with some friends shooting a movie in our town. About a month before they were scheduled to fly in, I got a call from my brother asking if I would cook some lunches and dinners for them to have while on set. I, of course, said yes, but I think the only meal I actually made for them was chipotle chicken enchiladas. Very spicy chipotle chicken enchiladas. So spicy I think a few them couldn't really even eat it. Oops. 
I forget sometimes that most people didn't raise their kids to tolerate the level of spicy food that my parents did for my brothers and me.

I did, however, get very bored one afternoon after work and decided to make some sort of chocolate-brownie-cookie thing. But I really wanted to make whatever it was ooey and gooey rather than fully baked cookies and brownies. More like half-baked...
We also didn't have any eggs in my house at the time, so I thought it was the perfect time to test something like that out. Just to be sure that there was no risk of consuming raw eggs in something underbaked.

Let me just say that I baked this, took some pictures of it, and let it sit out to cool for a little bit. Before I could even put my camera up half of the tray was gone, and some of the people acting in my brother's film were asking for to-go cups of it. 

I mean you really can't screw up anything sweet and chocolatey served with a big scoop of ice cream, though.
Through this recipe I discovered something... I think I'm going to start making cookies without eggs from now on. I know how important eggs are for baking, but I mean this cookie dough created the most perfect crispy-on-the-edges-gooey-in-the-center chewy triple chocolate chunk cookie you could ever dream of. 
And the best part... you can eat as much of the dough as you want with no fear of getting sick!!!

My favorite part of this whole cookie-brownie thing, however, is the chocolate "magic shell." It brings back so many memories from my childhood. Something about watching that hard shell form over cold ice cream makes any sundae ten times better.

One of my first memories watching Food Network Star was with my mom when we lived in Nashville. My dad was out of town and my brothers were somewhere in the house. My mom and I curled up on the couch with bowls of fresh baked piping hot berry crumble-- which we ate while watching the premiere of Melissa D'Arabian's season (Season 5). 
Ever since that moment, I find there's nothing more comforting than watching Food Network Star with some sort of dessert or warm drink in hand.

And what perfect thing to indulge in while watching chefs make really freaking good looking food than these half-baked triple chocolate sundaes?

Half-Baked Triple Chocolate Sundaes
1 9x13 Baking Tray

For the cookie dough:
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup softened butter (2 sticks)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup each: dark chocolate chunks, white chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350º. 
Sift all dry ingredients together. In a separate mixer, cream the butter, vanilla, and sugars together until fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add in the dry ingredients 1/2 cup at a time, mixing at a low speed until fully incorporated. Slowly pour in the milk and beat until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips/chunks. 
In a lightly greased 9x13 baking tray, spread the cookie dough in an even layer. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the edges are very slightly turning color, the cookie has begun to rise, but still very gooey. 
While the cookie layer is baking make the brownie batter-- It is very crucial to have the brownie batter ready as soon as the cookie layer is done.

For the brownie batter:
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup butter (melted)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • chocolate chips (for topping)
Sift all dry ingredients together. Beat the butter and sugar together until creamed. Add the vanilla and milk and beat until combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix. Set the brownie batter aside until the cookie dough has cooked for 15 minutes.

Carefully spoon the gooey cookie dough to the sides, creating a well in the middle of it. Don't spread all the dough to the sides, just the center of the pan to make a circle/oval large enough to contain the brownie batter. You might have to remove some cookie dough to make room for the brownie batter. That's okay. Just eat the warm cookie dough. It's like a win-win. Pour the brownie batter in the well and spread to create an even layer with the cookie dough. Pour as many more chocolate chips/chunks as your heart desires over the top.
Bake again at 350º for 10 minutes, or until the cookie part of the pan is golden brown and the brownie part has risen slightly. Let cool for 10 minutes, and then serve immediately with vanilla ice cream and the chocolate "magic" shell (recipe down below).

Chocolate "Magic" Shell:

Melt 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips with 2 tbs. coconut oil. Pour over the ice cream to create a hard shell.

Cecilia A.


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