The year is 1998. I’m ten years old and I’ve just woken up. The weekend has barely begun and the day is filled with all sorts of exciting prospects. I get up out of bed, early. Why you might ask? Because it’s a non-school day, and on days when I don’t have to go to school, I actually like getting up, early. I stretch and yawn looking forward to all the weekend has in store for me. The outings to the grocery store with my mother. The games that will be played with my sisters. The food that will be eaten. The homework that will not be done. But most importantly, the trip to the local ice cream parlor, once a month. Those fun exciting trips where two bucks could get you a three scoop sundae. Hard to believe eight quarters got you that much, but again its 1998. But as if life wasn’t fair enough. A trip to the ice cream parlor wouldn’t be a trip if it wasn’t without a catch. Those dreadful chores had to be done first. Knowing this in advance, I rush frantically around my room picking up all the clothes, shoes, and toys off the floor, and shove them into the closet. I make my bed, throw out the trash, dust and sweep. Once my room is semi-presentable, I rush down stairs and ask my mother attentively if I could help with breakfast. Knowing that she’ll make a mental note later which will grant me more ice cream, whipped cream and cherries. She asks me if my room is clean. I respond with a full heartedly “yes!” We then proceed to cook breakfast.
The day goes by rather slowly, I await patiently. Okay perhaps impatiently, looking at the clock every chance I get. I pretend to do homework. I play a couple of games with my sisters. I watch a few cartoons, and then go into the kitchen as my mother makes dinner. As I enter my favorite room, the tantalizing aromas of a delicious dinner, simmering away, make me forget my ice cream trance for a moment. I devour two helpings of my mother’s chicken and rice. As soon as the last morsel leaves my plate and enters my stomach I say, “Ice Cream time!!!” I deflect questions as to how I can still possibly be hungry, put on my shoes, and my coat. I grab my mother’s car keys and push them all out the door. Finally we get to the ice cream parlor. I stand on my tip toes, hands and face pressed up against the glass, as I peer in astonishment at all the flavors. I walk up and down debating as to what three flavors I should get. French Vanilla. Boom. One down. Pistachio. Boom. Two down. The last one takes me a while. My sisters and mom already have their one small scoop, that all three will share. Puzzled, I take my time, as if this decision will change my life forever. My eyes fixate onto one flavor in particular. Rocky Road. I ask my mother if it’s good. She assures me that I will like it. I choose it, somewhat cautiously. The hot fudge is added, bananas, whipped cream, nuts, sprinkles and various cherries. As the jumbo sundae is placed in front of me, I feel everyone’s eyes on me. Worried, as if this is way too much for a child to eat. But I’m no ordinary child, and this excitement comes but once a month. I devour my sundae enjoying every bite of this new flavor, I’d never tried. Rocky Road became an instant ice cream favorite, that I looked forward to each month. And now, the perfect its the perfect cookie.
The first thing we should do is chop the almonds.
Place whole almonds in a food processor bowl.
Pulse a couple of times, until the nuts are roughly chopped. They don’t have to be uniform in size. I think its better when they are different sizes, it gives the cookies a nice texture.
Reserve this for later.
Meanwhile, lets cream some butter.
Slowly add the granulated sugar.
While the butter and sugar are creaming, mix the dry ingredients.
Start with the flour in a large bowl, and throw in all the rest.
Cocoa Powder Baking Powder Baking Soda
Salt Mixing Mixed
It wouldn’t be a kitchen, without a few messes. And to show you just how normal I am….
I try and grab the dry ingredients and instead I make a mess.
Its all part of the fun of cooking.
Okay, so now back to the creamed butter and sugar.
Scrape down the sides.
The last post didn’t feature…..
Mr. Piggy Spat.
He’s back and better than ever. Out to scrape, mix and stir the world of cooking and baking, one recipe at a time.
Okay okay, back to business.
Add the eggs into the creamed butter and sugar.
One at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Once all the eggs are incorporated, grab some vanilla.
Well? Pour it in, what are you waiting for?
After the vanilla, grab the buttermilk and dry ingredient mixture from earlier.
Add each, alternating between the dry ingredients and buttermilk.
Start with the dry ingredients.
Add a bit of dry ingredients. Mix. Buttermilk. Mix. Dry ingredients. Mix. Buttermilk.
You get the point.
Just make sure that you start and finish with the dry ingredients.
Mix after each addition, just until incorporated. Do not over mix.
After all the dry ingredients and buttermilk have been added, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
Make sure everything is mixed well.
He had to make two appearances to make up for missing the last post.
And now for the best part.
We get to add all the goodies and treasures that make these cookies phenomenal.
First Up: Chocolate Chips
Next: Chopped Almonds
Okay, now fold in the chips and nuts.
And we’re folding, and we’re folding.
The cookie batter is finished. Grab a small ice cream scoop.
Scoop out even cookie mounds onto a parchment lined sheet. Space them out so that they do not spread and bake into each other.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until the cookies are just starting to set.
Almost baked, but not fully. Once you’ve reached this phase, which should take about 10 minutes, take them out.
Immediately, and working fast, place about 10 marshmallows onto each cookie.
You might have to stick them into the cookie to make sure they don’t roll off.
Place them back into the oven and continue to bake for another 2 minutes or until the marshmallows start to brown.
Make sure they do not burn, they could melt rather quickly so check them periodically.
The marshmallows need a little browning.
Transfer the cookies onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
In the meantime, make a chocolate glaze for the top. Start a double boiler, by placing a heat proof bowl over a pot of simmering water.
Add the chocolate and butter.
Stir with a whisk constantly until the chocolate and butter have melted.
Once melted, if the chocolate glaze is too thick add a bit of the boiling water. A little at a time, until it is at the desired consistency.
And what is the consistency you might ask? Well, it should be pourable but without being too liquidy.
Mine is a bit too thick…
At this point the glaze is ready to be drizzled over the cookies.
You could use a fork.
Or a piping bag.
Or a ziplock bag.
Or a spoon.
Or if you’re snazzy like me, you could pour it into a squeeze bottle.
Slowly drizzle the chocolate over each cookie.
Okay, now the cookies are finished.
It’s a great looking cookie right?
I know, I know. Almost too good to eat….almost.
You look back at your childhood and think of all the fun memories you’ve shared with those you love. What was it about those times that brought you such joy? Was it the times you played games with them? Was it the movies you watched with them? Perhaps it was the time you shared bowls of ice cream together. Who needs bowls? Maybe, you grabbed a carton of ice cream, a couple spoons and dove right in. The flavor of choice? Rocky Road maybe? Whichever it was, you can’t help but smile at the fun memories you’ve had around a carton of ice cream. Make these cookies, and create some new memories with new friends or old. Allow these cookies, which are reminiscent in flavor to that classic ice cream, to be the new center of attention of all your sweet dreams.
Rocky Road Cookies
Taken and adapted from Carole Walter’s “Great Cookies.”
- 2 Cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly firm
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2/3 cup buttermilk or sour cream
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups chopped almonds
- 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 2 to 2 1/2 cups mini-marshmallows
- 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons boiling water
Heat the oven to 350.
Sift or stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Set Aside.
Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy and lightened in color, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar in a steady stream and beat 1 minute longer to combine well. Add the eggs one at a time, making to to beat well after each addition. Add the vanilla.
Reduce the speed to low, and add the dry ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk or sour cream. Start and end with the dry ingredients. Mix just until blended. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the almonds and chocolate chips.
Use an ice cream scoop, a small one, and portion out 6-8 cookie mounds onto parchment lined sheets. Space them out evenly. Bake for 10 minutes, or until just starting to set on top. Remove from the oven and press nine or ten mini-marshmallows at random onto the tops. Return the cookies to the oven and bake for another 2 minutes or just until the marshmallows start to soften. WATCH CAREFULLY. Do not allow the marshmallows to become too hot or they will melt. These cookies are best slightly under baked.
Let rest on the cookie sheets for 5 minutes or until firm enough to handle before loosening with a large metal spatula. Remove to a wire cooling rack.
Combine the chocolate chips and the butter in a medium bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Melt together, stirring occasionally. Add the boiling water, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, to thin to a pouring consistency. Using a spoon or a fork, or a squeeze bottle, drizzle the glaze over each cookie. Let stand on the cooling racks until the glaze sets.
*Store in an airtight container, layered between sheets of wax paper, for up to 5 days. These cookies may be frozen. Enjoy.