James X 3 blog
Photos by Donna
Last Sunday morning, my son James said, “Dad, what if you made a bowl out of cookie dough?”

I’m the first to admit that there are almost no truly new culinary innovations or ideas, only variations on what’s come before us, and I also know that making a cookie to serve ice cream on, such as an ice cream sandwich, is a common one (some great recipes will be in Ad Hoc At Home, now at the printers). But when James said it, I said, “Very cool idea, James.  Let’s give it a shot.” And so we did.  We posted a Twitpic and fellow Twitters were likewise enthusiastic.

Cookie bowl blogIt’s taken a few different methods to figure out the best way to bake them and how much to put in our bowl-in-a-bowl makeshift mold.  But not too long.  Very easy to bake, a little tricky to get out of the mold. But James’s final verdict was emphatic: “Awesome!”

The following is the chocolate chip cookie dough from Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking.  It’s an interesting recipe to me because I’ve basically taken the 123 cookie dough (1 part sugar, 2 parts fat, 3 parts flour) and made a 111 cookie dough, plus an egg, and chocolate chips of course.  The result is a very light clean chocolate chip cookie, crisp but tender.  And it works great when transformed into a bowl that holds ice cream.  My mom would use electric beaters, or this dough can be mixed by hand but, but it’s easiest and cleanest made in a standing mixer. The following quantities will make at least four to six bowls (depending on the size of your mold).

The Chocolate Chip Cookie Bowl

  • 8 ounces/227 grams butter, room temperature
  • 4 ounces/113 grams brown sugar
  • 4 ounces/113 grams white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 8 ounces/227 grams flour (about a cup and a half)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup/182 grams chocolate chips
  1. Put the butter, brown sugar, white sugar, egg and vanilla extract into the bowl of a standing mixer.  Beat using the paddle attachment until all ingredients are incorporated.
  2. Remove the bowl from the stand, the add flour, salt and baking powder.  Return the bowl to the machine and paddle until the dough is formed.  Add the chocolate chips or roughly chopped chocolate and mix until the chocolate is evenly distributed.
  3. This dough will make about two dozen delicious chocolate chip cookies, but if you want to make bowls, you’ll need two oven-proof dishes, one that fits inside another, for each chocolate chip cookie bowl (see the Twitpic link above).  Spray the inside of the larger one and the outside of the smaller one with vegetable oil (or butter them).  Press about 1/3 of a cup of the dough into each large bowl.  Press the smaller bowl on top of the dough firmly so that the dough begins to push up around its sides (expansion will take care of the rest).
  4. Bake in a 350 degree F/177 degrees C oven for 20 minutes. Remove the bowls from the oven and carefully twist the small bowls to free them from the dough (I used sturdy tongs), then remove it, and continue to bake the cookie bowls for 5 minutes of so until the inner bottom of the cookie bowl finishes cooking.
  5. When the bowls are cool enough to handle, cut off any dough that’s over flowed the edge and, very carefully, run a pairing knife along the sides, gently lifting up to delicately free the bottom of the cookie bowl.  Chill completely.

Fill with ice cream and serve to anyone who adores cookies and ice cream. I reiterate James’s verdict: “Awesome.”  Thanks, James!



52 Wonderful responses to “The Chocolate Chip Cookie Bowl Sundae”

  • Kevin

    Looks delicious. My wife would probably kill me. She already says I put too much ice cream in my bowl. If I ate the bowl when I was done, I’m sure she’d flip, hehe.

  • Laura Red

    OMG. I just gained 5lbs reading this. YUM!

    <-- Must fight strong urge to go home and make chocolate chip cookie bowl.

  • Marc DeBrey

    I’m standing here with my two boys (age 10 and 13) reading this post. We’re heading off to the Twins baseball game now, but we’re planning doing this recipe as a project when we get home! Can’t wait!

  • Kate in the NW

    Looks truly excellent, but you know it could probably use a coating of dark chocolate around the rim…y’know…for structural integrity.

    Oh yeah – plus, it would be delicious!!!! 😉

  • Jennifer

    Cooling it completely removes one of the best parts, though – the contrast between warm cookie and cold ice cream. So what if the ice cream melts a bit?

  • Lara Starr

    Wow that looks yummy – I’ve made chocolate bowls, and gingerbread bowls, but never CCC. Must do soon!

    Ruhlman men have great hair!

  • lanslify

    Great results! Cute kid! This is the one who left the why did the chicken… tweet on your twitter page, right? With the right flavor cookie, this could be awesome.

  • Walt Smith


    I love that you encourage your kids to be creatively involved in the food they eat. I love even more that many folks posting are sharing these ideas with their own children. I know Emma Kate will be all over this.

    Keep rippling the pond… and please pass my congratulations to James on a great idea!

  • Marlene

    Since I can’t resist a challenge, you know I’m going to have to try this.

    Nicely done, James!

  • Paige Orloff

    That is just absurdly delicious, and while it may not be exactly new, it gets points for innovation. These would be incredible in lieu of cake at a bday party, methinks…I’m going to have to try to figure out how to adapt this method for MY favorite cookies, double dark chocolate with walnuts from the brilliant Alice Medrich. (That recipe, NOT adapted for bowlmaking, sadly) is in the link from my name, below.)

  • J E Cline

    How about trying this with some kind of BROWNIE application??????

  • Jacki

    So, do you think you could make smaller, cupcake sized bowls out of a muffin tin by just pressing the dough up against the sides without having a weight in the middle, or would it expand and get all poofy during the baking? I think I may try it – even if it doesn’t turn out, I’m sure it’ll be yummy.

  • A Soldier's Mother

    this is such an amazing idea. I’m sort of know around here for my chocolate chip cookies – I regularly send back cookies and brownies with my soldier son when he returns to base. I can’t wait to try this next time he comes home. Thanks to James for a truly amazing and awesome idea!

  • sbp

    Sounds good – I would coat the entire inside with a light film of melted chocolate, for sturdiness and melted-ice-cream-proofing.

    So, why such a significant deviation from the 123 cookie ratio? We’re talking half as much fat and 1/3 the flour.

  • Michael Franco


    Great, great, great idea. You are in the right family.


    As if the cookie cup and scoop of ice cream weren’t enough. The way Donna captured the hot fudge slowly anointing this treat is, well, seductive.


    Once again, wow!

  • Marlene

    Jacki, I bet it would work if you have two muffin tins. Do the cookie dough in one set of tins and weight it down with the other set.

  • John (Eat4Fun)

    This is a very cool idea. Instead of using the inside of the muffin tin as a female mold… how about inverting the muffin pan and using the other side as a male mold? Hmmm… I think I’ll give that a shot.

    From a sentimental point of view, it sounds like a very nice father-son play time.

  • Natalie Sztern

    HEY next time the school has a bake sale Dad can make these and sell them….bet the moms will buy by the dozen, i know i would

  • Tags

    Who woulda thought Cleveland would get a Super Bowl so soon after going 4-12?

  • milo

    Presentation is pretty, but for taste I’ll take ice cream on top of warm, soft cookies straight from the oven over this any day.

  • Ram

    Do you think it would be possible to bake the cookies normally, then mold them into bowl shapes after they come out of the oven? (While they’re still hot)

  • milo

    Ram, I was thinking the same thing. If you do it right, cookies are very flexible when the come out of the oven so you should be able to mold them afterwards which has the potential to be much less work.

  • Carrie

    Great idea milo and Ram! I was wracking my brain trying to think of two containers that would fit together to make the mold and coming up empty. Maybe I’ll try molding them over regular cupcake pans while still warm and see what happens. Even if they’re ugly they’ll still taste good – happy disaster!

  • carri

    What about taking a warm cookies and laying them over an upside-down muffin tin, or pressing them into muffin cups…or a custard dish?… as the mother of a nine year old boy…this post makes me very happy, we will have alot of fun with this one!

  • Lizzie Longenecker

    Extremely cool idea! Looks like the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree 🙂

  • ruhlman

    those of you who suggest molding a warm cookie over a cup shape are probably right. like shaping tuiles. i think you’d have to get the sugar-fat ratio just right.

  • jonquil

    wow! you just scored major daddy points-& just in time for father’s day!:) how model is your scale? the ones i have seen don’t seem big enough to put a medium-sized bowl on…

  • Michele

    We made your choc chip cookie bowls yesterday for Father’s Day. They were a huge hit. Thanks.