Chocolate chip cookie bowl is the perfect vessel to hold your ice cream. Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman.


I’m on a serious deadline to finish a book tentatively titled Food Chain, thus so many posts drawn from the past. This is one of my favorites. But I can’t believe how much time has passed and how different life is. The 10-year-old boy in the picture is now a lanky young man who looks me in the eye and is about to turn 17. Happily, the childhood pleasures of eating ice cream out of a chocolate chip cookie is available to all, no matter your age.–MR


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.

It’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).

James X 3 blog

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!


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© 2016 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2016 Donna Turner Ruhlman. All rights reserved.


14 Wonderful responses to “Ruhlman Classic: Chocolate Chip Cookie Bowl”

    • Bunny

      What would you use as the “little bowl” with a muffin tin, so that the cookie bowl would keep its shape? Without an inner bowl, the cookie dough would melt into a blob in the muffin tin. Perhaps you could fashion bowls from heavy-duty foil to keep the dough on the sides of the tin. Also, they’d be pretty small, wouldn’t they?

  • Kathy Sampson

    I am thinking that I could use my half cup ceramic ramikins turned upside down and placed on a cookie sheet with the dough formed around and over them. This looks like great fun and worth experimenting with my various bakeware items to find a way to make these.

  • Allen

    I’ve loved this idea since the original post, truly Nobel prize worthy.
    I make a lazy version with 2 cookies and big scoop in between. Lacey chocolate almond cookies being my fav

  • Jeanette Schmidt

    I made these and they came out perfect!!!! they hold amazingly and they taste out of this world!!! i highly recommend these! thanx for sharing! Michael

  • Allen

    I have a whole duck. I would like to render the fat, perhaps make duck confit with it.
    Tempting recipes using five spice for Peking duck are calling out to me.
    Would this still yield worthy duck fat for confit?
    Or should I just say screw it, and use Mr. Ruhlmans approach with olive oil?

    • Katy

      Allen (even though you kinda hijacked the thread) – if you use five–spice to cook the duck, you’re going to end up with duck fat that tastes of five spice, and thus you’re going to get five-spice-flavored confit.

      That may or may not be okay, depending on what you use the confit in.

      I’d stick to salt and nothing else so you get maximum flexibility.

    • Rhino

      So, if you save the duck fat from this, it will pass on those flavours to whatever you end up confit-ing in it later. This is not necessarily a bad thing, for example I have confit-ed cod in bacon fat to great effect, and even my regular confit fat, which is the same big pot I started using three or four years ago, is now flavoured with thyme, garlic, and black pepper.

      Just keep it separate, do a few peking ducks, and then *deliberately* make peking confit…

      Also, what does this have to do with ice cream in chocolate chip cookie bowls?

  • Allen

    Thank you Katy,
    (Hijacked?, this is a sacred topic on this blog – encouraged to be discussed by the maestro himself. )

    I made Ruhlmans confit, and I recall adding cinnamon and star anise to the salt rub, not sure if it was the original recipe or my own creation, but it was great, so I think I’ll try the 5 spice infused duck fat.

    The duck came out great, lots of orange and ginger, plus a nice 5 spice orange soy glaze to baste

  • Allen

    Two weeks into this post, I’m still chiming in on duck fat. I used the extra trimmings off the duck and diced them up, put them I a little cod water, cover and let them deep fry in their own fat to make cracklings. I saw Jaques Peppin do this and it works great.
    For those critical of my going off topic, put the duck confit in the cookie bowl and cover it with ice cream – tah dahh!
    back on track