Growing up, my family drove the 9 hours south every year to visit my grandparents in Maryland. We typically spent about a week there, and the trip always had traditions; Liriodendron and Winterthur, late night swimming and golf cart rides. However, one tradition stands proudly above all others: The Charcoal Pit.
A classic diner from the 50’s complete with black and white flours, overstuffed booths and working jukeboxes at every table, the charcoal pit is a place lost in time, just as many of our other stops. The nostalgia is served hot, with a greasy burger, fries, and triple thick milkshake. However, it is not their diner food the charcoal pit is known for; it’s their sundaes. Each named for a local prep school, the combinations of sugar are endless. There is something so wonderful, even if you don’t attend one, to support a school in its rivalry against everyone.
50’s Diners, much like this one, have continued to be a place of comfort for me. The local Wimpy’s is a place my friends and I go when we need to escape, and there is something about the vibe that simply is unrivalled when you need to get out of your world for a while. They are truly places of altered reality, places where the rest of the world simply ceases to exist.
If you take a gander through the menu, you’d read all the combinations created for different schools before, finally, coming to The Kitchen Sink. A sundae for 10(at least), it contains everything, along with 20 scoops of ice cream. I feel nauseous even at the thought.
For some strange reason, my parents never let my brother order it. I wonder why.
As an ode to my childhood, I developed a love for the idea of something being “the kitchen sink”. Equally revolting and decadent, who wouldn’t feel a pull to childhood? A couple years ago, I discovered the Milk Bar and their “compost cookies”. This lead me to think; could we have a kitchen sink cookie? A cookie containing any bits and bobs from around the house? A cookie containing everything you could possibly want?
The “Kitchen Sink” Cookie
1 3/4 cups +2 tbsp butter, softened
1 1/2 tbsp white/clear corn syrup or glucose
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 cups white sugar
4 1/2 cups AP flour
3 tbsp skim milk powder
2 tsp salt(if using unsalted butter)
2 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
2 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp vanilla extract
Choose your add-ins
(2 cups total):
peanut butter chips
malted milk balls(crush these up)
chocolate bar chunks
I think the most popular combination tends to include as many different types of add-ins as possible, and remember with chips and pretzels, they’re going to seem to take up more space than they do – don’t be afraid to do “too many” add-ins.
- Cream the butter and the sugars and the glucose together, on high speed until fluffy. To read my rant on this, click here.
- When it’s all fluffy and good, add in the eggs, one at a time, and then the egg yolks. beat until incorporated.
- Add in vanilla. Wish your house smelled like the contents of the bowl right now.
- Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda, along with the coffee grounds(if you’re using them) and the milk powder. Pro tip:Use the coffee grounds. Because it adds life. and coffee.
- Mix together all of your add ins. slowly snack on the potato chips and pretzels. and chocolate chips.
- Add in the dry mix, a cup at a time, mixing just until homogenous. taste test.
- By hand, fold in the add-ins. This is a bit of a workout just FYI, your arms will hurt.
- Scoop into 3 tbsp chunks and chill on the baking sheet for 3 hours. Eat some of the raw dough, because life is short. Feel nauseous, because between the dough and the add ins you’ve eaten more than your stomach can contain.
- Bake at 325 for 15 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes on the tray, then on a cooling rack.