Friday is my favorite day of the week. I love the big Shabbat dinner, I love the period of relaxation that it symbolizes, and most of all, I love being surrounded by my aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins.
Shabbat dinner always begins at the same time: late. If dinner is called for 6:30, everyone shows up at 7:00. Chips, dips, crudites, and random vegetables that my aunt pickles are set out while everyone gathers around and catches up on their weeks.
Next, we surround my aunts as they light the Shabbat candles and say the blessings. Usually, they’ll break out in a chorus of some made up song or la-da-da’s. My brother and I just watch and giggle as they close their eyes and sway around the dining room.
Eventually, dinner is served. Some variation of soup, chicken, vegetables, and potatoes is often in store. And ya can’t forget about the Challah. I look forward to it all week. Soft, most, bread with a touch of honey-vanilla bread that I can’t stop myself from eating throughout the meal. If I’m lucky, my parents will get to take the leftovers home so I can nosh on them all week.
Dessert is sometimes held to a lower standard at Shabbat dinners, mostly because by the time we finish our meal everyone is far too stuffed to consider something sweet.
Which leads me to SOFT AND CHEWY SEVEN LAYER MAGIC BAR COOKIES.
That butterscotchy, coconutty, chocolatey flavor of a seven layer bar with the soft, chewy, fluffy texture of a perfectly cooked chocolate chip cookie.
I learned 3 new, very useful baking tools while conjuring up these cookies:
1. Refrigerate your cookie dough for AT LEAST 2 hours before baking. Refrigerated cookie dough –> less thin and flat, more fluffy cookies.
2. Pressing each mound of cookie dough slightly with your palm ensures the cookies will be uniform in size.
3. Only let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes, and then transfer to a wire cooling rack. Don’t make the same mistake I’ve made with many other cookie recipes: keeping the cookies on the baking sheet too long keeps cooking them, possibly creating burn-y bottoms.
These new lessons I learned made for the best texture I have ever gotten out of a cookie. A slightly crunchy outer shell surrounding a melty chocolate, butterscotch, coconut, and graham filling.
My family definitely left room for these cookies this Shabbat. In fact, I think I saw my uncle sneak about 5 cookies before we even ate dinner 😉