?Choc? up new friendships

Between working as a teacher and being a part of the community newspaper scene, I have been a spectator at more than my fair share of graduation ceremonies over the years.

After watching so many, I can tell you that ?Pomp and Circumstance? is a must, school choirs will inevitably sing a song that will get the graduates all misty-eyed, and graduation speakers love to quote Dr. Seuss.

Also, inevitably, someone will mention to the graduates that they will never all be in the same room ever again. It?s at this moment that you see the seniors look around at each other, letting the reality of that statement sink in.

And those speakers are right. No matter how easy it is to keep in touch with social media and cell phones, the only place these kids will remain together forever will be in the pages of their high school yearbook.

Of course, I think all of us who have successfully made our way across a high school graduation stage can also tell them that they probably shouldn?t be too depressed by that reality. After all, I?m sure we all had folks in our high school classes whom we couldn?t wait to get away from as fast as possible, and all of us made many more friends throughout our lives than we gained just in those four years of adolescence.

But keeping in touch with classmates is also fun, and I think it?s great that local alumni associations keep school spirit alive. It was from just such a group that I found this week?s recipe for a chocolate chip cookie cake.

It came from a newsletter written for the 1965 class of Newport News High School in Virginia. If you want to check out their site, you can find this recipe at http://www.nnhs65.com/05-05-13-NNHS-The-Way-Old-Friends-Do.html.

I switched things up a bit by doubling the vanilla in this recipe (and, truth be told, I probably put in more chocolate chips than I was supposed to, too).

This makes a nice little cake that really has more of the consistency of a cookie bar. I didn?t frost mine, but you could easily do so. It was delicious without it, though.

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Chocolate Chip

Cookie Cake

Ingredients

3/4 cup butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup sugar

1 egg

4 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

Hold off on preheating the oven; you?re going to chill this dough for awhile.

Cream together the butter and sugars until nice and light.

Beat in the egg and vanilla.

Add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt and mix until well-combined.

Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes or overnight (I did mine overnight, and it turned out really well).

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Coat a 9-inch cake pan with cooking spray to help keep the cookie from sticking.

Spread the dough out evenly into the pan (it will be nice and thick).

Bake it for about 20 minutes or until the edges are nice and golden brown.

Let the cookie cake cool completely and run a knife around the edge of the pan to help release it.

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I brought this to a potluck, and I didn?t have to worry about any leftovers at the end. It was really good.

To those of you whose diplomas barely have dry ink and to those of you for whom graduation is a long-ago memory, I hope you?ve managed and will manage to keep in touch with important friends, and if you need to make any new ones, try baking them this cake. Trust me, it?ll work.