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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Happy Birthday, #3, If You Only Had a Heart


On this day in 1951 a wonderful and big surprise came to the Hocut family in Hot Springs, Arkansas.  No, they didn't win big at the now famous Oaklawn Race Track http://oaklawnpark.com, which, by the way, opened February 24, 1905 and is still growing bigger and better every year.  They also did not get pampered and rejuvenated at one of the legendary hot baths on Bath House Row http://buckstaffbaths.com. And no, they didn't stay at the famous and exciting  big Arlington Hotel http://arlingtonhotel.com in downtown Hot Springs.  They didn't even go for the bigplate sized pancakes at the Pancake Shop http://pancakeshop.com on Central Avenue, either.  They had bigger things to do as they headed to the Hot Springs, St. Joseph Mercy Hospital to deliver a bouncing, big, baby boy  into their lives! Douglas Michael Hocut, sometimes referred to as BIG Mike, was born to Vollie Mae and Juanita Hocut on February 10, 1951. By the time this dude started grade school, he was always the biggest guy in the class every year, which probably was the reason Big Mike always attempts to surpass everything on the mediocre or average scale with an appetite for only the biggest and the best!

BIG Mike happens to be 6'6" tall and a whopping 300 pounds! But, that is not the biggest thing about him...his heart is also very, very big!   Yes, this big guy is loved by all (just ask his grandkids) and always the life of the party (just ask his co workers). In fact, there is nothing average about him.  He has successfully worked in the trucking industry for over 30 years becoming a vital part of the company he loves, MHC Kenworth/Volvo in Springdale, Arkansas. He is devoted and happily married to the woman of his dreams (and nightmares) for 23 years...me...of course.  And, for a guy of this magnitude...he deserves a big cookie on his birthday today!  Not just an average cookie, rather a Big Heart Cookie.  I adapted this recipe just for BIG MIKE, the big guy with the big heart! You will need an 11inch heart shaped cake/cookie pan.  Don't have a heart??? Shop for your heart pan at Wilton...http://wilton.com.

Big Mike is not just the only big happening to the small town of  Hot Springs...check out all these great Hot Springs sites, just like we are gonna do on BIG Mike's BIG Birthday Bash!  See you there! We'll be the ones with the big cookie.  You can't miss us...nobody can miss BIG Mike.

Big Heart Cookie
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate morsels
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate morsels
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  
Spray 11 inch Wilton Heart Pan with cooking spray
Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together in a med bowl and set aside
Cream butter and sugars using a mixer until fluffy
Add egg and vanilla and mix
Add dry mixture and blend well
Stir in chocolate morsels
Transfer cookie dough to the pan and spread evenly until the bottom of pan is covered
Bake about 12 minutes or until nicely browned 
Remove from oven and cool, then remove carefully from pan
While cooling, make the Ganache
Heat cream and butter in a saucepan until melted and remove before boiling
Place chocolate morsels in a bowl and pour cream mixture on top
Let it sit for a few minutes, then stir until smooth 
Let cool and then spread on top of cookie with a spatula
Decorate as you like, and be sure to give it to someone you really love!