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July 4, 2015

Skillet Cookies

It was my birthday earlier this week, and sadly (or not?) I was too busy to post one of my favorite recipes of all time: skillet cookies. My quest to bake the perfect skillet cookie started at an Atlanta steakhouse called Bricktops. Every time my family went there I would insist on ordering this giant, gooey chocolate chip cookie baked in a skillet and topped with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce regardless of how full I was from my steak and whipped potatoes. Eventually I realized that if I could make skillet cookies at home I could eat them even when I wasn't already stuffed and could therefore manage to eat more of these addicting desserts.





I suppose I could have just pressed my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe into a skillet and baked it halfway, but that just wasn't right. It's still a pretty similar recipe and is definitely just as easy as making regular cookie dough. In fact, this is probably even easier because there's no scooping involved; you just press the dough into the skillet and bake.


The recipe starts by melting the butter--the first deviation from my regular recipe. Melting the butter makes the cookie denser and less cakey. That doesn't sound particularly appetizing until you consider the fact that you're basically eating half-baked cookie dough, which doesn't need to be fluffy or cakey. That melted butter is whisked with granulated sugar and a little extra brown sugar. The extra brown sugar makes it a little sweeter (you're making a giant skillet full of molten cookie dough... go decadent or go home), moister, and adds a hint of caramel flavor. After the sugars come the eggs: one egg and one yolk to be precise. The extra yolk keeps the cookies soft and tender, and I use the same ratio for my regular chocolate chip cookies.


I also add some salt and vanilla; I add a fair amount of both because the salt enhances the other flavors and I'm pretty sure I'm addicted to vanilla. The dry ingredients are next. It's your standard mix of flour and baking soda, nothing fancy. Lastly, I stir in a ton of chocolate chips. Cutting chunks from a baking bar is always a good plan since I love how rustic the different sizes are; no bite is the same. If I don't have a baking bar on hand, I use a mix of regular chips and mini chips so I still get some variety. Of course, any chocolate is good chocolate (except unsweetened), so whatever you have will work just fine.


The biggest secret to this recipe isn't what's in the cookie; it's how you bake it. I happen to have two small skillets that are the perfect size for this. You can make this in one big skillet for an extra-gooey treat or just in a pie plate or cake pan if you don't have a skillet. The baking time is entirely up to you depending on how gooey you want this. I know a few people who just like the idea of a giant cookie, so they prefer to bake it until it's cooked through. I, however, am on Team Cookie Dough (TM?) and refuse to cook this any longer than half-baked. The timing does depend on the size and material of your baking vessel, so just keep an eye on it and take it out when it looks done to you. As soon as it comes out of the oven, top it with some ice cream and douse it in caramel and/or hot fudge and you've got the perfect dessert for any occasion.


1 1/2 Sticks Butter, Melted
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Light Brown Sugar
1 Egg
1 Egg Yolk
2 1/2 Cups Flour
3/4 tsp Baking Soda
3/4 tsp Salt
2 tsp Vanilla
1 1/4 Cups Chocolate Chips

Heat oven to 350F. Grease your skillet or mini skillets.

Stir the butter, sugar, and brown sugar together. Whisk in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla. Fold in the flour, baking soda, and salt, then stir in the chocolate chips.

Divide the dough between the skillets and smooth. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden and jiggly.

Makes 4 6" Skillets or 1 Large Skillet
Adapted from Cookies and Cups

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