My youngest turned six years old last week and requested a homemade chocolate chip cookie cake for her family birthday party. She wanted it decorated with a panda bear created out of icing to look EXACTLY as she had drawn it on a piece of paper — I’m no artist, but I tried my best (see photos below). As I was researching to see if the cookie dough for a cookie cake needed to be any different than regular cookie dough, I kept stumbling upon these beautiful huge skillet chocolate chip cookie recipes. I couldn’t help but choose one of those recipes to execute in my cast iron pan — but yet my daughter insisted on a rectangle shape. So I settled on a Martha Stewart recipe and doubled it — half for my daughter’s rectangle cookie sheet sized cookie cake and half for my own adventure in cast-iron cookie baking! I have to say this was absolutely delicious. The birthday girl and I made the cookie cake and the skillet cookie one afternoon and admittedly sat down and devoured the piece that I topped with ice cream and caramel sauce and used for my photos. It was just before dinner and while I felt a twinge of guilt, we didn’t have any trouble polishing it off and cleaning up the proof before Dad got home for dinner. Cast iron skillets cook nice and evenly so you don’t get the darker edges and the gooey center. This is easy enough to prep during the day and bake during a dinner party. It looks beautiful, simple and classy and tastes even better.
Chocolate Chip Cookie in a Cast Iron Pan (Serves 8-10)
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups mixed milk and semi-sweet chocolate chips (the mix of both types of chips is key!)
vanilla bean ice cream
coarse sea salt (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars until mixture is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg and vanilla; mix until they are fully incorporated. Add flour mixture, and beat until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
Transfer dough into a 10 inch cast iron pan (or oven safe skillet) and press to flatten, covering bottom of pan. (OPTION: If drizzling with sweet caramel sauce to serve, consider sprinkling the top with a pinch of sea salt before baking). Bake until edges are brown and top is golden, approximately 20-25 minutes (original recipe called for 40-45 minutes which seemed way too long to me so I kept an eye on mine and found it perfect after 20-25 minutes). Do not over bake; it will continue to cook a few minutes out of the oven. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing. Serve warm, top each wedge with a scoop of ice cream and a drizzle of carmel sauce.
*If cooking on a cookie sheet, cooking time may be slight less so keep an eye on it!
Recipe from Martha Stewart Living, July 2002