Cookie cakes are a big meh for me usually. One time my co-worker had this incredibly detailed dream, and part of it was that I got married at work (like seriously, back in the open-office plan desks) and there was a cookie cake.
And I was like, “Well, that’s how you should have known it wasn’t real! I hate cookie cakes!”
I don’t know what possessed me to try this deep-dish cookie pie originally. I was home for Thanksgiving, and Thanksgiving is a whirlwind of giant family meals, needing to feed 15 people, 25 people, 35 people. Lots of dishes. Loading and unloading things from the car. Figuring out what gaps there are in the list of food everyone’s bringing. So I vaguely remember needing to throw together a dessert last-minute, so it needed to be simple, a crowd-pleaser, and ready to walk out the door in under an hour.
The result was WAAAAAYYYYY too sweet for me, but I could see the seeds of something good and easy in there, so I shelved it until I could play around with ingredients a little. Now, three or four batches later, I love the result.
By decreasing the sugar significantly, substituting some whole wheat flour, adding peanut butter and dark chocolate chips instead of just semi-sweet, and throwing a sprinkle of sea salt, the resulting skillet cookie is sweet but not cloying, a little denser, and offers infinitely more complex flavors (also healthier, but that wasn’t the main point). If an achingly sweet version sounds good to you, don’t fear—the original is linked at the bottom of this post. But this version is much more up my alley, and has been pronounced AMAZING by some of the dudes in my life, so it’s still a major crowd-pleaser.
Preheat your oven to 350 F. I put a super thin coating of oil or butter on my cast iron pan because it has seasoning issues, but you may not need to.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened butter with both sugars on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy. I am often too lazy to pull my stand mixer out for cookies, so I just use a wooden spoon and a lot of elbow grease (the 2 or 3 minutes does still apply though).
Add the egg and vanilla and beat on medium for about a minute, then add all of the whole wheat and 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour, plus the baking soda and salt. Stir together, then add the rest of the flour a little at a time, until the dough is the right consistency.
You may not need all of the flour, it will depend a little on how dry the air is, so go slowly. One time I made this exact recipe and used all the flour, and one time because the air had basically no humidity, I only used a sprinkle of the last 1/2 cup.
Add the chocolate and peanut butter chips and fold them into the dough by hand.
Spread the dough in the cast iron pan with your fingers, making sure it gets to the edges…if anything, it should be a little thicker on the edges and thinner in the middle for even cooking. Throw a little sprinkle of coarse sea salt on top. Trust me, this is an important step.
Bake for 25-35 minutes—mine takes about 27 exactly. The edges of your giant cookie should be golden-brown.
Let it cool for 20 minutes (if you have that much willpower!) and slice like a pie to serve. If you’re feeding a big group, you can cut it into smaller pieces, more like cookie bars.
Enjoy with a big glass of milk!
Giant Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour (depending on humidity in the air you may need a little more or less, so go easy)
- Scant 1/2 cup of white whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt, plus a little more for sprinkling
- 3/4 cup of butter, softened
- 1/3 cup of white or organic cane sugar
- 2/3 cup of packed brown sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla extract
- 10 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used a mixture of semi-sweet, dark, & peanut butter)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. You may not need to grease your cast iron pan since it’s seasoned, but you can also give it a light layer of coconut oil or butter if you feel like it needs it (mine keeps coming unseasoned, so it does).
In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened butter with both sugars on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy (or use a lot of elbow grease and do it yourself with a wooden spoon). Add the egg and vanilla and beat on medium for about a minute.
Add 1/2 cup of whole wheat and 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour, plus the baking soda and salt and combine. Then add the rest of the flour a little at a time, until the dough is the right consistency. You may not need all of the flour, it will depend a little on how dry the air is, so go slowly. Add the chocolate and peanut butter chips and fold them into the dough by hand, scraping the bottom and side of the bowl to make sure all the ingredients are mixed.
Spread the dough into your cast iron pan, using your fingers to push it to the edges. Sprinkle some sea salt on top (trust me, this makes it so much better!). Bake at 350 F for 25-35 minutes (mine takes about 27) or until the edges of your giant cookie are golden-brown. Cool for 20 minutes and slice like a pie, or cut more like cookie bars if you’re feeding a big crowd.
Original recipe here