One of the best things about food blogging is when your friends and family members recognize and further feed your love of cooking and eating. We often feel that love when fellow food lovers share recipe and restaurant ideas with us.
Sometimes we’re blessed to receive an extra special gift such as a special cookbook that we can use to find, make and share more food love here for all of you to enjoy. Our very kind and thoughtful friend Martha recently gifted us Rebecca Firth’s “The Cookie Book,” a collection of out-of-this-world recipes for most every kind of cookie you’d ever want to experience.
Selecting the first recipe to make from the cookie book was a surprisingly easy choice! Each year, my wife Molly has a tradition of enjoying a chocolate chip cookie cake for her early-January birthday. We usually buy the cake at a local store. Not this time! Thanks to Martha, and a pantry we try to keep as stocked for baking as possible, we had all the tools we needed to make our own cookie cake in a Lodge cast-iron skillet. And that’s exactly what we did.
We chose to make a few modifications to the original recipe, due to ingredients we keep on hand and prefer, and we’ve noted those changes below. We also discovered a few caveats of the recipe, which we’ve also shared below. This skillet cookie cake turned out even better—thicker, sweeter and more flavorful—than the version we usually rely on a store to bake. We’re not sure we’ll ever purchase one again if we can help it!
Skillet Cookie Cake recipe
What You Need
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 ¼ cups light brown sugar, packed
2/3 cup oil (you can use your preferred type)
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 large egg yolk, room temperature
2 tablespoons milk, room temperature
1 tablespoon real vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
3-4 cups mix-ins (semi-sweet, dark chocolate, white chocolate chips, etc.)
NOTE: We made a few modifications and suggestions here that vary from Rebecca Firth’s original recipe in her “The Cookie Book.” She uses 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour and 1 ½ cups bread flour. We never buy or use bread flour. She also uses caramel, chocolate and pretzels. We opted for our traditional just-chocolate mix-ins, but we used a combination of semi-sweet, dark chocolate and white chocolate chips, as we noted above. And Rebecca suggests sunflower seed or another neutral oil. We used vegetable oil, which we usually use in most baking recipes that call for an oil. Sometimes we use olive oil, which is our go-to choice for savory cooking.
What You Do:
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and be sure your rack is placed in the top third of the oven, at least 6 inches from the heat source.
2. Butter a 10-inch cast-iron skillet. (You need extra butter beyond what goes into the cookie.)
3. Melt your stick of butter. You can either do this in a saucepan over medium heat, then cranking up the burner to medium high to produce small golden bits settling on the bottom of the pan and smelling nutty and caramel-y. Or you can go simpler and just melt the butter on the burner or in the microwave. #FoodieScore Pro Tip: We like to cut the butter into tablespoon thicknesses so it melts more quickly. After it’s heated, pour the butter into a bowl to cool slightly.
4. Once the butter is cool, stir in the brown sugar, oil, granulated sugar, eggs, egg yolk, milk and vanilla, and mix until well blended.
5. In another medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
6. Add the dry flour mixture to the wet butter mixture, stirring until barely combined and you still see a few streaks of flour.
7. Add in your mix-ins, i.e. your chocolate pieces, and stir until everything is combined and evenly distributed.
8. Spoon the dough into the skillet, patting it down to smooth bumps and lumps. It might be quite thick! Ours was!
9. Rebecca Firth suggests baking the cookie for 22 minutes then waiting 45 minutes for it to cool and set before cutting and serving. We found that we needed double that cooking time, close to 45 minutes in the oven, then an hour or more cooling to have a skillet cookie cake ready to cut and maintain its shape. Your oven might vary, so watch for this the first time you make it. Our modifications from the original recipe might have also impacted this!
10. Finally, Firth suggests you serve the skillet cookie with vanilla ice cream. We didn’t do that with this first test of the recipe, but I can almost guarantee we will the second time around. Any way you slice it, we hope you enjoy!