Random Recipe: Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie

We work hard and play hard at work. We also eat well, with which I have a love/hate relationship. Someone on my team is an amazing chef and she keeps us well fed. A few weeks ago, a colleague brought in a plate of what I thought were chocolate chip cookies. Until I had my first bite. They brought me back to my childhood. My mom used to make congo squares. Basically they were chocolate cookie bars, dense and sweet. I loved them. I no longer have her recipe, and have tried to recreate her recipe many times. I came back a few times that day for more and more.

Last night we made them so Chris could partake. Yum.

Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie  [adapted from Martha Stewart]

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1/3 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (we used 1 1/2 cups)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, mix butter and sugars. Mix in egg and vanilla. Mix in flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir in chips. Transfer to a 10-inch cast-iron skillet; smooth top.

  2. Bake until cookie is golden brown and just set in the center, about 20 minutes. Let cool about 10 minutes.

Note: Back in January I posted a recipe for a local restaurant’s version — Ned Ludd’s Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. This Marta Stewart adaptation is so much better.

Random recipe: Five-Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookies

On Sunday we caught up on a long list of items to do around the house. I went for a run, then we snuggled on the couch to fast forward through the Oscars. We paused our DVR to do laundry, and while I usually am the baker in this house, Chris decided to make these easy peasy cookies I found in a Martha Stewart magazine. They only have five ingredients:

Five Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookies (from MarthaStewart.com)

Active Time: 10 min.
Total Time: 25 min.
Makes: 30

1 cup almond butter
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, stir together almond butter, chocolate chips, sugar, eggs, and salt until a dough forms.
2. Place 1-tablespoon mounds of dough 1-inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake cookies until puffed and tops are set, about 10 minutes.
3. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container up to 3 days.

Easy peasy right? They were actually quite good. On the gooey side, but I love that they have no flour, contain almond butter, and the only thing that is really bad for you is the 1/2 cup of brown sugar. What is not to love? Plus they only make 30 (2.5 dozen) so that means you do not have to eat through a few dozen cookies.

Easy peasy.

Random recipe: Ned Ludd’s Skillet Cookie

As a kid going out to pizza was a big deal in my house. Usually the luxury was bestowed upon us by my grandma. She treated us when we were at her house and she did not want to cook, or when we begged her for pizza. I was more a fan of thick crust pizza, but when my sister, grandma, and I were together, they usually beat my choice which meant we had Pizza King. Known for their thin crust Pizza (and locations only in Indiana), it was the default quick and easy meal, and a luxury to us kids. The pizza was fine to me (although I have craved it in the past few years) but my favorites were the breadsticks, and if I was very lucky the massive chocolate chip cookie. It was the size of an 8 or 10 inch pizza.

Since Chris loves cookies of most kinds (sans snickerdoodles and sugar cookies) I am always on the lookout for a new cookie recipe. This one was a bit different as it is one big cookie in a skillet (just like my childhood Pizza King cookie, only much thicker).



Ned Ludd’s Skillet Cookie
(Published in Portland Monthly Magazine, December 2014)

1 cup plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup 75-percent cacao dark chocolate wafers
Flake salt for finishing
10-inch cast-iron skillet

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl whisk together flour and baking soda, and set aside. In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until well combined, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg, salt, and vanilla extract, and continue beating until combined. Add flour-soda combo mix until just incorporated. Using a spatula, fold in chocolate wafers.



Flatten the dough inside a 10-inch skillet. Bake for around 30 minutes, or until the center is just set. To simulate Ned Ludd’s blackened, bitter crust, turn the broiler on and cook a minute or two longer, taking care not to burn the top completely. Remove from oven and sprinkle with flake salt. Serve with a small glass of milk, or pour milk right over the top while the cookie’s still hot and watch it sizzle.

Makes one 10-inch cookie.

It is delicious. If you like a crispy thin cookie this will not be your thing, but if you like a crispy outside and soft, almost cake-like inside this just might hit the spot. We ate it for a few days, and I have to say that warming it and pouring the milk, half and half, or heavy cream on top is a must. There is something about the cookie with the flake salt, and the cold cream mixture that makes a mouthful of flavors.

The proof is in the pudding…

Who knew? Adding vanilla pudding to chocolate chip cookies makes all the difference. Now, if you like crunchy chocolate chip cookies, then you might have a different opinion. I am a bit finicky, as I like my chocolate chip cookie to be softer. Usually I make them and only want to eat them warm on the first day. Often I will have one or two and then do not want anymore. Chris usually finishes the rest of them over the next few days. To me they only have a bit of glamour warm and straight from the oven.

my version...

my version…

Until last weekend. While at a neighbor’s house watching the Oscars, my neighbor’s girlfriend made cookies. They smelled delicious and a few of us talked about our own amazing chocolate chip cookie recipes. You know how everyone thinks their recipe is the best? His girlfriend mentioned that her recipe had vanilla pudding and toffee bits, and less white sugar. I do not want to admit to how many cookies I had that night. I was not successful at obtaining the recipe from her. I did go straight home and search the Internet and Pinterest until I found a recipe from “two peas & their pod” that looked good to me based on the ratio of butter, sugars, and flour.

This past Saturday night we had friends over, and I decided to make this new recipe. It does not list the toffee bits, but I added them anyway. These cookies are amazing. Who knew that vanilla pudding was the secret? I had one on Sunday (well maybe more than one) and they are still as good. I cannot remember the last time I had a chocolate chip cookie the day after I made them. While my waist might not be too happy about this new adventure, my mouth is ecstatic.

Note: If you decide to make these cookies, instead of using 2 cups of chocolate chips, I used 1 cup of chocolate chips and 1 cup of toffee bits. You could really use any amount, you decide.

Emotional decisions: Another cookie? New jeans?

So I just found out that yesterday was National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day. I had no idea. I did not see any details about a national day when I did my research for this blog post about Chocolate Cookies being the default cookie. On Sunday, I made the cookie recipe found on this blog post. So my heart must have known that National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day was just around the corner.

I digress. Enough about cookies. It is, however, a great introduction on an idea I just read about called: “gorging on gratification.” The idea comes from the book: “The Behavior Gap: Simple Ways to Stop Doing Dumb Things with Money” by Carl Richards. It is a great book on money and life planning. Carl is a financial planner by trade, but he talks about money in conjunction with life issues. It is a thought-provoking book since money is so intertwined with the choices we make in life. How does this pertain to chocolate chip cookies? Instant gratification. This article from The New York Times discusses Carl’s term: “gorging on gratification” and gives four ways we can delay or stop immediate gratification and keep more of your money in your bank account. I also appreciated this quote from Carl’s book on emotional decisions:

“Money decisions are emotional decisions—and making good money decisions requires emotional clarity. So try to pay attention to your emotions around money. This can be as simple as considering how you feel when you get your monthly investment statement or when a medical bill arrives in the mail. Acknowledging those feelings and being aware of their potential impact on your decisions can be important, often in ways that aren’t clear right away. I’ve found myself asking some really fundamental questions during the last several years. Who I can trust? What’s really important to me? What do I really value? How much is enough? How should I really be spending my time?” page 93

So maybe those freshly baked chocolate chip cookies are not so far from your credit card statement. Maybe self-control with cookies is not that far from self-control with money. Is it hard to control how many cookies you eat, or are they too hard to pass up? How about after you have had 5? Do they still taste as good as that first one? How about that 10th pair of jeans? Do you need them? Or are they different from the others in your closet?

Emotional clarity. Maybe that is a quality we need in all facets in our life. It is something I am definitely going to explore further!