I’d like to report that my efforts to live a healthier lifestyle (i.e., smarter diet and more exercise) are already showing some results. I hate to speak too soon, but I’ve managed to achieve 15% of my weight loss goal, and I’m generally feeling more energized. Last weekend I even managed to jog 17 miles in two days. Like some of you, it drives me insane when people talk about healthy eating and weight loss, so I promise not to update you too often. However, I thought given the fact that I’m posting an uberly delicious dessert today, it was important to note my progress.
I wanted to make today’s recipe for two reasons. First, as I mentioned last week, I started an unofficial series here on IBC called Cookbook Cooking. I’m finally putting my dozens of cookbooks to use and actually making recipes from them. (Crazy idea! Actually USING cookbooks. Groundbreaking!) Secondly, I wanted to use this recipe as an introduction to a new, and very official series here on IBC.
For the past two years, I’ve challenged myself to conquer a cooking or baking skill. Year one, I tackled yeast and made a variety of homemade breads – A Year of Yeast. Last year was all about perfecting my pie making skills – A Year of Pie. I struggled on the topic for this year, but this morning it hit me in the face like a frying pan. Literally. I’ve decided that this will be A Year of the Skillet.
Not long ago my brother gave me a cast iron skillet for Christmas. It’s my first skillet of this type. Ever since I got it, I’ve been so excited to try different recipes, acquire different-sized skillets, figure out how to take care of them, etc. Since I’m new to cast iron skillet cooking, I thought I’d take you on the journey with me. Even though I’m starting out with a sweet recipe, I think this series will give me lots of opportunities to also experiment with more savory dishes – another thing I lack experience in.
I’m super excited about this new series and hope you are, too.
For today’s recipe, I’m pulling inspiration from Joy the Baker’s Homemade Decadence. This is Joy’s second cookbook that’s all about the sweet treats in life. I’ve been a huge fan of Joy and her blog for quite some time. I even got to work with her a while back to help paint her office! I think she’s so smart, talented, beautiful, and a master in the kitchen. Plus, her way with words makes me feel like I’m her BFF when I read her blog.
I was inspired by her recipe for Under-Baked Chocolate Chip Skillet Cake and thought I would give it a try. It’s a little treat to celebrate the success of my new healthy lifestyle, a lesson in Cookbook Cooking, and an introduction to my newest series all rolled into one. How’s that for multitasking!?
I obviously gave my version – Skillet Cookie Cake some IBC flair. Instead of just chocolate chips, I used Valentine’s Day M&Ms for festive color. I also love the combination of peanut butter and chocolate so I mixed in peanut butter chips and peanut butter-filled chocolate chips. Yes, they do exist and are delish!
I love this recipe because you can mix in whatever cookie additions you love the most. It’s also a really fun and unique way to serve a cookie. PLUS, you can even add a big scoop of vanilla ice cream, and it makes total sense.
Thanks again to Joy for the recipe; here’s my interpretation.
Here's what you will need:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk chocolate M&Ms*
1/2 cup peanut butter chips*
1/2 cup peanut butter-filled chocolate chips*
Ice cream (optional, but highly recommended)
*You can use whatever chips, nuts, etc. that you like. I recommend about 1 1/2 cups total. I also sprinkled a few on top of the cookie before baking so I could easily tell what was inside the cookie.
Begin by placing an oven rack in the upper third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10-inch ovenproof skillet.
Then, in a medium-size bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer using the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 - 4 minutes. Reduce the speed to low; then add the egg, followed by the egg yolk and vanilla. Beat well. Add the flour mixture and beat on low until just combined.
Using a spatula, fold in the chocolate chips until just combined. Add the batter to the prepared pan and smooth out the top. Add a few more of your chips to the top of the batter, if desired.
Bake until the cookie is lightly browned on the outside, but still slightly under-cooked in the center. This will take about 20 - 22 minutes. Allow the cookie to cool for 10 - 15 minutes before serving.
Slice up and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Not too challenging, right? The resulting skillet cookie cake is soft and slightly underdone on the inside, but crisp and firm on the outside. I also love that this yummy treat can be whipped together quickly with things that most of us keep in our pantries and fridges. Whether your sweet tooth is calling or you just need a classically delicious dessert, this can be your go-to dish.