Cookie

{Sorry, no TWD today.  Sharon from Simply Southern selected Bourbon Bread Pudding, and though I’ve tried, I’m just not a bread pudding fan.  Sharon will share the recipe on her blog today, and you can visit the TWD site if you’d like to read the other bakers’ posts.}

This is a bit of an embarrassing story, but I’m going to tell you anyway because it’s relevant and the memory kept popping into my head as I baked this recipe.  When I was younger, I was a competitive gymnast, and I trained pretty seriously from an early age up until I graduated from high school.  There were a few short periods I decided I needed a “break” though, and during one of those breaks, I was a cheerleader for several of my high school’s sports teams.  One of those sports was wrestling, which at the time was a big deal as our team was in the midst of an unprecedented streak of consecutive State Championship titles (haha, it’s even on Wikipedia!).  Although we cheered as a team, each girl was also assigned to a specific wrestler.  I can’t specifically remember why we did it, but from time to time we’d bake and decorate giant cookies for “our” wrestler and present them to him after the match.  I wasn’t much of a baker at the time so I shudder to think about the cookies I made, but the guys loved them, and I guess that’s all that matters.  I wish teenage me had thought to take pictures of those cookies to share with future me and all of you!  I love random memories like that which spring up after having never crossed my mind for so many years.

Cookie

My friend Jeannette suggested baking this recipe together via Twitter last week and I was instantly on board.  The thing I find least enjoyable about making cookies is having to scoop and bake sheet after sheet after sheet of cookies; it requires patience and I don’t always have a lot.  I love that this recipe eliminates all of that.  I halved the recipe (though I’ve included the full recipe below) and wound up with just enough dough to bake in two 6.5-inch cast iron skillets.  I used mini chocolate chips and reduced the baking time for my cookies to about 25 minutes.  A scoop of vanilla ice cream and a little chocolate sauce were the perfect finishing touches.  The cookies were golden and crisp around the outside edges, while the inside was rich, chewy and packed with chocolate.  Without a doubt the texture was best warm from the oven, but I found that 15 seconds in the microwave for day old cookies nearly replicated that fresh-from-the-oven appeal.  I think this cookie would be a great sweet treat to end a home-cooked Valentine’s Day meal if you’re going that route like we are :)

Cookie

Skillet-Baked Chocolate Chip Cookie
from Martha Stewart

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks, 12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (about 9 oz) semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.  Add the egg and vanilla extract, mixing until well incorporated.  With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture and beat just until combined.  Finally, add the chocolate chips and mix to distribute.

Transfer the dough to a 10-inch ovenproof (cast-iron works well!) skillet, and press to flatten in an even layer on the bottom of the pan.  Bake until the edges of the cookie are brown and the top is golden, about 40-45 minutes.  Don’t overbake; it will continue to cook a few minutes out of the oven. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly before serving.