Story and images by Karyl Henry, KarylsKulinaryKrusade.com
I never learned to cook much more than eggs and spaghetti growing up. When I moved into an apartment after college I learned a few dishes from my mom, mainly so I wouldn’t gain a ton of weight from eating out all the time.
While I didn’t cook, I did like to bake. I loved to help my mom bake cakes and bread. As a teenager I learned to make cookies and I became an expert at chocolate chip cookies and snickerdoodles. That fell by the wayside when I left for college.
I rarely order dessert at restaurants, because I’m normally too full from my meal. When I dine solo I never even look at the dessert menu, because it’s rare to find anything that’s truly a single serving. However, when I’m with others and see a skillet cookie on the menu, it’s hard to resist. The cookie is warm and gooey, and usually topped with ice cream.
I decided to try my hand at skillet cookies at home, so I could make one when the occasional craving hit. But since it’s summer in Oklahoma, and therefore a million degrees every day, I didn’t want to heat up the oven. So I decided to do a Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie…on the grill!
Yes, yes, and yes! Just like the restaurant version, this Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie is warm, chewy, and full of melty chocolate. I used a 6.5″ mini cast iron skillet, but it also works as an individual portion in the super mini 3.5″ skillet.
You know that saying “it’s like riding a bike…you never forget”? Yeah, well, that was NOT the case for me with the Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie. I had the ingredients together for the basic chocolate chip recipe, but made every error in the book. I literally made the Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie six times in three days before I got it right.
OH, THE MISTAKES I MADE!
Melted butter results in cookies that spread more, which I thought was fine because of the skillet. Well, the batter is more like cake than cookie dough, so the cookie rises and has a “cakier” texture
For a small-batch recipe, less is more with eggs. A whole egg is too much. Don’t whisk the eggs, because that adds too much air to the batter. And if you use melted butter, warm butter mixed with raw eggs equals scrambled egg.
FOLLOW THE PROCESS!
I thought I just needed to dump all the ingredients in a bowl, stir, and put it in the skillet. When I used melted butter, the batter was an ugly mess. When I broke the process into steps but didn’t cream the butter properly, it was a less ugly mess.
I didn’t realize that the dough needs to rest in the fridge before baking. I also overworked the dough the first few times. So I had lots of Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookies that didn’t look good or taste right.
COOKING TEMPERATURE AND TIME
I checked on the Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie every 10 minutes while on the grill. Every time you open the grill, the temperature drops. So if you remove the cookie at 20 minutes, it’s not cooked through in the middle and if you cook it 30 minutes, the bottom burns.
Now that we’ve covered everything I did wrong, let’s continue!
KEYS TO THE PERFECT SKILLET CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE
You need to make the dough in steps so that each ingredient incorporates properly. Because it is a small batch, I use a wooden spoon rather than a hand mixer. I also use a spatula to make sure to get everything off the edges of the bowl.
- Softened real butter works best. Let the butter soften on the counter for 45-60 minutes. It should be soft, and press easily with the back of a spoon or your finger
- Take the egg out of the fridge about 5 minutes before you need it. For this small batch, you only need the yolk
- Cream the butter well. With a spoon it takes 3 minutes of constant, vigorous stirring to get the proper consistency
- The key for the next steps is to combine each ingredient fully before moving to the next step!
- Crumble the brown sugar to remove clumps. And then combine with the granulated sugar. Mix the sugar into the butter in batches.
- Mix in the egg and vanilla.
- Combine the salt, baking soda, and flour. Gradually mix in the flour mixture in batches.
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap, and let it rest in the fridge for one hour. Remove from the fridge and let it rest for 10 minutes.
- Add chocolate chips or chunks to the dough, and fold together, evenly distributing the chips.
Heat your grill to 350 degrees. Spray a mini 6.5″ cast iron skillet with cooking spray. Add the dough, and press it out so it evenly covers the bottom of the skillet.
Add the skillet to the grill, close the cover, and leave it alone! Every time you open the grill cover, the temperature drops quickly. Check the Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie at 20 minutes. If needed, grill for another 2 minutes, and then remove from grill.
Trust me, you’ll want to dive right into the Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie. But resist…at least for a few minutes! The Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie will be scorching hot, and you don’t want to burn your mouth.
If you don’t eat the whole Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie at once, remove it from the skillet after about 15 minutes. If you leave it too long, the Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie will get hard. But really, who doesn’t eat the whole cookie at once?
Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie from KarylsKulinaryKrusade.com
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 8 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup milk chocolate chips or chunks
- Let refrigerated butter soften in a room-temperature bowl on the kitchen counter for 45-60 minutes. The butter should be soft and give to the touch, but not mushy.
- Separate the egg, and put the yolk in a small bowl. Crack the yolk with a fork, and add vanilla.
- Using a wooden spoon, cream the butter well. It will take 3 minutes of constant, vigorous mixing to get the correct consistency.
For each of the following steps, fully incorporate each ingredient before moving to the next step! Also, use a spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl.
- Crumble brown sugar in a bowl. Add in granulated sugar and combine well. Add to butter in batches, mixing well until fully combined.
- Add egg and vanilla to butter and sugar mixture. Mix well until all liquid is incorporated.
- Combine salt, baking soda, and flour. Add to dough mixture in batches, and mix well until fully combined. Use a spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl.
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap, and put it in fridge for one hour. Remove it from fridge and let it rest for 10 minutes.
- Add chocolate chips or chunks to the dough, and fold together, evenly distributing the chips throughout. Spray the skillet with cooking spray. Add the dough to the skillet, pressing it out evenly.
- Heat the grill to 350 degrees. Place the skillet on the grill, close the lid, and leave it alone! Check the skillet at 20 minutes. If needed, grill for 2 more minutes, then remove it from the heat.
- Let the skillet cookie rest for 5 minutes before eating.