The Giant Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie

They say that most of us will marry people like our parents, but I always thought I’d be the exception to that rule. I love my dad, but I wasn’t sure I’d want to marry him. Then I met Sean.

My dad, Ray, loves to vacuum. He’s a sucker for potty jokes and has zero self control when it comes to eating desserts. He gets goofy at family functions and he loves kids, especially babies. After decades of working as a surgeon, he recently retired and now spends his days consulting, editing, and volunteering. Most mornings, he can be found listening to music on high volume, cleaning my parents’ house, finishing long to do lists, and drinking black-as-night coffee from a french press.

My husband, Sean, loves to vacuum. He quotes Family Guy daily and folds laundry with a meticulousness I’ve rarely seen anywhere else. He prefers his clothes to be hung in color-coded order. He has little self control when it comes to eating any kinds of sweets. He’s epically efficient when it comes to cleaning the kitchen after I cook, which he does almost every night. He’s goofy and weird, and we spent a lot of time dancing around our apartment in our sweatpants. Sean is never happier than when he’s listening to live music. He’s a cardiac ICU nurse. Most mornings, he can be found reading the news, drinking black-as-night coffee from a french press.

If you visit my parents in Seattle and my mom asks you to get a pan from the back pantry, you’ll probably find something hidden inside that pan – usually a box of JoJos, or maybe a bag of sweet candy. If she wants to keep desserts around the house for more than two days, she says she has to hide them from my dad.

If you visit my kitchen in Boston, you won’t find sweet things at all… because we probably already ate them. You will find the torn edges of wrappers hidden under our pillows and tucked into trash cans, though, clandestine evidence of Sean’s sweet tooth.

When they say we’ll marry people like our parents… maybe they’re right. So in honor of my no-restraint, chocolate-loving father and husband, here’s the best cookie recipe I know. Make it for a crowd, or make it for yourself – either way, I dare you to keep it around the house for more than a week.

The Giant Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie

Servings: 12 slices, which comes out to the equivalent of about 24 normal-sized cookies. Adapted from Pinch of Yum!
  • 17 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5 cups semisweet chocolate chunks or chips
  • optional fillings: nutella, sea salt, caramel, peanut butter cups

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until smooth. Then add the vanilla, maple syrup and eggs. Mix again. Finally, add all the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, and salt) and mix until a smooth dough forms. Stir in the chocolate chips or chunks by hand.

Line a cast iron skillet (9 inches or larger is best) with parchment paper or foil. Dump half of the dough mixture into the pan, pressing it evenly to within 1/2 inch of the edges. If you’ve decided to add a filling, spread the filling over the first half of the dough — nutella is our favorite filling, but caramel is also great. If you’re adding either, warm them up a bit to make spreading easier (usually packaged caramels need a bit of heavy cream to thin them out, too). After you add a filling, dump the second half of the cookie dough on top and spread evenly.

Bake for 25-40 minutes, then test the giant cookie by sticking a knife in the middle. This thing is molten and delicious when it’s under-baked (25-30 minutes), but if you want it to taste more cake-y, go with 35-40 minutes. Sprinkle the giant cookie with sea salt to finish, then remove it from the skillet and allow it to rest on a rack for 30 minutes (otherwise, it’ll fall apart when you try to cut it into slices). This cookie is to die for with vanilla ice cream on top. ENJOY!

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