Chocolate Chunk Deep Dish Skillet Cookie

I first got the idea for this cookie the other night when I knew I wanted to bake but couldn’t decide what. I thought, maybe chocolate chip cookies, but I didn’t really want to make chocolate chip cookies… We’ve all been there, right?

resize-1

While I toyed around with making my go-to, tried-and-true choco chip cookie recipe (my husband’s favorite) I realized I didn’t have chocolate chips. Plus, my beautiful, new cast iron skillet we got for our wedding was calling my name. I’ve made cookie cakes before so figured an extra large cookie in a skillet would be doable. I wanted to use a specific type of chocolate and only had a limited amount of sugar, so I tinkered until the dough tasted like heaven. (Yes, I do eat raw cookie dough, judge me as you will.) I also decided to photograph the whole process so it took about 5 times longer to make said cookie than it normally would have. (Side note: People – bloggers, photographers, creatives – who do these things for a living do not get enough credit. It really does take SO LONG to get the styling right and the lighting just so, and what if you spill sugar all over the counter and subsequently on the floor (asking for a friend), and then there is all of the clean-up after your done said styling and photographing and cooking…)

But I digress.

img_7893

Back to this cookie. It’s got that amazing soft, chewy, still-doughy-like quality of those cookie cakes I’ve always loved. It puffs up, turns golden brown, and the chocolate melts just the right amount but still holds up. Sean did say that he thought it could use even MORE chocolate, so I think next time I’ll use an entire bar instead of the 3/4 of a bar that I mixed in this time. I used a Lindt CLASSIC RECIPE Milk Chocolate bar  (because, duh.) I’m probably biased but it really is the best chocolate, especially if you are looking for a chocolate chip alternative.

img_7896

img_7897

This skillet cookie was, in short, incredible. It could easily feed 8 people with decent-sized slices, but that didn’t stop Sean and me from polishing it off in a matter of 3 days…

So what if you’d rather not use milk chocolate? Gotcha covered – I’ve already got a few other variations of this recipe in my head, just by switching out the chocolate you use. Like, how amazing would a dark chocolate sea salt cookie skillet be? Or a truffle cookie skillet?? The possibilities are endless. For even more decadence, maybe melt some extra chocolate, drizzle it over individual cookie pieces and serve it warm and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Boom, fancy dessert done. Now excuse me while I go plan a whole dinner party around this cookie.

img_7953

Chocolate Chunk Deep Dish Skillet Cookie

Serves: 8 (or 2 over the course of 3 days…)

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
  • ½ cup white granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 and 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (3.5oz) bar Lindt CLASSIC RECIPE Milk Chocolate, chopped into large chunks

How-To:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9-inch cast iron skillet.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and both sugars until combined and fluffy.
  3. Add in the egg and vanilla extract. Mix on low speed until combined.
  4. Slowly add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Gently stir in the chocolate chunks until evenly distributed throughout the dough.
  6. Place cookie dough into the cast iron skillet and spread around with clean, damp hands into an even layer. (Note: This dough is a little sticky.)
  7. Add extra chocolate chunks on top and gently press them into dough.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
  9. Cool completely before slicing.

What chocolate combination would your ideal skillet cookie have?

For when you need a Pick-Me-Up…

Sometimes life gets away from us.  One minute things are completely calm and the next, you feel like you are spiraling out of control.  Nothing seems right, your heart hurts, and your stress level is sending your tear ducts into overdrive.

When my life gets like this, I usually turn to tried-and-true “me things” to make myself feel better.  Working out is one of them, dancing is another, baking rounds out the trifecta.

I’ve been feeling pretty down the past couple of days and today wasn’t any better.  So I broke out the list.  I got up early and got in a (very sweaty) workout at the gym and I have 2 hours of dance later tonight so the one thing missing from my “pick-me-up” list was baking…and only one thing came to mind.

Cookies have always been a comfort food of mine.  I’ve made these and these and even these but the recipe today is one that Stephen and I have used over and over again and we’re never disappointed.  We have the recipe printed out and we’ve used it so many times, it’s got molasses and dough smears all over it.  That’s how you know it’s a good recipe.  I wasn’t a huge fan of ginger snaps until he and I made them together – now, they are one of my favorites too.

He's bad for my cookie addiction.

Ginger snaps are one of those cookies that you probably always have the ingredients for in the house.  They have a deep, warm flavor and a melt-in-your-mouth texture… one of those “can’t have just one” type of cookies.  And they are easy to make.  It’s especially fun to take extra flour and put it all over your special someone’s face – they’ll really enjoy that, I promise.  These are perfect to give as a gift or to show that special someone how much you love them.  Or you can just come over now and have one while they are still hot… seriously… It’s worth it.

The offer to come over is still good...

Our Favorite Ginger Snaps
Courtesy of AllRecipes.com

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 TB ground ginger
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup shortening
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup dark molasses
Cinnamon-sugar (for coating)

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2.  Sift flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon and salt into a large bowl.  Stir to blend.

3.  Place shortening in a mixing bowl and mix until smooth.  Slowly add the white sugar while the machine is on.  Beat in the egg and then the molasses until it is all combined.

4.  In batches, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet until a soft dough forms.

5.  Pinch off small pieces of dough and roll into 1-inch balls.  Coat the dough balls in the cinnamon-sugar mixture and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.

6.  Bake in preheated oven until the tops are rounded, about 10 minutes.  Let cool or invite that someone special over while the cookies are still hot!

Winning, Losing, Sickness, School

My team lost, it was a rough game and that’s that.  There will be no more talk of Super Bowl 2012.

Let’s talk about things that are happy or stressful.  Anything but football.  Since I’ve been away from the blog for a little while, I think this is a perfect time for an update.

School… is stressful.  I thought last semester was hard.  My fall courses were a cake walk compared to what I’m dealing with now.  One of the worst feelings in the world is when one of your professors shoots down every single idea you have for your projects.  When May 4th rolls around, you can find me doing cartwheels outside of 640 Commonwealth Avenue because after this semester, it’s smooth sailing (and flying if you’re referring to London!)

My new apartment… is amazing.  My roommates are great, it’s super convenient and I love being a 5 minute walk to the gym. 

Running… has not really been happening.  See “my health.”  I’m also still looking for a race to run this month but since Sundays are now dedicated to dance, my options have been limited.  Help!! I plan on getting back into a routine this week so hopefully that new 5K PR is in the near future.

Dance… is wonderful, albeit a huge time consumer.  Not in a bad way, just in a I-wish-I-had-more-time way.  I had to drop a night of DanceWorks Boston to free up some time for school things which was awful, but the 5 routines I’m in are going to be great.  And cardio is never a bad thing.  Last weekend, DWB even got to travel to New York City to perform in a show there.  It was a blast and dancing in NYC is always a dream come true.  That’s the “winning” aspect of this post. 

The dance I choreographed... "Hello World"

And sometimes in NYC, I put my leg in the air.

Can you find me?

My health… has been CRAP.  I got sick last Friday (of course the day I was going to NYC) and have been sick ever since.  And when I say sick, I mean it.  Gastroenteritis, norovirus.. whatever you want to call it, infultrated my body last Sunday and well, I’ll spare you the gorey details.  I managed to lose 8 pounds in 1 night if that’s any indication.  Then once that was all out of my system (literally), I caught a head cold and have been dealing with that ever since.  Good job, immune system, thanks for your hard work.

Cooking… also hasn’t really happened this week.  Between NYC and getting a sickness that didn’t make food appealing for most of the week,  I wasn’t really in the mood to cook.  I did make some delicious guilt-free piggies in a blanket and an amazing trifle for a certain football game we aren’t talking about and they were both a hit so we’ll count that as a good cooking for the week.   I want to use my crockpot at some point in the upcoming week so stay tuned!

Aren't these the cutest munchies ever? And guilt free!

Well, that’s pretty much it for now.  Next on the agenda?  Surviving this week.

Tell Me!  How has your week been?  Have you managed to avoid getting the stomach flu?  What upcoming races are you running?  What was the best thing you cooked this week?

Oh, PS – Anyone want a yummy trifle recipe?

Oreo and Brownie Trifle
Adapted from Baking Away

Mmm.. trifle...

Ingredients:
1 9×13 inch pan of fudgy brownies
2 small boxes of fat free, sugar free chocolate pudding mix
4 cups of skim milk
8 ounce container Cool Whip Free
12 ounces regular Cool Whip
18 Oreos

Make brownies and set aside to cool completely.  Mix milk with pudding powder and let chill for 30 minutes.  Then, gently fold in the 8 ounces of Cool Whip Free until there are no streaks.  Chop the oreos and set aside.

To assemble:  Lay half of the brownies in a trifle bowl followed by half of the pudding.  Sprinkle half the oreos over the pudding layer and top with half of the regular Cool Whip.  Repeat layers.  If desired, garnish the top with crushed and/or whole oreos or dark chocolate shavings.  Chill until ready to serve. 

Delicious AND beautiful!

Cranberry & Walnut Biscotti

When asked what my favorite cookie of all time is, I go through a list in my head: anise cookies, gingerbread, chocolate chip, peanut butter blossoms, nutella.  I could probably name 50 more that would fall into the “Best Cookie” category.  But this close to Christmas, my favorite switches from the every day cookie to one that has a special place in my heart.

The perfect cookie!

My recipe for Cranberry and Walnut Biscotti came about few years ago when I wanted to fill a cookie jar  to use as a centerpiece.  These biscotti are light and crunchy and won’t weigh you down after a big meal.  Inspired by a Food Network chef, they have become a holiday staple for my family and a frequent gift for friends.

Marie’s Cranberry & Walnut Biscotti

2 cups all-purpose flour
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup margarine, room temperature (I use Brummel ‘n Brown spread)
1 teaspoon lemon zest OR 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
2 eggs
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
2/3 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk together flour and baking powder in a medium size bowl.  In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, combine margarine, sugar and lemon zest (or juice) until blended.  Add eggs one at a time and beat until just incorporated.

In batches, add flour mixture until blended (make sure it’s incorporated but be careful not to over mix.)  Stir in walnuts and cranberries.

Empty the dough onto the baking sheet.  Wet your hands (the dough will be sticky) and form dough into a 12-inch by 3-inch log.  Bake 40 minutes in preheated oven until golden brown.  Let sit out of the oven for 20 minutes or until cool enough to handle.

When the log is cool enough to touch, slice 1/2 inch diagonals using a sharp knife.  (A serrated knife is best.)  Arrange on same baking sheet cut side down and bake for another 15 minutes.  Let cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Serve with coffee, tea or a big glass of milk to dunk them in!

These keep really well so give ’em as gifts for the holidays.  It just may become the new favorite cookie in your life!

Halloween in full swing

Like I said in my last life update, Halloween is one of my favorite holidays.  I got my first real kiss on Halloween (I was 15), I’ve dressed up as everything from a cowgirl to a pirate, the pink Power Ranger to a Hocus Pocus witch (Mary Sanderson complete with a floor length black and red cape), and living in the town next to Salem, Massachusetts definitely has its perks in October.  Besides Christmas, Halloween is the best day of the year.

On Friday night, a few of my BU friends ventured to Lynn to the first time to eat, drink and carve pumpkins.

Yes, it is okay to be a full time graduate student, drink yummy beverages and cut faces in pumpkins.

No judging.

My pumpkin... and why yes, it does look like a 5-year-old carved this. Thanks for noticing.

I made nachos with homemade guacamole, pizza and Hungry Girl pumpkin cupcakes with my own buttercream and a candy corn garnish.  It was the casual, college kid version of a Torto dinner party.

Notice my friend Matt wearing my Harrod's apron...

My friend, Sandy’s pumpkin:

She went to art school. Doesn't count.

Saturday brought one of the laziest days I have had in while.  I relaxed most of the day with a brand new 21-year-old and watched Halloween movies (Double Double Toil & Trouble is one of the ultimate classics.)

On Saturday night, DanceWorks Boston hosted a huge Halloween party at Au Tua Nua in Boston.  My good friend and fellow DWB-er, Devlyn, and I headed to our friend Dana’s to have some wine and get ready for the party.  For my cat costume, I wore a black, high collared lace-covered dress, black heels, white lace hand gloves, a jingle heart necklace (in place of a bell), cat ears and of course, my bright yellow contacts.  I coated my eyes with liquid eyeliner and smoky black make-up.  It was pretty cool.  Almost everyone noticed, most people freaked a little.  Loved it.

Cat. 'Nuff said.

I kept my beverage intake to a minimum knowing I would have to wake up somewhat early and do my best on my third 5K: the Witch City 5K in Salem (race report on another day!)

Sunday morning’s alarm came WAY too quickly.  And as usual, I woke up to the alarm and said “WHY DID I SIGN UP FOR THIS RACE?”  I told you I’m not super positive in the morning.  I got up, got dressed, stretched, had my pre-race toast with peanut butter, slugged some water and woke up BF who picked me up from the party on Saturday night and crashed on the couch at my house.

And sometimes he brings me pretty flowers for no reason.... I'll keep him.

The race, overall, went just okay.  Running with a friend is definitely better but my stomach was not feeling it.  It was also the coldest race I’ve done to date.  But the scenery was lovely and I finished it.  A little slower than normal, but ya “win” some, ya lose some.

Salem. Done.

Sunday also brought about some fun research.  Enough said for now.

On the baking front, I made pumpkin snickerdoodles yesterday.  I brought them to work today and everyone loves them.  They taste like pumpkin pie filling and I could’ve eaten all of the batter myself.  And I think if I neglect to post the recipe, I’ll be beaten with something.  Enjoy!

Pumpkin 'Doodles

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
Adapted from pagespak.com

1/2 cup softened Brummel ‘n Brown margarine spread
3/4 cup Splenda/Brown Sugar mix (trust me on this one..)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground giner
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 2 baking sheets liberally with nonstick spray.

2) In the bowl of a stand mixer (this can also be done with a hand mixer), cream together margarine and brown sugar until smooth.  Beat in egg and vanilla and then the pumpkin.

3) In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, ginger and pumpkin pie spice. 

4) In batches, add the dry ingredients to the wet until fully incorporated.

5) Drop tablespoons of batter onto prepared baking sheets.  Bake 18 minutes until set, slightly puffed but not browned.

Happy Fall!

And the winner is…..

Thank you to everyone who entered my giveaway!!  I was so excited to see everyone’s comments and some of your favorite foods sound amazing.  Using a random generator, I have selected a winner!  (I would post the picture of the True Number Generator that I used but I’m embarrassed to say I can’t figure out how.  Do you know?  Shoot me a comment or an e-mail and help me!)

aubreylaine | September 7, 2011 at 2:37 pm | ReplyEdit
Fave food is anything with artichoke hearts :)

CONGRATS AUBREY!

I will be sending you an e-mail at some point today and we can discuss your care package!

Everyone else, thank you again for all of your support and love over the past year.  I plan to make the second year of this little blog even better!

Peace.Love.Chocolate&Wine.

1st Blogiversary & 1st Giveaway!

Happy 1st Blogiversary Chocolate & Wine!

Is it rude to wish yourself a Happy Blogiversary?  Maybe… sorry about that.

One year ago today, I was sitting at my desk at work, searching the Internet for something to make for dinner when I decided to start this blog.  At first, it was to document recipes and photos of the food I make.  From there, it spiraled into a cornucopia of food, fitness and fun.  And I thank all of you for helping it (and me) get to where it is now.  I am more than grateful for how much support I have gotten for this blog over the last year.

For my 1st Blogiversary, I also want to do my first ever giveaway!

I love giveaways.  I follow lots of blogs that are lucky enough (and popular enough) to have companies sponsor them and send them gifts to give away to their readers.  I may not be at that point just yet (it’s coming though… any day now!), I still want to host a giveaway all my own.

So what will be included in this fabulous giveaway?  Some of my favorite things that I’m sure you will enjoy!

1) My favorite pastime.  Baking is one of my favorite things to do so I want to bake for YOU! (You see how I even made up that little rhyme? I’m good like that.)  The winner will have a choice of peanut butter blossom cookies, sugar cookies or multi-chip cookies that I will send to them.

2) My favorite peanut butter.  If you haven’t tried Better ‘n Peanut Butter, this is your chance to get a whole jar for yourself.  Warning: If you like said PB and eat the whole jar, I am not responsible. (Note: Allergic to nuts? Enter anyway and we’ll figure out an alternative together!)

3) A Favorite Book.  Let Me Eat Cake by Leslie F. Miller.  A must-read for food lovers!

4) My Favorite Chocolate.  I mean, it’s only fitting to include this.  It’ll be a surprise to the winner which chocolate I choose.

5) My Favorite Wine….Glass.  Apparently it’s frowned upon by the law to mail actual wine.  However, you will receive a pretty cool wine glass that you can pour your own wine in.  And I’ll tell you what my favorite wine is so you can go find it!

There will also be a few surprises in there that I’ll keep secret for the winner.

Who Can Enter?  Anybody!  As long as you enjoy fun, free gifts, I’d love for you to win!

PLEASE REMEMBER to include an e-mail address that you check on a regular basis in all of your comments!  It would be shame to not be able to contact the person who wins!

Ways to Win:

1) Mandatory Entry: Leave a comment telling me what your all-time favorite food and/or pastime is!

Extra Entries:

1) Follow me on Twitter (@ChocoAndWine) and tweet “I want to win @ChocoAndWine ‘s 1st Blogiversary Giveaway!” Then leave a separate comment telling me you did.

2) “Like” my page on Facebook and write me a separate comment telling me you did.

3) Sign up for Chocolate & Wine e-mails using the link on the sidebar “CRAVING MORE CHOCOLATE AND WINE?”.  Leave a separate comment telling me you did!

Good luck to everyone!  Entries can be submitted until Sunday, September 11th, 11:59pm EST. I will select the winner using a random generator and will announce who won on Monday, September 12th!