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There are really no words that can describe the ecstasy of a GIANT COOKIE BAKED IN CAST IRON! What more can you possibly say?
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease the cooking surface of a cast iron skillet with shortening, including the sides.
In the large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, and salt.
In the medium bowl, mix together the wet ingredients: butter, sugar, and brown sugar. This can be done by hand if the butter is soft; you may need to soften the butter in the microwave oven for 15 seconds on high. After the sugar and butter are mixed (creamed) together, add egg and vanilla. Stir them all together until thoroughly blended.
Pour the wet ingredients into the large bowl and mix them together with the dry ingredients. (This is why the large bowl is needed for the dry ingredients.) Keep stirring until it becomes a thick, clay-like batter. (If it seems too dry, don't add more liquid. Just put your stirring utensil aside and knead the dough with your hands. This will give it the right consistency.)
Pour in the chocolate chips and mix it all together.
Empty your batter into the cast iron skillet. Using a large spoon or spatula (or by pressing it down with your hands), spread it all out over the pan.
Let a young child nibble at some of the cookie dough. This is important.
Place the pan in your oven and bake for 50 minutes at 325 degrees F (176 degrees C).
(The amazing part is the way the cookie rises! It's actually more like a cookie cake than a regular cookie.)
After 50 minutes, remove the hot cast iron pan from the oven and let it rest for at least five to ten minutes, in order for the cookie to settle.
Serve. Be careful not to burn yourself – the chocolate will still be hot and gooey.
If you want a big, soft, yummy peanut butter cookie, add 8 ounces (1 cup) creamy peanut butter to the cookie dough mix, and mix it all together. You can also add 6 ounces of roasted peanuts to the dough, though this isn't absolutely necessary. Or, omit the chocolate chips completely and add 12 ounces (or more) of roasted peanuts.
February 22, 2014: For Valentine's Day last week, my workplace held a bake sale fundraiser to benefit a local senior citizens' home. I'd planned on contributing a bunch of baked cookies to the sale. However, on Tuesday, February 11th, my boss sent me out on a grueling road trip that ended up lasting over a week. I missed Valentine's Day completely, and didn't return home until Wednesday, February 19th. Never mind the holiday; that was my business. However, I'd stocked up on ingredients for cookies, and they had to be used. Therefore, my neighbors are going to luck out and get to feast upon this. This is a double batch of cookie dough, mixed in with two bags of M&M's (one bag milk chocolate, one bag peanut candies), and laid out on a 14-inch Lodge cast iron pizza pan. Into the oven it goes! Imgur picture gallery: Giant M&M Cookie in a Cast Iron Pizza Pan