Today’s post is brought you by desperation.
Desperation of a pregnant woman…in need of a cookie fix…in the middle of a kitchen renovation…without access to an oven.
This craving was very specific. It needed to be some version of a chocolate chip cookie, and it needed to taste homemade. No boxed or purchased cookies were gonna cut it this time. A full-on meltdown was moments away when I decided to try my luck at “baking” a cookie on the grill (my only source of cooking heat at the moment). I crossed my fingers and not-so-silently willed my butter to come to room temperature as quickly as possible (I even set it outside on an 80-degree day. Desperation, I tell ya).
This was AFTER I had a meltdown over our washing machine. It decided to stop working halfway through a load of laundry…which was the first of about six loads I had planned to do that day (I procrastinate with laundry as long as humanly possible). The darn thing decided to just stop filling with water halfway through the cycle. No matter what I did, it wouldn’t start up again. This led to a three-hour sobfest full of life isn’t fair’s, I hate my life’s, and a disconcerting volume of expletives. I don’t think I’ve ever cursed out an inanimate object so viciously before. My husband came home from playing golf a few hours later to find me hiding under the covers with the curtains drawn, sobbing, with a concerned dog nestled on either side of me. I was a hot mess over that damn washing machine. (The washing machine did decide to start working again hours later…which was a good thing because I was too emotionally spent to deal with the half-washed, soap-soaked clothes still sitting inside. Not sure how that would have turned out. Let’s not think about it…)
I clearly cannot keep my cool when my hormones are running rampant, as they have been these past few weeks. The hormonal ups and downs have been kind of epic lately. They didn’t really start until my third trimester a couple weeks ago, and I’m rather terrified of myself when they take over (imagine how my hubs must feel!). I collapse into a pile of sobs at the smallest thing, and find myself perpetually irritated with everything and everyone around me. For no good reason (which I fully recognize in the moment and yet cannot help). And then! Out of nowhere, I am happy again! Sounds charming, huh? Needless to say, after the washer incident, I required some serious soothing. For my sake…and all those around me.
Good thing my cookie experiment was a success! Not only did I fend off another hormonal-craving-induced tantrum, but I “baked” an incredible cookie on the grill! I felt that it was my duty to share this with you, in case you too are ever without a kitchen and in need of a chocolate fix. Or just hormonally challenged.
This particular cookie starts off with a pretty standard chocolate chip cookie batter (butter, sugar, flour, etc). I wanted to put a twist on things, though, so I added in some dried cherries and two kinds of chocolate chips. I also upped my usual vanilla quantity because…why the heck not? The resulting cookie was buttery, crumbly, speckled with vanilla, and had just the right amount of texture and differing flavors going on. Dried cherries have a wonderful chewy texture and tart tang, and they pair wonderfully with anything involving chocolate. Absolute perfection. It was a gooey, chocolatey skillet of heaven.
Oh, and because I am apparently without self control these days, I also threw on some ice cream, cherries, and additional chocolate syrup. It was a grilled cookie sundae! (Did I mention that I passed my gestational diabetes test with flying colors? Thank God. Who knows what would have happened that day if this cookie was not allowed in my life? I shudder at the thought.)
I ended the day as a very happy (albeit drained) pregnant lady…with six loads of laundry to fold and a very satisfied sweet tooth.
Good thing I now have this cookie in my repertoire. I’m going to save it for (hormonal) emergencies only.
Double Chocolate Chip & Cherry Skillet Cookie (on the grill!) (makes one 10-inch skillet cookie)
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon fine salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or bean paste
2 eggs, at room temperature
½ cup dark chocolate chips
½ cup white chocolate chips
1 cup coarsely chopped dried cherries
Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling on top (optional but highly recommended)
Vanilla ice cream
1. Preheat the grill to roughly 350°F and lightly butter a well-seasoned, 10-inch cast iron skillet.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
3. Mix the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and then gradually add the mixture to the wet ingredients.
4. Stir in both kinds of chocolate chips and dried cherries. Spread the dough evenly in the prepared skillet and sprinkle the sea salt over the top. then place the skillet on the preheated grill.
5. Close the top of the grill and “bake” for 20-30 minutes, or until the cookie is golden and cooked through in the center. I checked mine frequently starting around 10 minutes. See below for additional cooking notes.**
6. Serve the cookie warm with ice cream and other desired toppings.
**Cooking Notes: I found that it worked best to have only one of my two grill burners turned on for this. I kept the skillet over the cooler side of the grill the entire time. This ensured that the bottom didn’t burn and that the heat evenly circulated the skillet the whole time. The resulting cookie was chewy and crispy around the edges, golden brown all over the top, and slightly melty and gooey in the center. I also babysat my cookie the whole time, checking on it every 6-8 minutes or so.
You could also make this recipe in a 350°F oven. I would check it after 15-20 minutes, as the oven will likely do a better job of retaining the heat and may cook things slightly faster.
Even if this isn’t consumed in one sitting (no judgement from me if it is), once cool, this cookie is like a giant chewy blondie. It’s awesome warm or at room temperature.