In our household, the only thing better than a batch of chocolate chip cookies is a single, giant skillet cookie. Not only is the scale of it enough to impress my kids, but a cast iron skillet lets you achieve the perfect combination of crispy edges and gooey center. It’s faster to make, too, since you don't have to roll the dough into balls.

Everyone in my family likes the combination of chocolate, tart cherries, and pecans, but you can experiment and add whatever you (or your kids) like to the dough, including milk chocolate or white chocolate chips, dried cranberries or apricots, walnuts, toasted coconut, or some crushed pretzels or cornflakes.

Jessica Battilana is the author of Repertoire: All the Recipes You Need, as well as the San Francisco Chronicle column of the same name.

recipe

Chocolate, Pecan & Cherry Skillet Cookie

Yield: One 12-inch cookie; 12 to 6 servings

Photo: Lauren V. Allen

Ingredients

2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pan
⅔ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt or ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon baking powder
8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup pecan halves, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped
3 ounces tart dried cherries, coarsely chopped
Flaky salt, for sprinkling on top (optional)

Instructions

1.

Preheat the oven to 375°F and grease a No.10 (11 ⅝"skillet with butter. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl with a handheld mixer), combine the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Beat at high speed until light and creamy, about 4 minutes, scraping down the side of the bowl as needed. Reduce the speed to low, add the egg and vanilla, and mix until combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Slowly add to the butter and mix until just combined. Add the chocolate, pecans and cherries and stir to incorporate.

2.

Turn the dough out into the prepared pan, cover with a sheet of parchment paper and, using your fingers, press the dough into the pan in an even layer. Remove the sheet of parchment and sprinkle the top of the cookie with flaky salt, if using.

3.

Transfer to the oven and bake until dark golden brown, about 35 minutes. Let the cookie cool on a wire rack for at least one hour before cutting into wedges and serving.

Photo: Lauren V Allen