This cast iron chocolate chip cookie recipe is simply the BEST. It has a unique ingredient that takes the cookie to the next level. Added bonus: it's simple and fast—done in just about an hour.
My family loves these cast iron chocolate chip cookie bars. There is something magical about the skillet cookie format over traditional cookies.
Is it the thickness . . .
the crisp edges . . .
the soft chewy center?
Yes, YES, and YES!
As an added bonus, they're easy to make. Simply make the dough, spread it on a cast iron skillet, then bake.
No more dolloping out cookie dough balls on various baking trays, rotating, etc.
These are so easy that my husband has taken over making them . . . just about every weekend…UGH—not waistline friendly!
I was inspired to work out this recipe while watching an episode of America’s Test Kitchen. P.S., I love that show.
On the show, they used a unique ingredient that I hadn’t seen in a cookie recipe before.
That ingredient is: brown butter. Yes, you read that right.
DON’T BE INTIMIDATED. No special cheffy skills are needed to make brown butter!
Did you know that it's simply stirring melted butter for 5-ish minutes in a heated pan? How easy is that?
The butter will turn a deep golden brown and begin to emit a glorious, nutty aroma. This flavor lends itself perfectly to this cookie.
I am not trying to oversell this. It just makes these bars better.
OK, enough about brown butter.
These skillet chocolate chip cookie bars only take about 45 minutes to prep and bake, then another 15 minutes to rest.
(Why do I keep saying "bars"? See photo below: we always cut our skillet cookies into bars. But you can do pizza-style slices, or whatever floats your boat.)
Follow the no-fail steps I outline and be ready to save this recipe: it will become a family favorite!
Ingredients for skillet chocolate chip cookies
This recipe uses staple pantry items that are readily available in most homes.
Butter, flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, vanilla, eggs, chocolate chips, nuts (optional).
Simple! I bet you could make these today, couldn’t you?
How to make cast iron chocolate chip cookie
Make the brown butter
Melt and stir butter in cast-iron skillet for 5-7 minutes. Stir constantly until you get a deep golden brown color.
IMPORTANT: Make sure you stir the butter this whole time. The milk solids separate during this process and can easily burn if not constantly moved around.
Add brown butter to chilled butter
Add the brown butter to a large bowl with the chilled butter in it.
Mix until the chilled butter is fully melted. (If you're using a stand mixer, put the chilled butter in bowl of the stand mixer in lieu of a large mixing bowl)
IMPORTANT: Chilled butter is critical. It cools down the hot brown butter. Eggs will be added in the next step: if you add them to hot butter, you get scrambled eggs. YUCK!
Add the eggs, sugars, salt and vanilla to the butter mixture
Mix the eggs, sugars, salt and vanilla thoroughly and vigorously in the butter mixture for 30 seconds and let it rest for a full 3 minutes. Then repeat this mix-and-rest process two more times.
IMPORTANT: Wait the full 3 minutes after each of the three vigorous 30 second mixing stages. This rest period allows the sugars to fully dissolve and become creamy. This eliminates any concerns that your bars will be “gritty” from undissolved sugar.
Add the flour and baking soda
Mix the flour and baking soda into the sugar butter mixture. Stir until no more flour pockets are remaining.
Add the chocolate chips (and nuts if desired)
Mix in the chocolate chips (and nuts, if you're adding them) until evenly distributed throughout the cookie dough.
Press cookie dough into cast iron skillet and bake
Add the cookie dough to the skillet and press to an even thickness throughout. I find that the underside of a spatula works perfectly for this. Then, put skillet into a 375º F oven for about 20 minutes until golden-brown. Rest, then serve.
Be sure to watch my video to see the complete process in action!
Other ingredient ideas
Rather than using chocolate chips, you can get creative and use other ingredients.
For example, adding a ¼ cup of peanut butter to the sugar butter mixture gives you a Reese's peanut butter cup-type flavor.
Mixing butterscotch chips with chocolate hits another flavor profile that tastes great.
Our family favorite has to be substituting M&Ms for the chocolate chips. Very colorful and tastes awesome.
It’s hard to go wrong here. Simply cut the chocolate chip bars into reasonable sizes, then sit back and watch your guests (or kids) enjoy them.
Other creative ideas include:
- Adding ice cream or whipped cream.
- Drizzling warm hot fudge and/or caramel over the top.
- Adding frosting or icing.
As if these aren't rich enough already, but...YUM
Can you freeze chocolate chip cookie dough?
Cookie dough is good for up to 2 days in the fridge, but you can freeze it for up to 3 months.
Simply wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and place it into a freezer bag.
We do this all the time: we now make triple batches of this recipe and freeze what we don’t use.
That's it! This is a great recipe to make on the weekend. Get the kids involved!
I hope this cast iron chocolate chip cookie are a big hit with your family.
Stay safe. Stay well.
P.S. Need more ideas for using your cast-iron skillet? Try my Steak Mushroom Onion Skillet, Sausage and Cabbage Skillet with Fennel, Sausage and Cabbage Skillet with Fennel, or One-Skillet Mustard-Herb-Crusted Roast Pork Tenderloin!
- 12 tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1 tbsp portions (divided)
- ¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 3 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp table salt
- 1 large egg (white and yolk)
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 ¾ cup all purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (see Recipe Note #1)
- ½ cup chopped nuts (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375º F with rack placed in the center of the oven.
- IN A SMALL MIXING BOWL: Add sugars, vanilla extract, salt, whole egg and extra yolk. You do not need to mix.
- IN A MEDIUM MIXING BOWL: add flour and baking soda. Stir to mix thoroughly.
- IN A LARGE MIXING BOWL: add 3 tbsp of the chilled butter; place bowl in refrigerator.
- Heat a 12" cast-iron skillet to medium; melt remaining 9 tbsp of chilled butter.
- Stir butter constantly for 5–7 minutes, until a deep golden-brown color develops (see Recipe Note #2).
- Remove immediately from the heat and pour into the large bowl of butter (after removing from the refrigerator; see Recipe Note #3). Continue stirring until the butter is completely melted.
- Add the SMALL bowl (sugars, vanilla, whole egg & yolk); stir to incorporate, then whisk vigorously for 30 seconds. Rest for 3 full minutes.
- Whisk vigorously again for 30 seconds; rest another 3 full minutes.
- Repeat step 9 (see Recipe Note #4).
- Add the contents of the MEDIUM bowl (flour & baking soda). Stir until well incorporated and no unmixed flour is visible, about 1 minute. Do not overmix.
- Add chocolate chips and nuts (if using); mix until combined, about 30 seconds.
- Wipe the skillet with a paper towel to remove any remaining butter (the skillet will have residual heat and that's fine); pour cookie dough into skillet.
- Using a spatula or other flat-bottomed utensil, press the dough around the skillet to a uniform thickness, making sure that the dough reaches all edges of the skillet.
- Place skillet in preheated oven; bake 18–22 minutes until golden-brown.
- Remove and let rest in the skillet for a minimum of 15 minutes.
- One of our favorite substitutions in original M&Ms.
- The milk solids in the butter will separate during this process: you want them browned, but not burned (in which case it will look like you have tiny flecks of pepper in your butter).
- The chilled butter and bowl cools the hot butter down so that we don’t partially cook the eggs (added in the next step).
- The rest time allows the sugars to break down and dissolve. You will notice once completed, the mixture will be much smoother and silky. (You don’t want gritty bars do you?)
- WORK AHEAD: measure out the dry ingredients in advance and put them into their respective bowls. Cover with plastic or foil until you're ready to make the cookies!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 328Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 59mgSodium: 335mgCarbohydrates: 53gFiber: 2gSugar: 33gProtein: 6g
Nutrition data provided here is only an estimate: if you are tracking this information for medical purposes, please consult a trusted external source. Thanks!