09 April 2009

The Biggest Little Lavender Chocolate-Chip Cookie

I do lots of things fast- eating (and digesting, believe me), reading, forming indelible opinions, getting deeper into debt.

But there's plenty I do slowly, like addition (or anything involving numbers, actually), getting dressed, and yes, cooking. It's my dirty little secret, but turning out a homemade dish or two often translates into three hours in the kitchen.

It's OK, though, because it's that much easier to pound tea when I'm just a step away from the stove.

But this dessert is really, really fast, even for a kitchen sloth like me. There's no individual servings to be shaped, barely five minutes of mixing, and only a skillet to rinse out at the very end.

Oh, and it makes the entire room smell like springtime and chocolate.

The original recipe was from an ancient Martha Stewart Living (circa 2002), and I've made it for countless occasions because it's so simple, delicious and versatile- it pairs beautifully with any type of tea. Somehow, the novelty factor of baking one gigantic cookie in a cast-iron skillet still hasn't worn off.

Lavender Chocolate-Chip Cookie
Makes: 8 servings.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 teaspoons dried lavender, lightly crushed
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups (about 6 ounces) semisweet and/or dark chocolate chunks

1. Heat oven to 325°. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. In large bowl, with electric mixer, beat butter, both sugars and lavender until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg and vanilla; mix until fully incorporated. Add flour mixture and beat until just combined. Stir in chocolate chunks.

2. Transfer dough to a 10-inch iron skillet and press to flatten, covering bottom of pan. Bake until edges are brown and top is golden, 40 to 45 minutes. Don't overbake; cookie will continue to cook several minutes out of the oven.

3. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, 15 to 20 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve warm, if desired.

This was the first time I added lavender to the mix, and the combination of it with the dark chocolate was even better than I'd imagined: every softly chewy bite revealed a layered and fragrant brown-sugary richness. And if you have a piece with a cup of jasmine pearls, a Chinese green tea, the delicate floral notes of each really bloom.

Even if you're a chocolate chip cookie purist, try this version just once. And if you've never ventured beyond Chips Ahoy (I judge and pity you), you too can make this.


Anonymous said...

That cookie pie looks incredible.

Unknown said...

That is one big ccc and it looks so good!

christine! said...

I am so making this. I have never put a cast iron skillet in the oven before. It's just never come up. You really make me test my boundaries anadane!!

anna said...

That sounds incredible! I'm still on a huge lavender kick so this is really appealing to me right now. I think I need a second cast iron skillet for baking - I have one but it is mainly used for steaks and other meats and I don't really want to be making sweets in it.

Thanks for the suggestions on where to go in NY, btw. I didn't get to go to as many places as I'd like because of the crappy weather, but I'll be back soon. And I LOVED Tafu.

Unknown said...

This looks divine! I am having a Homer Simpson moment just looking at it. Mmmm ... coooookie!

Creative Classroom Core said...

That is one big cookie! It looks amazing! (and yummy!)
What a cool idea!
Thanks for sharing!

melanie said...

I am so trying this one!
Thanks :)

Kimmie said...

This looks amazing and I love your blog. I love your mix of great tea with fab treats!

Feasting on Art said...

There is just something about a giant cookie...

I love that your blog is completely tea-centric. I will be checking back often!!

Anonymous said...

Definitely going to try this out, I have been looking for a recipe that uses lavender to make for my mum and this sounds perfect because she loves chocolate too. Have you ever tried an olive oil and rosemary cake with chocolate from the book "good to the grain" this recipe reminded me of that because of the use of herbs and the fact that the rosemary cake went perfectly with a cup of darjeeling tea! love your blog.