Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie Bars
1 10-inch (25cm) skillet
Adapted from Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie GreenspanI baked my bars in a 10-inch (25cm) iron skillet. The heavy skillet encourages more caramelization around the edges, giving these bars a darker crust than other types of pans. If you don’t have a cast-iron skillet, Dorie notes they can be baked in a regular cake pan, although the baking time will be about 10 minutes less, so keep an eye on them. Like most variations on chocolate chip cookies, it’s better to err on the side of underbaking than overbaking.I used milk chocolate, like Dorie advised, but yes, you could use chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips. I also swapped out the sweetened coconut with unsweetened coconut, since I prefer the flavor. It’s available at natural food stores and online. If you can only get sweetened coconut, or you prefer to use that, feel free to do so.The original recipe called for diced dried apricots which I swapped out with dried cranberries, making them more holiday-friendly if you’re so inclined. You can use another favorite fruit, cut into bite-sized pieces, in place of the cranberries.
3/4 cup (90g) dried cranberries
12 tablespoons (6 ounces, 170g) unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons (120g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (90g) packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (210g) flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups (170g) sweetened or unsweetened coconut
1 3/4 cups (10 ounces, 285g) coarsely chopped milk chocolate, (or chocolate chips)
1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF (160ºC). Butter a 10-inch cast-iron skillet.
2. Pour very hot water over the cranberries, enough to cover them, and set them aside to plump.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium speed with the granulated and brown sugar, and salt, for 3 minutes, scraping down the side of the bowl as necessary. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda.
4. Add the egg to the butter mixture and continue to mix. Add the yolk and keep mixing, stopping the mixer to scrape down the sides to make sure the eggs are incorporated. Mix in the vanilla extract.
Drain the cranberries, squeeze them dry and blot away up any excess moisture with a paper towel.
5. On low speed, or by hand, mix in the flour mixture until it’s mostly incorporated. Stir in the coconut, chopped chocolate and dried cranberries until completely combined. Scrape the cookie batter into the prepared pan and even it out. (Using a clean, damp hand is the best tool for doing this.)
6. Bake the skillet cookie for about 45 to 50 minutes, until they are golden brown across the top and the center feels just-slightly set. (The original instructions said to bake them for about an hour, so they may take that amount of time. The variance likely depends on the thickness and material of the pan.)
7. Remove from the oven and run a knife around the edge of the cookie, then let cool completely before slicing.

Serving and Storage: The cookies can be sliced into bars in the pan (and you’ll have lots of little ends to snack on!), or the giant ‘cookie’ can be removed from the pan and sliced into bars, which you may wish to do if you are concerned about scratching your pan. The bars will keep for 3 or 4 days in an airtight container at room temperature. They can be frozen for up to two months.

Notes

Dorie notes that the dough can be baked as cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. She uses a medium (1 1/2 tablespoon-sized) cookie scoop and bakes them in a 350ºF/180ºC oven until the edges are golden brown, about 13 to 14 minutes.

My preference is to use a “dark” milk chocolate. Milk chocolate can have as little as 10% cocoa solids in the U.S. (30% in Europe), so I recommend using one that’s listed as having at least 30% cocoa solids for best results.