Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal Skillet Cookie
I’ve been wanting to make a skillet cookie for oh, about 3 years, and finally did it.
And boy, did I do it. This goes down as one of the best cookies I’ve ever made.
It’s definitely the biggest cookie I’ve ever made. Ten and one-quarter inches in diameter and about 2 inches thick. But bigger doesn’t always mean better when it comes to taste.
I’ve made cookies from various cookbooks that were big but they didn’t wow me. Fine but nothing earth-shattering. The skillet cookie, however, knocked my socks off.
I couldn’t decide if I wanted to break in my Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 10-1/4-Inch Skillet with a chocolate chip cookie, a peanut butter cookie, or an oatmeal cookie. I love all three and when each is done perfectly in their own right, they each have respective selling points that can’t be beat.
If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, you can bake this cookie in an oven-safe skillet or in a 9-by-9-inch square baking pan. Don’t use a 9-inch round cake pan because it will likely be too small and the bottom of your oven may be wearing cookie dough.
Since I couldn’t decide which type of cookie to make, I made a 3-in-1-cookie. Necessity is the mother of invention.
The bulk of the cookie dough is largely that of an oatmeal cookie, with all its texture-filled chewy glory. I made the dough by hand, using melted butter, and stirred in the brown sugar, flour, and oats. I didn’t use any granulated sugar because exclusively using brown sugar keeps cookies softer, which is what I wanted. I also wanted to avoid dirtying my mixer and I succeeded.
After mixing up the oatmeal cookie dough and pressing just shy of three-quarters of it into the base of the skillet, I mixed up the Elixir of the Gods, also known as one can of sweetened condensed milk and one half cup of creamy peanut butter that are stirred together. I poured the glistening, tan, creamy sauce over the oatmeal dough.
I normally don’t do pour shots because frankly it’s challenging to steady a 5 pound camera and lens setup in one hand and pour with the other, while not missing the action, and obtaining an image that’s remotely in focus. Evidently though I became inspired in the presence of cookie dough, sweetened condensed milk, and peanut butter. I was tempted to save a little and pour it into my coffee but didn’t. Next time.
After the tan flood, I turned the oatmeal-peanut butter cookie into a chocolate chip cookie by adding one cup of semi-sweet morsels on top of the floodwaters.
Then, I took the reserved portion of the dough, a little over one-cup’s worth, and dropped it by the tablespoon over the top of the chocolate chip-laced flood. While baking, the oatmeal dough meshes with the creamy mixture, and forms a smooth wall, which was especially satisfying to puncture with my fork, knowing the sweet creaminess that awaited beneath.
If you like chewy edges, this cookie has your name on it. It has 32.185 inches of them to be exact.
Circumference = Pi x Diameter
32.185″ = 3.14 x 10.25″
Determining the amount of chewy cookie edge is the only redeeming value of 9th grade math class. Math finally clicked for me. It just took cookies and twenty years time later.
After eating my way around the cookie, I ate my way right into the middle, which is my panacea. The soft, warm, squishy, gooey, happy place that my dreams are made of. Scott can have all the crispy edge he wants, but give me the barely done, super gooey, melty, middle.
While baking, the peanut butter and the sweetened condensed milk mixture thickens slightly and the creaminess of the sweetened condensed milk is intensified, and it takes on a caramel-cream quality. Combined with the slightly salty nature of the peanut butter, the soupy mixture is a creamy, caramely, hot wonderful mess. And of course, warm and melted chocolate chips make everything that’s good just that much better.
Both texturally-speaking and from a flavor perspective, I couldn’t ask for more. My three favorite kinds of cookies in one, complete with chewiness, density, and creaminess. Dense walls of oatmeal cookie hunks, a smooth peanut butter and milky caramel center, and the satisfying quality of melted chocolate woven throughout each bite of this jumbo cookie pie makes it a new favorite.
Although it was best hot and fresh from the oven, the leftovers weren’t too shabby. What we didn’t eat immediately, I slid out of the skillet onto a cutting board (and the whole thing released like a charm) and I chopped it into two-inch bar-sized pieces, and stored them in an airtight container, which we happily nibbled on over the next few days. Scott had me warm up his leftovers in the microwave and add ice cream. Somebody had their thinking cap on.
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned whole rolled oats (not quick cook or instant)
one 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
ice cream, optional
Preheat oven to 350F, spray oven-safe skillet with cooking spray (mine is a Le Creuset enameled cast iron and I sprayed liberally with Pam for Baking and it released like a charm; if skillet is well-seasoned cast iron, you may wish to butter or grease it slightly; set skillet aside. Alternatively, cookie may be baked in a 9-by-9 inch square baking pan that has been lined with foil or sprayed with cooking spray; do not use a 9-inch circular pie dish because it will be too shallow.
In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power (you may microwave butter to a browned-butter state, which makes this cookie especially delicious, by cooking butter for about 3 to 4 minutes; watch it closely so it doesn't burn. See browning butter in the microwave tips.
To the melted butter, add sugar, egg, vanilla, and whisk or stir vigorously to combine, for about 1 minute, slightly fluffing up the batter. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, and stir until just incorporated. Add the oats and stir to combine. Pour slightly less than three-quarters of the dough into the skillet, reserving about 1 1/4 cups (just eyeball it) to be crumbled on at the end; set skillet and large mixing bowl with reserved dough aside.
In a small bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter and stir until smooth. Pour mixture over the dough in the skillet. Evenly sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top. Drop tablespoon-sized chunks of the reserved dough into the skillet, dispersing then as uniformly as possible over the surface, which forms the crumble topping.
Bake for about 25 minutes, or until edges begin to barely crisp up and most of the top surface of the cookie has set. The center may not be completely set; this is okay because cookie will continue to cook in the skillet after it's been pulled from the oven, noting that there is a fairly significant carryover cooking effect with cast iron; so don't overbake in the oven because cookie is meant to be very gooey. Cookie may be served immediately; optionally serve it with ice cream. Cookie is best eaten fresh from the oven but due to its size, extra cookie may be sliced and stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, reheating gently in the microwave before serving leftovers if desired.
Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies – Similar in flavor to the skillet cookie, uses melted butter so no mixer is required, and one of my top 3 favorite cookies on my site, tied with the cookies below
Peanut Butter Oatmeal White Chocolate Chip Cookies – Probably favorite cookie on my site and it can be made with semi-sweet chocolate if you’re not into white chocolate. More than any other cookie recipe on my site, people write saying they loved these
Coconut Peanut Butter Magic Cake Bars – These bars use the ‘flood’ technique like I did with the skillet cookie. A can of sweetened condensed milk and peanut butter is mixed and poured over a cake crust, and it’s all topped with white and dark chocolate chips and coconut. My favorite dessert bar on my site, tied with this one, which also use a flooding technique
Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookies with Peanut Butter Cups & M&M’s – Baked in a whoopie pie pan, they turned out like little mini pies, with overhanging rimmed edges that are especially chewy and dense
Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups and Ice Cream – These cookies were baked in muffin tins and then topped with ice cream
Do you have a large oven-safe skillet, cast iron or otherwise? What do you bake in it?
Please link up your favorite recipes using a skillet, from egg frittata to cornbread to cookies.
Do you have a favorite cookie recipe that is just, The Best?
Whether chocolate chip, peanut butter, molasses, sugar, or a family recipe that turns out perfectly every time and is always a hit, I’d love to hear about it. We all have that one cookie that whenever we make them, people always want the recipe. I love those kinds of tried and true cookie recipes.
Links welcome and appreciated. Have a great week!