Celebrate National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day with a Skillet Recipe, Free Cookies

Lori Lamothe


It's official: August 4 is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day. I can't say I need an excuse to make cookies—or eat them—but hey, why not? There are few things that bring me back to childhood like chocolate chip cookies. My grandmother always had some ready when I visited and my mom used to send them to school in my lunch box, though they usually ended up in the hands of the kid who sat next to me.

In keeping with my recent cast-iron kick, I made one giant chocolate chip cookie in a skillet. The result was warm, gooey and more like a pie or a bar than a cookie. Best of all, it only baked for about 15 minutes--so it took less than 45 minutes from start to finish.

If you make your own giant cookie at home, serve it warm with vanilla ice cream. And if you want to go fancy, cut the cookie like a pie and plate each slice on white china with a chocolate-syrup design.

Don't have time to bake? Score these free cookie deals from Insomnia Cookies and others. From Thursday through Sunday, Insomnia Cookies is offering a free chocolate chunk, vegan chocolate chunk or gluten-free vegan chocolate chip cookie with any in-store purchase or delivery order from any of its 220-plus locations nationwide.  

A quick history of the chocolate chip cookie

There are lots of stories that make it sound like the chocolate chip cookie was a happy accident. While the happy part is spot on, the "accident" part probably never happened. Ruth Wakefield created the cookie for the Toll House Inn, the restaurant she ran in Whitman, Massachusetts in the 1930s. She served the dessert warm with ice cream.

According to Sugar.org:

While there are numerous apocryphal stories about the cookie recipe’s origins, from chocolate accidentally falling into cookie batter to a rushed last-minute replacement ingredient miracle, the truth is a bit more practical. "
Ruth Wakefield was no amateur baker running out of ingredients. In fact, she had a degree in household arts and built Toll House’s reputation for outstanding desserts. The iconic chocolate chip cookie was likely the result of diligent testing and recipe development."

Ruth Wakefield(Nestle.com)

There is one aspect of the cookie's origin story that is undisputed, however. Ruth did add the chips intentionally but she expected them to melt. Nestle has this to say about it:

"Instead, the semi-sweet bits held their shape and softened to a delicate creamy texture and the chocolate chip cookie was born."

Ruth's recipe for the crispy cookie filled with chocolate chunks first appeared as the "Toll House Crunch Cookie" in a Boston newspaper. She later republished it in her 1938 cookbook Tried and True. The dessert became so popular that Betty Crocker's famous radio program featured it and a year later Nestle acquired the rights to the recipe, as well as the "Toll House" name, for $1.

If you want to make the OG recipe, which still appears on the back of Nestle's chocolate chip packages, you can find it at Allrecipes.com.

(Pam Menegakis/Unsplash)

I prefer my cookies on the softer side, so I always take them out of the oven before they're fully done and let them bake on the cookie sheet another couple of minutes. I also use butter flavored Crisco, or half butter/half Crisco, for fluffier cookies. Check out Food.com's Crisco-based recipe here.

Want to change things up? Try Taste of Home's 29 variations, including air-fryer chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, sugar-free chocolate chip cookies, cinnamon white and dark chocolate cookies and more.

For a bigger, softer, more decadent variation, you can bake this recipe from The Southern Skillet Cookbook:

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie


1 cup butter, softened.

1/2 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons hot water

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 cups flour

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat a 12-inch skillet in the oven while making the batter. (You can also use a 10-inch skillet, just up your bake time to approximately 18-20 minutes. Martha Stewart's recipe for a 10-inch skillet is also very good.)

2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars. Add the eggs one at a time, being sure to combine thoroughly before proceeding. Stir in the vanilla.

3. Dissolve the baking soda in the hot water and add to the batter along with the salt. Stir in the flour and chocolate chips.

4. Remove the skillet from the oven and put the batter in it, smoothing the top with a spatula.

5. Put the skillet in the oven and cook until golden, about 15 minutes. Serve with ice cream.

Variations: Mix in 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts, pecans or almonds when adding the flour and chocolate chips.



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Writer, assistant professor, former baker. I cover cold cases, history, recipes, and culture. If you have a story idea you'd like me to investigate, you can email me at lorilamothe29@gmail.com.


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