When it came time to pick the first recipe for the blog, I thought it was only fair to let Kirsten go first. I've had her the longest, and warm, comforting pioneer food seemed like a good idea for a cold, rainy Labor Day. Since we were also having people over for a cook out, it seemed like a good idea to find something that would make enough for a lot of people.
We went through a few cookbooks but couldn't find anything that really caught our interest.
Although there were definitely some promising recipes for later!
So we decided to turn to the internet and see if there was anything there that appealed to us. After some searching on Tumblr, we came across this recipe for a one pan chocolate chip skillet cookie, posted by Good Mood Foods and decided we might have found a winner. It reminded me of a dessert I used to love at an old favorite restaurant which has since gone out of business, so I was definitely excited to give it a shot.
Especially since they suggest serving it with ice cream on top!
Now, this is by no means an authentic 1850's recipe - the chocolate chip cookie wasn't invented until 1930, when it was created by accident by a woman in Massachusetts. But that doesn't mean that there's no connection to Kirsten! In her time, pioneers moving west would often use recipes like this because they weren't too complicated to make, and because they didn't require an oven or too many pots and pans to cook - which meant less clean up! And it also was good for people who didn't have too many belongings with them, either because they couldn't afford them, or because they had to abandon some of their unnecessary keepsakes and tools along the trail to make the wagon easier for the oxen to pull on the long journey to their new home.
It took about fifteen or twenty minutes to make the dough in the pan. Here are some work in progress pictures:
One thing I'm always surprised about is how much two sticks of butter is once it's all melted! This is definitely not a low calorie recipe, but it sure smelled good while it was baking. You'll also notice we don't own an authentic looking cast iron skillet, so at this point, I'm pretty loosely interpreting how Kirsten would have made this dish. Cakes and breads prepared like this were cooked in the ashes of fires, or in pans heated up over the fire, not in stoves!
Here's what it looked like right after we took it out of the oven:
Be careful when you pull it out, that handle is really hot after being in the oven.
It took about 25 minutes to cook in our oven and pan, and it was incredibly gooey in the middle. This definitely wasn't a bad thing! After it cooled down, we sliced it up like a pie and dug in. And it was a big hit! It had the best features of a chocolate chip cookie and cookie dough, was very sweet and just warm enough, and it went great with the vanilla ice cream we had in the freezer. The one thing we had a hard time with was figuring out how we would store it - my mom eventually just wrapped it up and put it in the refrigerator.
Total prep time was about an hour, but it was devoured in about five minutes!
Over all, I would definitely recommend this recipe. It wasn't too hard to make, and it was very popular with my taste testers, who have all announced they want it to be added to the regular party rotation. No complaints from me! Next cook out we have, it'll definitely be on the menu.