Fireside Skillet Cookie
Kena Peay’s cast-iron skillet recipe is crisp on the edges, gooey and chocolatey in the center, and a little bit of a stunt with marshmallows and pretzels on top
Are you camping in a low-bandwidth area? Before you hit the road, download or print this recipe so you’ll have it on hand.
A cast-iron skillet cookie appeals to both kinds of cookie lovers: The edges directly touching the skillet char and caramelize for those who prefer their cookies crisp, while the center remains perfectly molten and melty, for those who like their cookies just this side of baked. This skillet cookie recipe takes full advantage of the pleasures of a gooey center, featuring three kinds of chocolate chips and peanut butter for ultimate fireside ooze (you’ll want to eat this with a spoon).
The dough itself can be made ahead of time (measure out the peanut butter, pretzels, and marshmallows in plastic bags and bring those separately); at the campsite, take the dough out of the cooler and bring to room temperature a few hours before you’re ready for dessert. Just make sure to commit to the process, as it’ll also call for adding embers to the top of the skillet lid (or to the top of another skillet you’ve placed on top), in order for the cookie to fully cook through.
“You’re going to be cooking this over direct fire, so now is not the time to walk away, get distracted, or slide into your crush’s DMs,” Kena Peay says. “Stay focused. We don’t want our skillet cookie to burn or start a forest fire.” Most of all, know this is not the time for baking perfectionism: The cookie might burn at the bottom, or remain super gooey in the middle, but embrace those imperfections — they’re delicious either way.
Fireside Skillet Cookie Recipe
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 sticks salted butter, softened to room temperature
¾ cup melanin sugar (aka dark brown sugar)
½ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup milk chocolate chips
½ cup dark chocolate chips
½ cup peanut butter (creamy is best, but use what you got)
½ cup pretzels (I’m a fan of Rold Gold)
½ cup mini marshmallows
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugars until they are well combined. You can do it, put your back into it. Add eggs in one at a time. Add vanilla.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, and mix until it’s well combined. Add the chocolate chips. Here, you can take the dough and keep it in the refrigerator or cooler for up to two days. If you’re going this route, take the dough out a few hours before you intend to bake it at the campsite, to allow it to come to room temperature.
Now you’re ready to bake! Spread half the dough into the pan, and add peanut butter to the center of the smoothed-out dough. Add the remaining dough on top of the peanut butter and spread out evenly. You could also just mix in the peanut butter into the dough if you prefer, but I’m trying to help you live your best life so follow directions and add it to the center. YOLO.
Arrange pretzels and marshmallows on top of the cookie dough like you’re Picasso.
Once your campfire is burning low with no flame, transfer the skillet to the campfire. You will need to cover your skillet either with a cast-iron lid or a flipped-over second skillet to help create heat inside so that your cookie will bake evenly. This next step is very important, like paying your taxes on time: Using a heat-proof or fire-safe glove or spatula, carefully place the fire embers from the campfire on top of the cast-iron lid to help the cookie bake evenly and completely with no raw areas in the dough.
Cook over fire for about 15 minutes (but this is fire, so no guarantees), rotating the pan midway through and rearranging the embers on top to help the cookie cook evenly. Remember, no wandering off. You have one job, watch that cookie!
Once the top of the cookie is golden brown and the edges look cooked through, you gucci. (You can also check for doneness by placing a toothpick in the center of the cookie — you want it to be a little gooey.) Using a spatula or a stick, brush the embers off the top, and from around the handle if you’re using a skillet, then carefully remove from the campfire. Add ice cream; dairy-free if you’re lactose-intolerant and talented.