Cast iron has been around for centuries. Today, Lodge Cast Iron is the sole remaining cast iron manufacturer in the United States. Located in the hills of Tennessee, the company produces a variety of cast iron cookware including their most popular item – the cast iron skillet.
Special care should be taken to preserve your cast iron so you have it forever. Today’s pans come pre-seasoned, but it you have an older pan that needs seasoning, just read up on the seasoning tips in my Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article on cast iron cooking.
Remember to re-season your pan after every use, even if you purchased it pre-seasoned. Wash your pan out and dry it. Then put a thin layer of neutral oil inside the pan (use grapeseed oil or vegetable oil) using a paper towel to create a thin film. You’re ready to create your next cast iron cooking dish!
Here is one of my new favorite cast iron pan recipes.
Is it a cookie or a cake? You decide. I just know that it is absolutely delicious. Serve the dish warm (let it rest for a few minutes before cutting) with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Cast Iron Chocolate Chip Cookie with Sea Salt Caramel
Makes one 9-inch cookie
This recipe is a combination cake and giant cookie. Two types of chocolate chips provide various concentrations of chocolate. Use a coarse sea salt for the caramel sauce and final garnish. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream
- 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) plus 1 teaspoon softened unsalted butter, divided
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 large eggs
- 2 1/2 cup flour plus 2 tablespoons, divided
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chunks such as Nestle brand (approximately ¼-inch square pieces)
- ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup caramel pieces (Use Kraft Bits which are unwrapped small pieces of caramel or unwrapped caramel pieces)
- 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-inch cast iron skillet with the 1 teaspoon of softened unsalted butter. Set aside.
In a mixer fitted with a flat paddle, combine the remaining room temperature unsalted butter, white sugar, brown sugar and maple syrup on medium speed. Add the vanilla extract then the eggs, one at a time.
In a bowl, combine 2 ½ cups flour, baking soda and regular salt. On medium-low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter/egg mixture. With mixer on low, add the chocolate pieces and chips.
In a small pan, place the caramel pieces and the heavy cream. Put on low heat and slowly melt to combine, stirring often. You can also melt the caramel pieces with the cream in a microwave, checking every 30 seconds and stirring until melted.
Dip your fingertips in the remaining 2 tablespoons flour. Press half of the dough into the cast iron pan using your floured fingertips. Drizzle the melted caramel on the dough. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon coarse sea salt.
Divide the remaining dough into thirds. Press each piece between you lightly floured hands to form 5-inch by 1/3-inch disks. Place the disks on top of the dough in the cast iron pan. Using floured fingertips, press the dough disks to completely cover the bottom layer of dough and caramel sauce. Making the dough into flat disks helps spread out the remaining dough on top of the caramel.
Place the cast iron skillet on the center rack of the preheated oven. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when placed in the center of the cookie. Be careful not to over bake . The cookie will firm up as it cools.
Remove from oven and sprinkle with the remaining ½ teaspoon coarse salt. Let rest for 30 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.