Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie With Caramel and Sea Salt

Every year for his birthday, I have a friend that requests not a cake, but a giant cookie. Usually we just bake a tray full of pre-made cookie dough for him but this year I’m going to make him a deep dish chocolate chip cookie with caramel and sea salt, and bring the celebration to a whole new level. This is not your standard giant cookie, it is baked in a skillet with alternating layers of homemade chocolate chip cookie and salted caramel. The result is gooey and rich and will make any birthday cake envious. This cookie is thick and depending on how long you cook it can either have the consistency of a melty brownie or a thick slice of cake. Whatever your preference, I would recommend serving it with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. The cold and hot will compliment each other just as much as the salty and sweet.

This recipe is brought to us by the Pinch of Yum blog which is an amazing resource for delicious recipes but also food photography tips. If you love tasty food this is the place to go, but if you love beautiful food you may never leave. This blog is run by a husband and wife team and this recipe is actually inspired by a “how to make a giant cookie” video the husband made some years ago. Check it out for something to watch while your cookie bakes.

The salted caramel in this recipe is what really separates this dessert from its other giant cookie cousins. Salt has been added to desserts for centuries to compliment and enhance the sweet flavor. Salt suppressed bitter flavors letting the sweet shine through. It also makes the dish more interesting, providing more sensations for your taste buds than one-dimensional sweetness. But lets not forget the other star of this recipe, the chocolate chip cookie. Like many great inventions, this cookie was discovered by accident when Ruth Graves Wakefield ran out of cocoa powder one day in 1938 and decided to substitute baking chocolate. The chocolate chunks didn’t spread through the cookie like she expected but stayed in concentrated bursts of chocolaty goodness. The cookie was an instant hit and is still much loved to this day.

There is something extra delicious about caramel when it is combined with sea salt. Caramel is a beige to dark brown confectionery product made by heating a variety of sugars at the correct temperatures. It can be used as a flavoring in puddings and desserts, as a filling in bonbons, or as a topping for ice cream and custard. The process of caramelization consists of heating sugar slowly to around 340 degrees Fahrenheit. As the sugar heats, the molecules break down and re form into compounds with a characteristic color and flavor. A variety of candies, desserts, and confections are made with caramel such as brittles, nougats, pralines, crème brûlée, crème caramel, and caramel apples. Ice creams are sometimes flavored with or contain swirls of caramel.

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