Do you know why I originally made this unique and holiday-appropriate skillet cookie last year? Because I had half a bag of fresh cranberries left over from something and I didn’t want to waste them. That’s it, that’s the whole reason. Fascinating!
And that, my dear friends, is why I rarely write about food on my food blog. I love cooking and baking. I love compiling, curating, perfecting, and sharing recipes. But my what-should-I-cook-today decision-making process is either 1) I had something perishable to use up and didn’t want to waste it; or 2) oh, that sounds good! I cannot vomit up five paragraphs from that. Not that you’d read it even if I could.
I just don’t have profound reasons for cooking the way I do. I’m cheap, and I like what I like. That’s it. I have no dietary restrictions. I didn’t have an exotic or interesting childhood. I am not an immigrant or expat experiencing culture shock. I suppose I am a US transplant, but unlike other (lovely!) transplant food bloggers I have never been all that homesick. I haven’t traveled any more than anyone else. I don’t take romantic walks through crunchy autumn leaves with my soul mate. No one in my house is a picky eater, and my grandmother actually wasn’t a good cook. I got a nasty stomach virus on my one collegiate overseas trip and didn’t eat much for those ten days, and that’s why I cannot reminisce about Venetian pizza or Austrian pastries. No catastrophic life event made me realize I love roast chicken, and banana bread didn’t save my marriage.
So I stick to the well-trodden rule: write what you know. Thanks to my education in policy and law, my Senate staff and political campaign work experience, and my lived experience growing up in the Religious Right, I know about politics and culture. (And occasionally I just have strong but arbitrary opinions about random things.) Whether we admit it or not, most couples and families are talking politics around the dinner table anyways, so I figure it has a place on one little food blog. If it offends anyone’s delicate sensibilities that much, I kindly offer a “Jump to Recipe” button.
This cookie though. Like I said, I searched my recipe database for some baked good to use up my half bag of fresh cranberries, and this is where I landed with little more than a shrug. I hoped it would be tasty, but when Mr. Wallace and I got *thisclose* to just eating the entire cookie and nothing else for dinner that night, I got the message of how superlative it really is. The burst of juicy cranberries against rich dark chocolate, underscored by that heartiness of earthy whole wheat flour and a background note of sesame is quite the surprising – but delicious – mashup. It’s a stellar recipe that deserves a space here.
Tahini and Cranberry Whole Wheat Skillet Cookie
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature, plus more for greasing pan
- ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup tahini
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup dark chocolate morsels/chunks
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- Flaky sea salt, for garnish
- Preheat your oven to 350 F. Grease a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with butter or cooking spray.
- Add butter, both sugars, and tahini to your stand mixer bowl and fit with a paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl, then beat in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. With mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture, beating until combined. Shut off the mixer and fold the chocolate and cranberries into the dough gently but thoroughly with a spatula. Spread the dough in the prepared skillet.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle with sea salt. Let cool slightly, or cool to room temperature. You can serve it in warm scoops with ice cream, or sliced in neat wedges or chunks after it cools to room temperature.