I’ll never say no to a chocolate chip cookie of any kind, but there’s something supremely indulgent about a warm, super-sized version topped with a scoop of ice cream that several people can eat at once. As someone who enforced a “no slicing the cake” policy for one of my pre-COVID birthdays (I strongly encouraged, aka peer pressured, everyone to dig into the cake with their own respective utensils), this kind of freeform, communal, and slightly haphazard eating experience brings me great joy.
All of which is to say that while I learned embarrassingly late in life what a pizookie was — “a cookie baked in a large circle like a pizza” popularized by the chain BJ’s — I immediately recognized and its appeal. I’ve personally never been fond of the large, frosting-covered, cookie-shaped cakes à la Mrs. Fields, but a chocolatey, scoopable cookie fresh from the oven? That I can get behind. Whether you call it a pizookie, cookie cake, or something else entirely, the payoff is pretty great for the level of effort required to make it. And if you need any convincing, let this espresso chocolate chunk cookie cake (inspired by my friend Stephanie Loo’s skillet cookie) do the talking.
Think of this easy recipe as a edgier, caffeine-spiked version of your classic chocolate chip cookie. Brown a stick of butter until it smells nutty and toasty, then whisk in brown sugar, granulated sugar, and a tablespoon of instant espresso powder. Mix in an egg and a splash of vanilla extract, then add the dry ingredients. Chop up a bar of good-quality dark chocolate (chunks over chips, forever and always) and a generous handful of chocolate-covered espresso beans (they’re easier to find than you may think) and fold those in to finish. Spread the dough into a cake pan and voilà, have a wonderfully decadent, espresso-laced cookie cake ready to serve (or savor on your own) in under half an hour.
The double-dose of espresso does double duty here: the espresso powder infuses the cookie with subtle coffee notes and tempers its sweetness, while the chocolate-covered espresso beans provide pops of concentrated flavor. Taken together, they’re a reminder that just a few ingredients can go a long way in transforming a classic into something new and unexpected.
To serve, you can let the cookie cool before inverting it and cutting it into slices. But if you categorize yourself as lazy and/or impatient (*raises hand*), I recommend serving it warm right out of the pan with scoops of ice cream on top. (Speaking from personal experience, coffee ice cream really takes it over the top.) No matter the occasion, consider this espresso chocolate chunk cookie your one-way ticket to foolproof, treat-yourself comfort: it’s the instant mood booster — and jolt of caffeine — I think we could all use more of right now.
Espresso Chocolate Chunk Cookie Cake Recipe
Makes 1 (9-inch) cake
½ cup (113 grams or 1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup (140 grams) all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup (100 grams) light brown sugar
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons (75 grams total) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
1 large egg,