1. Making 100 little chunks of dough is the sort of thing a robot should do.
2. A giant cookie is a great way to intimidate the competition at a cutthroat bake sale.
3. You're from Texas.
4. The extended baking time is just long enough to call your friends to come over for a 'cookies and cocktails' night.
5. It's been a long day. Why pretend, I was going to eat the whole batch anyway.
This will work with almost any cookie recipe*, so grab your favorite** and get in the kitchen.
*This may not be true if you're into replacing traditional ingredients with things that are less traditional like fake sugar.
**Don't have a favorite cookie recipe? I included my favorite quick sugar cookies!
Step 1: Make Your Cookie Dough
I'm assuming you're using a fairly ordinary oven with a fairly ordinary baking sheet that you could otherwise be using to bake a fairly ordinary frozen pizza. And that's the size you'll probably end up with - frozen pizza. Larger if you have a big oven and pans to match.
Your total of sugar and flour needs to be no more than 4 cups to make one large cookie. Count oatmeal as flour if you're making an oatmeal cookie. If your recipe is larger than this and you'd rather not decrease it just split it into two cookies. Come on, it's still better than making dozens.
You might be watching your health and consider skipping the salt in your recipe. Don't. The salt reacts with the flour to improve the texture of the finished cookie.
Also, feel free to use this pre-tested sugar cookie recipe:
Simple Sugar Cookies
1 cup butter/margarine
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 pinch salt
Mix together the ingredients in the order shown. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 for normal cookies, or around 30 minutes for a giant cookie.
If you're leaving the cookie plain give it a good sprinkle of sugar before baking. It's also well suited to mix-ins like chocolate chips, m&ms or nuts, or it's delicious frosted.
Step 2: Form the Cookie
Smoosh your dough into a circle. It needs to be no more than 75% of the pan width (that extra 25% is important as the cookie will expand.) Don't worry about a smooth finish, but do try to keep the thickness the same across the whole cookie. If you're using my dough recipe it might help to wet your spatula or hand for easier spreading.
Step 3: Bake the Cookie
When you put the cookie in the oven it will start to look smooth. It may expand horizontally from the melting of the butter/margarine.
This will go on for a while, then the cookie will start to look dry around the edges. It will be getting thicker as the moisture expands from heat and the leavening agent reacts to the other ingredients.
As the edges bake further they will start to look thinner. The cookie will be domed at the center, and the dome will drop as the cookie continues to bake.
A finished cookie looks lightly browned around the edges, has a dry surface, and has started collapsing almost all the way to the center. My perfect finish is generally when the center 25% or so hasn't started to collapse, you might prefer a more or less well done cookie. If you're making your cookie in a rectangular pan this puffing and collapsing effect will probably be even more prominent.
If you're concerned about whether the cookie is done feel free to do the toothpick in the center comes out clean check.
In my experience, almost all oversized cookies take about 30 minutes to bake. Take note of how long your cookie takes and add it to the recipe card, this probably isn't the last time you'll do this.