Wikipedia has a lovely entry on cobbler:
Cobbler is a traditional dish in both the United States and the United Kingdom, although the meaning of the term is quite different in each country. In the United States, it is usually a dessert consisting of a fruit filling poured into a large baking dish and covered with a rolled pastry dough, then baked in an oven. In the United Kingdom it is usually a savoury meat dish, typically a lamb casserole, which is covered with a savoury scone-like topping—each scone (or biscuit) forming a separable cobbler. Fruit-based versions are also increasingly popular in the United Kingdom—although they still retain the separate cobbler (or biscuit) topping of the meat version—and savoury or meat versions are not unknown in the United States.
Chocolate cobbler is an old Maine dish that I had previously only seen in restaurants along the coast. I couldn’t imagine the recipe that would make this combination of cake – crust – softness but today I traded a few oatmeal raisin cookies for a co-worker’s notes from her Mom and, voila!
1 C all purpose flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt
7 Tbs cocoa – divided and 1 1/4 C white sugar divided
1/2 C milk, 1/3 C melted butter, 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 C brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 C hot tap water
Preheat oven to 350.
Stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and 3 Tbs of the cocoa and 3/4 C of the white sugar. Reserve the remaining cocoa and sugar.
Stir in the milk, melted butter and vanilla and mix until smooth.
Pour the mixture into an ungreased 8 x 8 baking dish. In a separate small bowl, mix the remaining 1/2 C white sugar, the brown sugar and remaining 4 Tbs of cocoa. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the batter.
Now, here’s where it gets weird: pour the hot tap water over the top and DON’T STIR!
Bake for 40 minutes, or until the center is set and doesn’t “jiggle”.
Serve warm (the top will be a goey sauce) or cooled. We like it cool and fairly solid, served with strawberries. This is a wonderful treat.
The Wikipedia entry also includes my all-time favorite cookbook title: Practical Sanitary and Economic Cooking Adapted to Persons of Moderate and Small Means. I can’t wait to find a copy.