Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a cake pan if using. If using a cast-iron skillet do not grease.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, cream together the softened butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract until creamy. Beat in half of the applesauce. Beat in the remaining applesauce until all the ingredients are evenly incorporated.
Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet. Stir in water and fold in chocolate chips. Chill the dough for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator, or 20 minutes in the freezer.
Scoop the chilled dough into a cake pan or a cast-iron skillet. If using a cast-iron skillet, bake for 8-10 minutes. If using a cake pan, bake for 16-20 minutes.