Make Perfectly Chewy Cookies With This Easy Baker’s Trick

It's all about banging your baking pan.
Make Perfectly Chewy Cookies With This Easy Baker’s Trick

Saucer-sized chocolate chunk cookies look like a dessert tailor-made for Instagram. Thankfully, these crinkly, chocolate-studded cookies taste as scrumptious as they look. But they take a bit more work than your classic cookie recipe — to get them perfectly crinkly, you need to bang your sheet-pan on the counter throughout the baking process.

Minneapolis-based baker, blogger and cookbook author Sarah Kieffer concocted this genius recipe, which is available on her website The Vanilla Bean Blog. It's also in her cookbook (and has been picked up by the New York Times). "The cookie falls somewhere in the middle of gooey and crispy, with edges that shatter in your mouth and a center that is soft and full of chocolate," writes Kieffer. I kept seeing Kieffer's cookies on Instagram and was intrigued by the baking process, so I had to see if all that pan-banging would take me to cookie nirvana. Hint: it did!


What's the point of pan banging?

At first glance, there's nothing unusual about Kieffer's recipe — it's the methodology that's different. Instead of lining your sheet-pan with small balls of dough, you place four giant 1/3 cup dough balls on your pan and then freeze the whole thing for 15 minutes before baking (you have to make multiple batches, instead of baking all your cookies at once).

Freezing the dough ensures the cookies don't spread as soon they hit the hot oven. If your cookies spread too much, you won't get beautiful crinkly edges. And that's where the banging comes it. After 10 minutes in the oven, take your pan out and bang it on the counter (really get in there). I was most successful when I lifted the pan about five inches into the air and then dropped it down onto the counter. And the pan banging continues. You have to take your cookies out and bang them about every two to three minutes until the edges are golden brown and the middle is still light and gooey looking (don't worry, the cookies will firm up as they cool).

Is all that banging worth it?

At first, I though the cookies were mediocre — all style and no substance. But then I kept breaking off piece after piece, chipping away at the giant cookie in front of me. Suddenly it hit me. These were the nearly perfect chocolate chip cookies I dreamed about making, but despite trying a myriad of recipes, never achieved. The cookies get nice and thin, but they're not crunchy. Instead, as Keiffer says, they stay perfectly chewy in the centre, with satisfyingly crispy edges. They remind me of cookies I'd happily spend a few bucks on at a bakery. And, as an added bonus, the cookies look super impressive (largely thanks to the fact they're the size of a salad plate). So get out your sheet pans and start throwing them around.

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