An Internet-Famous Cookie Worthy of Baking in Real Life

A chocolate chip cookie, thin with crisp ripples that run to the edges, finds Instagram fame.

Comments: 76

  1. I have been using this technique for years, although now apparently it has a name (pan-bang). I don't like a soft's all about the crisp, chewy texture. I use this with my favorite oatmeal raisin walnut cookie recipe, as well:)

  2. I guess, but most oatmeal raisin cookies are already slightly chewy and "bendy" in texture -- not crisp like chocolate chip cookies are (after they cool) -- so I am not sure if it would have the same aesthetic effect. However, now you mention it, I have to go make a batch of oatmeal raisin and experiment!

  3. Same here. I and everyone I know who doesn't care for puffy cookies have been dropping/banging cookie sheets for as long as I can remember. We do it with all cookies not just chocolate chip. Funny thing, we never thought it was ingenious. We simply used it as a way to get the texture we were looking for. Took it for granted it was something every cookie baker did to get the crispiness and not a lot of air.

  4. My best friend and I have been doing this since we were 10-year old cookie-making fiends. It's not rocket science... Who knew we were so revolutionary 44 years ago!! Just missing Instagram, I guess.

  5. "After the cookies have risen a bit in the hot oven, she pulls out the cookie sheet and bangs it hard on top of the stove, or on the oven rack. She returns the pan to the oven and, at intervals, repeats the process, building up the crinkled rim that makes it possible to have both soft and crunchy textures in a single cookie." WOW - what a lot of energy and work to get a cookie that has both soft and crunchy textures. I achieve similar results by merely lowering the oven temperature from the usual 375 degrees to 350 degrees and baking the cookies for only 10 to 10 1/2 minutes. The cookies come out puffy but then sink as they cool. I have given out my recipe a ton of times because so many people like how these cookies turn out and taste. There is something to be said for crispy outsides but chewy interiors . . . without any banging used. Thanks for the great article and mouthwatering photos of the cookies.

  6. Your method would waste less energy too.

  7. Thanks for the tip Marge Keller :)

  8. Thanks; I was mulling this over. I can't imagine taking the pans of cookies out, and banging them, 3 times during the cookies process. But I do make somewhat similar cookies,by taking them out of the oven a tad earlier than the recipe suggests (*the one on the chocolate chip bag) and letting them "fall". However: in my household, nothing disappears faster than hot chocolate chip cookies. Frankly, nobody 'round here bothers to photograph or instagram them -- it's "down the hatch" ASAP with a glass of ice cold milk.

  9. These cookies are fantastic, but incredibly big - I would love a smaller version!

  10. I don't see why the technique would not work on normal 2-3" wide cookies.

  11. You're kidding, right?

  12. For a crispy cookie you can just do what the Tate's Bakery Cookbook does and add a little water -- they say a tsp but I've done a bit more-- to the cookie dough. Who has time to start banging pans? No one I know stares too long at a home made chocolate chip cookie so a ripple pattern is a complete waste of time.

  13. Baking nowadays seems more about producing a nice photo than a tasty edible.

  14. Retired people, like me, have time to bang pans and besides tasting good, sometimes it is nice to have food that has a different look. You may not care for the rings, but I think they are interesting looking. It's a cool idea. For when I don't feel like pan banging, thank you for the tip about adding water for crispiness for when I want a faster crispy cookie.

  15. Amen to that.

  16. I had to laugh when I read this article. My grandmother, my mother. other family members and I have been using the pan-banging technique for many types of cookies for years - at least since the 1940s and probably long before that. So this is not news to us. And, it works just fine without chilling the dough or mailing making the dough balls large or using chopped chocolate (although using good chocolate is always a great thing).

  17. Chef Elizabeth Faulkner's chocolate chip cookies are the best I've ever made, and no pan-banking required. The recipe can be found by a simple Google search for The Best Thing I Ever Made Elizabeth Faulkner.

  18. This process seems like a lot of work. The best chocolate chip cookies I ever had were made in a local cookie shop in CT that is long gone, but not forgotten-"Peg Deneen's Cookies". The cookies were far superior to any I've ever had anywhere. I have not yet succeeded in replicating them, and probably never will, but I keep trying.

  19. try using half bread flour

  20. The pan-bang method was printed in the cult classic, "The New Basics Cookbook" by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins. Their Old-Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies on page 739 make a great cookie. The recipe calls for the baker to "rap them twice on the corner or stove top, and return them to the oven". It's a great trick, depending on the kind of cookie you are trying to create. Rosso and Lukins have a lot of great recipes and its definitely worth checking out the book if you can find it.

  21. Published January 10, 1989.

  22. That was a great cookbook! Still using it after all of these years. My copy has to be tied with butcher twine as the soft cover and pages are tumbling off of the binder. I was so lucky to find a new barely used copy at an old book store. (Still kept my original copy though.) And yes loads of terrific recipes to re- visit. Rosso & Lukins created lovely cookbooks...and food. That Old-Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookie has been "rapped" in my home for a long long time.

  23. Hmm ... An interesting way of adding a visual effect to a cookie, but presumably not affecting its taste. Good for the lovers of all kinds of cookies, not only chocolate cookies. As a guess, the rippled surface gives more of surface area per unit of mass, so that in dipping a rippled cookie into coffee it absorbs more liquid.

  24. No, the point is that it does affect the taste. Reread the article. Doing this causes the cookie to have more texture, crunch on the outside and chewy on the inside.

  25. The first chocolate chip cookies were made at a Toll House restaurant in Whitman, MA during the depression. The story of that cookie (official cookie of Massachusetts) and how it came to be "the cookie loved around the world" (book title) has been described by a retired teacher and MA State legislator from Whitman who worked there in her youth. Another book about the Great American chocolate chip cookie was also written 4 years ago to mark the cookie's 70th year. It's more than a recipe -- it's part of American history.

  26. Mr and Mrs Kenneth and Ruth Wakefield were the proprietors of the Toll House Inn in Whitman Mass.

  27. This seems like a lot of work. My mom's chocolate chip cookies were always the first to be eaten at any party, and her secret was very simple: don't use as much flour as the recipe says, and don't bake them quite as long.

  28. These cookies are beautiful. What a wonderful gift tied in ribbons. I'm definitely going to give it a go.

  29. I play Flight of the Bumblebee on the pan with a freshly cut cedar branch to get my cookies both crisp and chewy. It helps if the humidity is around 85-87%, temperature between 15F and 16.4 degrees C, with wind coming from the northwest at around 3.7-6.2 miles per hour. After 11 minutes and 23 seconds of baking time (more or less), I start taking the pan out of the oven every 30+2.5 seconds for seven iterations (30, 32.5, 35, 37.5 . . . ). Aim for ripples that are spaced at the Golden Ratio. Cooling is best done in a bariatric chamber until the desired temperature is reached. But if you don't have one, that is okay, you can just let them cool on rack on the counter.

  30. LOL! Too funny for words.

  31. LOL! Now look what you've done...made me snort my coffee out my nose!

  32. that's what I've been doing wrong all these years! I guess I'll just have to wait for the optimal wind direction and speed the next time I make cookies. I've got everything else under control.

  33. once, i was testing brownies to see if the were done. I dropped the pan upside down on the floor. The brownies were not done, by any means. so... knowing heat kills germs, i gathered up the mess, including the crunchy edges, and pushed it all back into the pan, leveling it out with a spatula before returning to the oven. The result: crunchy bits mixed in with the chewy stuff. Best brownies ever.

  34. These look a lot like Martha's Alexis's favorite cookies made with butter.

  35. I agree. they just naturally ripple...

  36. In the interest of national unity and bringing this fractured country together, let's drop the arguments about "Pan-Bang", shall we? Let's toast this and every other wonderful cookie recipe with a tall glass of cold milk. Good cookies are ridiculously awesome, clearly they're waaay more popular than cake (gasp!), which itself is a pointless medium, except that it supports frosting, for which I approve of. Have I made my (and countless others) preferences clear?... Awesome Cookies Rule!!!

  37. Milk? Nah. A cuppa joe. Black, please.

  38. Cooky? Bah. Just make ganache and funnel it right in. Seriously though, just press the dough into a half-sheet (or two) and voila, cooky bar. Then eat. Drizzle ganache on top. Milk, whole fat, please. (Then ride bike 25 miles.) (Repeat.)

  39. Sherry Yard mentions the trick in "The Secrets of Baking". Can't wait to try these!

  40. I've been doing the pan bang for years and I'm not even a baker dilettante. It ain't rocket science!

  41. The greatest tragedy in the history of cuisine is the disappearance of David's cookies, by far the greatest chocolate chip cookie, and one of the greatest desserts, ever made. Second greatest tragedy: Disappearance of Famous Amos. In both cases, caused by vile corporate homogenization and entrepreneurial sell out to cash in. Truly makes one weep.

  42. Wally Amos is still baking! Now known as The Cookie Kahuna, he was on Shark Tank last year. His cookies can be ordered online.

  43. My dog is known hereabouts as 'Famous Amos'. Glad HE hasn't disappeared!

  44. His sister occasionally sells them with other desserts on the tv shopping channel EVINE Live -- the holidays are upon us so keep an eye on their program guide/email them to be notified!

  45. I just gently tap the cookies with my spatula mid-way through the cooking process once it's domed in the middle and I get the same effect. It deflates and becomes crispy after the continued bake. I've always done that and really thought that someone had done the same thing as well when I first saw the photo. I imagine my cookie sheets would suffer if I used the method described. I also freeze my dough in ball form and bake in preheated over right away to leave the center a bit doughy. It's still cold enough to delay the center rise but not too cold that it can't be smash down when tapped with the spatula. ***HInt of the day...use home made vanilla, it's much better that the store bought stuff. That's one serious cookie once it's cooled.

  46. My cookies are loved far and wide... been pan banging for 30 years... can't say the kids loved it at 7am on weekends but they survived and had cookies for breakfast.

  47. Is it just my eyes, or does that first cookie look black and blue from all of the that pan banging it endured?

  48. "I can't imagine a better chocolate chip cookie" said Ms. Kiefer. Modestly is not Ms. Kieffer's strong point, apparently.

  49. Hey - when you got it, you got it

  50. In real life, a cookie from "Batch and Bean" in Miami, Florida is much more worthy!

  51. In real life, a cookie from “Batch and Bean” is much more worthy!

  52. This article should have included a video of a pan bang. I can't quite imagine what it looks like.

  53. I agree! I pictured myself doing this-- with cookies flying everywhere, falling off the trays, ending up on the bottom of the oven, burning, sliding together, dropping the tray, etc. In other words, a big mess! P.S. Must be the novelty of it all, but regular old chocolate chip cookies, WITHOUT any pan-bang nonsense and multiple interventions, are wonderfully great!

  54. I agree with your assessment Stephanie. If you bake these cookies on parchment paper, trust me, they WILL fly through the air and NOT with the greatest of ease.

  55. Nope, no mess at all. You bang the cookie sheet down on the oven rack while they're in the oven - quickly to not lose too much heat. The cookies don't go anywhere, they just deflate. They don't slide at all - I don't think it's a "novelty" intervention thing - they came out wonderfully flat, crisp-chewy and delicious. Will definitely do it again. The dog didn't love the noise so much!

  56. Chocolate chip cookies need pecans to be worth eating

  57. LOL!!! Yes! So true! I must have my chocchip cookies with nuts (walnuts or pecans or both).

  58. Agree to disagree...

  59. Since I've begun making Dominique Ansel's gluten free chocolate pecan cookies I can't get anyone to even look at an Old Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookie. I wish they would because those are a lot easier and cheaper. I made the GF for our college girl who was having issues with gluten and one taste had everyone I know hooked.

  60. MJ: Thanks for the reference to Ansel's cookie. Have a GF grandchild and will make these. Take care. Tom

  61. This looks exactly like the Chocolate Chip Cookie from Back in The Day Bakery in Savannah. Cheryl Day uses Valharona Chocolate and Irish butter.

  62. These are yuge. Best cookie ever. Believe me.

  63. They may taste great but my first visual impression was that they look like cow pies.

  64. A variation of what David Lebovitz has been doing since 2010:

  65. I wouldn't call this a variation of Lebowitz's recipe, which has you press down the cookies with a spatula when they're done. Not saying his recipe isn't great, though! He's right that salt butter generally works better in cookies, something I never knew until about eight years ago.

    I would love to know the chemistry behind the pan-smacking technique. Or maybe it's physics.

  66. Pan BANG! That is my new self-advice mantra when the rest of the news gets me down. As it has for the past - No! Pan BANG! Cookie!

  67. True innovation. :)

  68. My Mother's 1956 Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook 2nd Edition contains a version of Mrs. Wakefield's chocolate chip cookies that uses part shortening and part butter. I've been making this recipe since I was a kid and get rave reviews. It's the right balance of soft and crunch. I know all the reasons shortening is out of favor - I use butter or olive oil for everything else. Your article explains how to substitute time chilling the dough and letting the liquids absorb for the softness that the shortening provides. I guess 'shortening' is the right name for something that allows me to make perfect cookies right away rather than with a 36 hour wait.

  69. I have always used half butter and half shortening and find it a good compromise for flavor and a moist, chewy cookie. Using just butter is wonderful for flavor, but unless the cookies will be consumed the same day they are baked, they tend to dry out and become hard the following day. Using half butter and half shortening still gives that delicious flavor, and the shortening allows for the cookies to remain moist and chewy on the second the third day after they are baked (assuming any cookies remain on day 3).

  70. And of course, that's exactly why trans fats were so popular in the first place. They are shelf-stable.

  71. Shortening contains trans fats,for which the Center for Science says there is no safe dose. Even one grams day is considered to be harmful. Shortening is well named. Shortening shortens life.

  72. In the summer of 1985 or 1986 I worked at Grandma Buffalo Chips cookie store in Capitola, CA. There we were instructed to slam down hard every cookie sheet the moment it came out of the oven filled with not fully baked cookies (just as this recipe instructs) and then to let them sit, where they continue to bake from their own heat for several minutes. I have been doing that with my home baked cookies ever since. It works!

  73. Hi all! We've heard from many of you about having used the pan-banging technique as far back as the 1980s, or even the 1940s. I was interested to learn that it's used in one of my favorite cookbooks of all time, 'The New Basics' by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins. (Apparently I never made the chocolate chip cookies.) And also by the pastry chef Sherry Yard.

    Thanks for the information; clearly it's one of those cooking techniques that circulates among knowledgeable cooks. I hope that the article will introduce the pleasure of the pan-bang to more home bakers. (I also hope that it does not generate more criticism here for Ms. Kieffer, who never tried to take the credit for inventing it.) Try it!


  74. Wonderful recipe! My mother added molasses and oatmeal and also achieved the flat and crispy result, but with more iron and fiber! My adult children still ask for these! Kudos to Minnesota cooks!

  75. These vegan choco chip cookies are the bomb too

  76. I've long used a backwards version of this technique -- pulling the sheet just before full doneness and immediately whacking the cookies with a long spatula. Go fast, hit two at a time and the results are splendid!