Pan Banging Chocolate Chip Cookies are the latest chocolate chip cookie craze to hit the internet and so I had to try them!
John and I have this running joke–for literal years now–where he references the fact that I started a food journal that he did not believe I would stick with (it was not a weight loss journal, it was basically the precursor to this blog, I wrote out recipes with thoughts about them). He likes to look at me (in baffled amazement I sometimes think) and jokingly say “I knew you wouldn’t stick with the journal” as here I am 12 years later, still plugging away at this blog. Maybe not as efficiently as I once did, but it also feels like blogging comes with so much extra stuff now. All the social media (Pinterest, for example, did not even exist when I started!), all the different plug-ins; changing my recipe formats every time something better is invented (I sometimes get complaints about the lack of a jump to recipe button in the early posts–people those updates take time and there are a lot of recipes on this site!), updating my photography methods, skills and equipment… you get the idea.
But I am seriously grateful for you guys who are still reading even when my best of 2018 list comes in January 2020.
This post isn’t a recipe so much as a review of a technique. I first read about Pan Banging Cookies over at kitchn, which then led me to the original Pan Banging Chocolate Chip Cookie at The Vanilla Bean Blog. You guys know me and chocolate chip cookies (check out my Chocolate Chip Cookie Collection if you don’t). I immediately had to try them. The idea behind the cookies is basically that you drop the cookie sheet throughout baking them to encourage spreading, leading to crispy-crinkly edges.
I will review them in two parts: what did I think of the cookie itself and was it worth the work/did I change the method at all.
The cookie was delicious–chewy and kind of crispy at the edges. However, as much as I enjoyed them, I personally still prefer my go-to chocolate chip cookie, based on the famous New York Times cookie combined with some tips from one of Alton Brown’s cookies, because I like a hefty, thick cookie and you can make those cookies decently hefty without making them quite as obscenely big as these were.
I can easily picture a moment in which I might even prefer the Pan Banging Chocolate Chip Cookies depending on my mood and if someone else made them. To be clear, they are not hard work. This isn’t laminated dough. But for as often as we have chocolate chip cookies, they were still more of a hassle. First, they must be chilled in balls on their baking sheets. Sarah Kieffer in the original recipe calls for freezing them for 15 minutes, but there is no way I was getting an entire cookie sheet–let alone several–into my freezer when I made these (sometimes yes, but I cannot count on that kind of space). So I chilled them on their sheets for 45-60 minutes. But even that to me is a pain. We tend to overstuff our refrigerator around here.
Kieffer calls for baking on the dull side of foil–I did that for one pan, but after that just used a nonstick cookie sheet. That worked just fine.
Here are my notes, written at the time, regarding what worked best for my cookies to achieve wrinkles: Cook for eight minutes and then lift entire pan up about 4 inches and drop every minute until done going more like every 45 seconds towards the end, it is easiest if you use two timers and when they first go in the oven set the first one for 12 minutes and then go by the see and smell test for when they are done. They should seem a little undercooked in the middle but more cooked and wrinkled at the edges. This is definitely a tad more “dropping” that Kieffer calls for, but that is what it took for mine to wrinkle. It could be because they were chilled instead of frozen? Whatever the reason–since freezing was not possible–it was a lot of hands on hectic baking, versus setting a timer and sitting down! Fun to do once, but as I say, I will probably stick with my classic. Check out the link for Kieffer’s original recipe.
The only thing I changed ingredient-wise was to add some coarse vanilla sea salt–because these days I must have salt on my chocolate chip cookies!
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