(There will be a much bigger post coming, with tips and tricks, how the cookie evolved,  and a video! However, I’ve had so many emails about this recipe, and it is showing up everywhere else on the internet, I thought I might as well put it on my site so I can answer questions and help troubleshoot here.)

To buy my book (complete with the cookie recipe, as well as many, many more!) click here.

(Pan-Banging) Chocolate Chip Cookies
As seen in the NYTimes and Star Tribune.

Originally I thought to include a different chocolate chip cookie recipe in this book. It was my go-to cookie, one I had made for years at Bordertown Coffee. I began working on a thin and crispy version, and along the way it evolved into this recipe. 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. My family loved it so much that my original recipe hasn’t seen the light of day since. Meet our new house cookie. Makes 10 cookies.

2 cups (284 g) all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
½ pound (2 sticks; 227 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1½ cups (297 g) granulated sugar
¼ cup (50 g) packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons water
6 ounces (170 g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped into bite-size pieces averaging ½ inch with some
smaller and some larger

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 3 baking sheets with aluminum foil, dull side up.

In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter on medium until creamy. Add the granulated and brown sugars and beat on medium until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla, and water and mix on low to combine. Add the flour mixture and mix on low until combined. Add the chocolate and mix on low into the batter.

Form the dough into 3½-ounce (100g) balls (a heaping 1/3 cup each). Place 4 balls an equal distance apart on a prepared pan and transfer to the freezer for 15 minutes before baking. After you put the first baking sheet in the oven, put the second one in the freezer.

Place the chilled baking sheet in the oven and bake 10 minutes, until the cookies are puffed slightly in the center. Lift the side of the baking sheet up about 4 inches and gently let it drop down against the oven rack, so the edges of the cookies set and the inside falls back down (this will feel wrong, but trust me). After the cookies puff up again in 2 minutes, repeat lifting and dropping the pan. Repeat a few more times to create ridges around the edge of the cookie. Bake 16 to 18 minutes total, until the cookies have spread out and the edges are golden brown but the centers are much lighter and not fully cooked.

Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack; let cool completely before removing the cookies from the pan.

NOTES: These cookies are rather large, but to get the edges to spread out and crinkle, they need to be on the big side. If you want to make the cookies smaller, you won’t get as many ridges on the outer layer, and your center won’t be quite as gooey. They will still be delicious, but not quite what I intended for you.

If you skip freezing the cookies, they will spread too much on the pan and will not form the crinkly outer layer.

Chocolate chips are not a good substitution for the chopped chocolate; the cookies will not turn out the same with chips. If you do still want to use chocolate chips, you will need to use 8 ounces chips and make the cookies 2½ ounces big.

Using the dull side of aluminum foil to bake these cookies is a little trick I learned after hearing Alice Medrich speak. The foil helps make for an extra-crisp, golden brown bottom. Parchment paper can also be used with good results.

The cookies are delicious warm, but I’ve found I love them a couple of days later just as much. I usually store them in the fridge and sneak pieces of them cold.

Reprinted by arrangement with Avery Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © Sarah Kieffer, 2016.

37 Responses to pan-banging chocolate chip cookies

  1. Cassie Gerhardstein says:

    These looks amazing! I can’t wait to try the recipe out tonight. Question, if you don’t have a 3.5 oz. cookie scoop, what size measuring cup is accurate for scooping the dough?

  2. Ellie says:

    I’ve had my eye on these cookies and I’m sooooo excited to try them!!! It’s been a super long time since I’ve even attempted to make someone else’s recipe because of time, but for this one I need to make an exception ?

  3. Kyle says:

    Where it says, “(a heaping ? cup each)” what is the ? mark supposed to say?

  4. Monta says:

    I’ve actually been banging-the-pan for years… and horrifying my friends and family (albeit none of them ever ever ever passed up a cookie).

    Glad you made it trendy to do so. I can stop defending myself so vociferously.

  5. Jenel Farrell says:

    I made Sarah Kieffer’s Chocolate Chip Cookies last week and they are BY FAR the best chocolate chip cookies I have had! I’m making them again this weekend.

  6. emmy h says:

    Hi, Sarah! I own your book and am happily baking my way through it. We have kindred tastes!

    A question about the toasted sesame oil variation for these cookies: is it correct to simply add it to the recipe, or should the oil be substituted for the water?

  7. emmy h says:

    I should also say, the standard version of these cookies is brilliant! It’s now my favorite chocolate chip cookie, and usually I’m more of a chewy cookie girl. But the crispy edges of these caramelize, the center still has near-gooey tenderness, and the range of texture is delightful. The ratio of bittersweet chocolate is also perfect for me.

    I think the sesame oil will make them even more sublime.

  8. Michelle says:

    Thank you Sarah! I found the article on the Web but didn’t take down the recipe, then I couldn’t find it for the longest time. Finally I found it and have since made them. Everyone I shared them with loved them. They are amazing and the pan banging makes all the difference. Thanks again.

  9. Aurélia says:

    I really want to try this recipe but it seems like a lot of sugar for me, what do you think happens if we reduce the quantity by half? Is the texture going to be different?

  10. Monique says:

    I made these last night and they are the BEST chocolate chip cookies I have ever had in my life. I sprinkled a little sea salt on top after baking and oh my gosh. This will be my go-to recipe for forever. Thanks so much for sharing!!

  11. Caroline says:

    Do you use light brown or dark brown sugar?

  12. Marianne says:

    If using a convection oven, 325 degrees and fan on low?

  13. Sharon says:

    Why are my cookies greasy on bottoms???

  14. Nancy says:

    I frequently form cookies and then freeze them so they can be baked, straight out of the freezer, at a later time. Is the 15 minute freeze in your recipe a “must-do” or do you know if this would work with your recipe? These cookies are fabulous by the way and a great version to have in anyone’s chocolate chip cookie arsenal. Thank you!

  15. Celeste says:

    Do you have any recommendations on how to alter the recipe for high altitude baking? I live in Colorado and am dying to try these. Thanks!!

  16. Eva says:

    My cookies won’t “fall” the centers still puffy and they have been cooking longer than in recipe…Help!

  17. Reni says:

    can I use nuts instead of choc?

  18. Callie says:

    I just made them and they look amazing!!! Cooling now, so we shall see what they taste like . I wish I could send a photo.

  19. […] fails. However, after further research, it looks like it may be a valid claim. Made popular by the Vanilla Bean Blog, banging the pan while baking cookies alters their texture and apparently it’s noteworthy enough […]

  20. Geni says:

    Thank you sooo much for the recipe! However although I followed the recipe strictly to a t, after 10 minutes in the oven they melted and spread so much that the cookies turned into a ‘pool’ and became barely recognizable lol. Can you help me identify which step I might have screwed up? Thank you so much ! PS they smell amazing regardless of the form.

  21. Ami Baron says:

    Has anyone tried making these at high altitude? I made them today but they don’t look anything like the photos, and I had very little center “puffing” before doing the banging of the pan. My residence is over 5,000 ft, so not sure if there needs to be ingredient adjustments to get these to work?? If anyone has suggestions please let me know! Thanks.

  22. ashley says:

    Is there a video or images that follow along for directions?

  23. […] Sarah’s recipe has always been popular, but when the New York Times discovered her trick this past fall, the whole world caught wind of the awesomeness that is pan banging. Go ahead, hop on the bandwagon and get banging! And be sure to click here for Sarah’s recipe for Pan-Banging Chocolate Chip Cookies. […]

  24. Darla says:

    Iadequate these and they are awesome. A little too sweet but texture, crispness of the edge and chewy I side is spot on. I cut the balls in half so they were smaller. Put in for 8 minutes, and banged them every 1 minute 30 seconds until brown on the outside. They were still larger cookies but more easy to eat.

  25. Katie says:

    I found that my fancy insulated cookie sheets did not produce the ripple look near as well as the cheap, thin baking sheets do. They are still super delicious!!!

  26. […] we spent the days leading up to Dec. 25 in full-blown baking mode. This year, I discovered Sarah Kieffer’s life-changing, pan-banging chocolate chip cookie recipe. We were so impressed by the results that […]

  27. patty says:

    I made these Dec. 28th and they turned out great! I over baked the first pan, but they were still good! I did throw in peanut butter chips along with the chocolate chips. I will definitely make these again and again!

  28. Mn says:

    Is there a substitute for the butter if I need to make them dairy free?

  29. Jen says:

    Ohmygosh! My daughter and I made these this morning and they are delicious! We left the first pan in a little too long, but had the timing down for the rest. I’ve never made an ice cream scoop sized cookie! These will forever be in regular rotation! Can’t wait to try some of your other recipes!

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