Pan-banging sugar cookies!
This is a recipe from my new cookbook, 100 Cookies. And is an off-shoot of my Pan-Banging Chocolate Chip Cookies. These delicious sugar cookies have buttery, rippled edges and a chewy center as a result of using the pan-banging cookie technique. They have a classic sugar cookie flavor elevated by bold vanilla flavors!
What Are Pan-Banging Cookies?
Bakers tapping their cookie pans in the oven isn’t new, of course, but the pan-banging technique I use here is unique in that the pan is tapped in the oven every few minutes, creating ripples on the edge of the cookie. This creates two textures in the cookie: a crisp outer edge, and a soft, gooey center.
Can I Refrigerate Pan-Banging Cookie Dough?
Cookie dough can be refrigerated overnight before using. Shape the dough into balls and cover with plastic wrap before chilling, and then bring it to room temperature before baking (when the cookies are chilled solid, they won’t ripple as well). Cookies that spend a night in the fridge will also have a more developed flavor, but also have a bumpier finish.
More Pan-banging Cookie Recipes:
- Pan-banging Ginger Molasses Cookies
- Sesame Chocolate Chip Pan-Banging Cookies
- Pan-banging Molasses Espresso Cookies with Chocolate
Pan-banging Sugar Cookies
- 2 cups (284 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 cup (2 sticks or 227 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 3/4 cup (350 g) granulated sugar, divided
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- Adjust an oven rack to the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350F [180C]. Line three sheet pans with aluminum foil, dull-side up.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cream of tartar.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add 1 1/2 cups [300 g] of the sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and mix on low speed to combine. Add the flour and mix on low speed until combined.
- Form the dough into 3 oz [85 g] balls [1/4 cup]. Roll each ball in the remaining 1/4 cup [50 g] of sugar. Place 3 or 4 cookies an equal distance apart on the sheet pan. Bake the cookies one pan at a time. Bake until the dough balls have flattened but are puffed slightly in the center, 8 minutes. Lift one side of the sheet pan up about 4 in [10 cm] and gently let it drop down against the oven rack, so the edges of the cookies are set and the center falls back down. 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 edges of the cookie. Bake for 14 to 15 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 pan to a wire rack. Let the cookies cool for 10 minutes, then move them to a wire rack to finish cooling. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days (or refrigerate for up to 3 days).
AngelaMonday, May 29, 2023 at 11:38 am
I baked these cookies following the instructions exactly and they came out perfect. They’re delicious, too. My plan was to send my husband to work with cookies for his boss if they came out well. I’m very proud of these, so they’re going. Wish I could attach a picture. Great presentation for very minimal effort.
Sarah KiefferMonday, May 29, 2023 at 12:56 pm
So glad to hear that!
ReginaFriday, April 21, 2023 at 9:22 pm
Turned out good but wayy too salty
Sarah KiefferSunday, April 23, 2023 at 8:11 am
Hello! What kind of salt did you use?
JoSaturday, April 15, 2023 at 6:53 pm
They turned out very crispy and greasy. Waste of ingredients. Won’t make them again.
Stephanie CuanTuesday, December 6, 2022 at 4:18 pm
Do you have to use cream of tartar because I don’t have and what can I use as an alternative?
SandiMonday, December 5, 2022 at 11:38 am
Can’t wait to try! Probably a dumb question, but here goes….you bang once at 8 minutes, let them puff for 2 minutes and bang again. To bang “a few more times” do you wait 2 minutes in between each bang??
Sarah KiefferMonday, December 5, 2022 at 11:41 am
Between 1 and 2 minutes, when they’ve puffed up again each time.
AJMonday, June 6, 2022 at 5:46 pm
I’m at altitude so I added a few Tbsp water (to make up for the aridity) but made no other modifications for altitude. I added a lot of lemon zest to make them citrusy. Delicious!
JenSaturday, February 19, 2022 at 2:23 pm
I just made these and while they taste delicious mine didn’t spread nearly as much as they’re supposed to. I didn’t change anything about the directions. Does anyone have any ideas or tips for what happened and how to fix it next time?
Sarah KiefferSunday, February 20, 2022 at 8:25 am
Hi Jen! That is a sign that your oven runs hot. When an oven is warmer than it says, the cookies set on the edges first, before they have a chance to spread.
SamWednesday, December 22, 2021 at 3:10 pm
Would it be possible to freeze the dough and then bake later? I’ve loved using this recipe in the past but would love insight into having it on hand.
LaurenSunday, August 8, 2021 at 10:21 am
When I made the snickerdoodle version from your book they spread too thin and got too brown at the edges. Tried chilling dough, making 60 g balls, and baking at a slightly higher temp so they’d set more quickly. Edges still brown and middles are translucent. They taste great but don’t look great. I made the triple chocolate pan banging cookies and they turned out fantastic! Help! I’m an experienced home baker and have made about 20 recipes from the 100 Cookies book, all turned out perfect (except shortbread, my kitchen was too warm lol).
Monica BiegelWednesday, January 27, 2021 at 6:24 pm
Can you tell me about the sugar cookies with the sprinkles? Did you mix them into the dough before you baked them? About how much did you use in the batter?
CarolynTuesday, June 29, 2021 at 4:07 pm
She shared this recipe on IG and mentioned using 3/4 cup of sprinkles :).
Tina GarfinkelThursday, October 7, 2021 at 1:44 pm
Per IG post, mix in 1/2 cup after dough is formed, mixing to distribute evenly.
ChelseyMonday, January 11, 2021 at 10:52 pm
Yum! These are so good and mine turned out just like your pictures! So pleased. Thank you.
Maria FaySaturday, January 9, 2021 at 9:16 am
Hi Sarah, can you tell me about the sugar cookies with the sprinkles? Did you mix them into the dough before you baked them? About how much did you use in the batter? I have rainbow jimmies and believe that is what you used….? If anyone else knows, I would appreciate the help. Thanks!
SindiSaturday, October 31, 2020 at 7:54 pm
No yield..confusing does it make three 1/4 cup cookies?
ChelseyMonday, January 11, 2021 at 10:54 pm
It made ten 3 oz cookies for me.
NinaSunday, October 25, 2020 at 11:48 am
Just made these this morning and they are very tasty! I made 16 cookies, but only baked six and put the rest in the freezer. I probably could’ve gotten 18 with slightly smaller cookies and if I did not eat a tiny bit of the dough (!). I did two pan-bangs, one at 8 minutes, and one at 12, and baked for a total of 15 minutes. I could see adding lemon zest to the sugar in the recipe and then mixing it with the butter for lemony sugar cookies, or adding cinnamon to the rolling sugar for a more snickerdoodle effect.
Olga María CárcamoTuesday, October 20, 2020 at 7:50 pm
how did they turned out?
GiftbasketworldwideThursday, October 8, 2020 at 3:32 am
I have been amazed at your work. Quite fabulous.
Deborah PuetteSunday, September 27, 2020 at 7:32 pm
I don’t love to use foil. Would parchment work?
NicoleFriday, September 11, 2020 at 4:38 pm
I bought your book and just made these with the addition of the sprinkles. They are outstanding. The cookies are really big — can you make them smaller and still get the same result?
NathanWednesday, September 9, 2020 at 12:41 pm
Love these. Not overly sweet, the texture is fantastic, and they’re super easy. Thank you!
MadeleineThursday, September 3, 2020 at 9:11 pm
Hi there! Could you do this cookie with a bit of lemon? Pan banging lemon sugar cookie? I loved your chocolate espresso molasses pan banging cookie, and want to bake a citrus take!
My thoughts were lemon extract or dried lemon powder or rind? Maybe some fiore di sicilia instead of vanilla?
PatSaturday, August 29, 2020 at 2:43 pm
I just made these and thought they were pretty unremarkable. They needed to be a little thicker and have more flavor. Won’t make them again.
SarahSaturday, August 29, 2020 at 4:57 pm
Hi Pat – these cookies are supposed to be flat; the pan-banging cookies spread to have crisp ripples and a tender center. But if you are looking for a thicker cookie, you may want to try a traditional sugar cookie recipe. Thanks for trying them!
KatrinaTuesday, August 11, 2020 at 9:24 am
Hi! How many cookies does this recipe make? Thank you!
SusanSaturday, August 8, 2020 at 5:37 pm
I have a vegan version of these in the oven right now! I will let you know how they turn out. Great recipe! Thanks so much for your wonderful creativity and talent!
Olga María CárcamoTuesday, October 20, 2020 at 7:56 pm
how did they turned out?
ErinThursday, December 10, 2020 at 6:23 am
Can you share how they turned out and how you substituted? TIA!
Brenda J DumontSaturday, August 8, 2020 at 1:31 pm
Even if i dont win i am getting that cookbook! I just made the oatmeal cookies from “the vanilla bean cookbook” and boy are they ever good!!
SaimahWednesday, August 5, 2020 at 6:03 pm
This is a fantastic recipe! I pan-banged my way to waking up my entire household at 6am. Lucky for them, it was to the smell of delicious sugar cookies! I love how chewy they are.
Nina StjärnehagTuesday, August 4, 2020 at 9:45 am
Hi love THANK YOU ??. Because of living in not USA (sweden) cream of tartar is illegal to sell (!! Says food stores when asked), and I wonder if possible to sub w anything and still achieve same result? THANKS in advance,
MollyTuesday, August 18, 2020 at 12:10 pm
I had to google cream of tartar after seeing your comment because I realized I didn’t know what cream of tartar was! Ironically (if the site is correct), sodium bitartrate (cream of tartar) was discovered in Sweden! Maybe you can order by mail? Best of luck.
AshleySunday, August 23, 2020 at 1:06 am
Cream of Tartar is Vinsten. Jag tror att det säljs på apoteket eller amerikanska / engelska butiken.
Nina StjärnehagTuesday, August 25, 2020 at 2:52 pm
Åh jag vet! Men det är tyvärr engelska butiken som slutat sälja sedan några år, även Ica kvantum har berättat att det blivit olagligt. Apoteket får inte heller. Men tack ändå!
pattyTuesday, August 4, 2020 at 8:55 am
I don’t know how to do Instagram, but I know how to bake cookies! I love the pan banging chocolate chip cookies and I will be making these tonight and I can’t wait. They look so good!
NikkiMonday, August 3, 2020 at 7:49 pm
Honestly, I just can’t wait to nab your cookbook!! These look amazing….still working on my pan-banging skills though..