These Red Velvet Pan-Banging Cookies are a variation of both the Pan-Banging Sugar Cookie and the Pan-Banging Ginger Molasses Cookie with Rum Butter Glaze, which are all also off-shoots of my Pan-Banging Chocolate Chip Cookies. These delicious cookies have buttery, rippled edges and a chewy center as a result of using the pan-banging cookie technique.
They also mimic the famous red velvet cake (like my Red Velvet Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies), with both red food coloring and a little bit of cocoa powder in the dough to create the beautiful burgundy hue, and a partial dip in cream cheese icing to complete the classic “red velvet” flavor combination.
These cookies are perfect for the holidays, and have made it onto my Top 24 Holiday Cookie recipes list.
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. I have a whole chapter of these recipes in my 100 Cookies cookbook.
Just like the Pan-Banging Chocolate Chip Cookies, the center needs to be under baked. The cookies will still cook on the pan after you take them out of the oven, so the centers won’t be raw.
Ingredients for Red Velvet Pan-Banging Cookies:
Red food coloring and cocoa powder are really the only two extra ingredients that elevate these cookies to “red velvet”. A gel based food coloring will create a brighter color than a liquid one, and I like to use a Dutch-processed cocoa powder; it mixes with the red to make a lovely, Merlot-esque shade.
Measuring Flour for Baking Cookies:
*Throughout my recipes posted on this website, 1 cup of flour equals 142g. Please note that 1 cup of flour can range anywhere from 120g to 142g, depending on the baker or website. I found that after weighting many cups of flour and averaging the total, mine always ended up around this number. Weighing your flour instead of using cup measurements is the surest way to get the result I intended when developing the recipe.
Different brands of flour have varying levels of protein, ranging from low to high, which can result in very different outcomes when baking. I’ve found Gold Medal all-purpose unbleached flour to be the best option for many of my recipes; I use it in all the baked goods that don’t use yeast.
Do I have to bang the pan outside the oven?
No, you don’t! As stated in the recipe, I lift the side of the baking sheet up about 4 in [10 cm] and gently let it drop down against the oven rack, so the edges of the cookies set and the inside falls back down.
Red Velvet Pan-Banging Cookies
- 2 cups [284 g] all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 cup [2 sticks or 227 g] unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups [300 g] granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon red food coloring (I prefer gel-based)
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
For the icing
- 3 oz [85 g] cream cheese, soft
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 2 to 4 tablespoons water
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Pinch salt
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups [120 to 180 g] confectioners' sugar
- Holly sprinkles
- Adjust an oven rack to the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350F [180C]. Line three sheet pans with aluminum foil or parchment paper (see note).
- 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 the granulated sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg and mix on low speed to combine. Add the cocoa powder, red food coloring, and vanilla, and mix again on low until combined. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides as needed and completely combine the food coloring into the batter. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until completely combined.
- Form the dough into 3 oz [85 g] balls [1/4 cup]. Place 4 cookies an equal distance apart on the sheet pans. Bake the cookies one pan at a time. Bake until the dough balls have spread out 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 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 edge of the cookie. Bake for 13 to 16 minutes total, until the cookies have spread out and the edges are set and golden but the centers are 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 cool completely before icing them.
For the icing
- Melt the butter in a medium bowl. Add the cream cheese, 2 tablespoons of water, vanilla, and salt, and whisk to combine. Add 1 cup [120 g] of the confectioners' sugar and mix with a spatula to combine. Add more sugar as needed, until the desire consistency is reached. You want the icing to be thick but not too thick – it should be thin enough to cling to the surface when you dip the cookie into it. If your icing is too thick, you can add more water as needed to thin it out.
- To assemble: dip half of a cooled cookie into the icing. Decorate with holly sprinkles or other decoration if desired. Let the icing set before serving.