The pan-banging cookie craze

The pan-banging cookie craze

by Anna Leigh Bagiackas
Stripes Okinawa

Have you heard about the #BangOnAPan chocolate chip cookie movement on social media? Maybe you even joined it! If not, the idea came from food blogger and baker Sarah Kieffer and it consists of banging your cookie sheet against the oven rack throughout the baking process to create crinkly ripples in the cookies. It’s another way of achieving cookies with a crispy outside and a gooey, chocolatey middle. If you are someone always in search of a new “best” chocolate chip cookie recipe and you haven’t tried out one of these cookies, I would recommend it. What better time to experiment and find your ultimate recipe than during lockdown?

After a little cookie respite following the holiday season, I’m diving full force into cookie making. This is partially because I just got my hands on Kieffer’s newest book, “100 Cookies,” and because cookies offer a simple and not-too-complex avenue to dessert. Cookie baking is something I can look forward to and enjoy amidst the seemingly never-ending lockdown—a warm cookie is like a cozy embrace during the dark winter months.

Kieffer runs the award-winning food blog The Vanilla Bean Blog and her newest book includes a whole section on pan-banging cookies, going beyond chocolate chip and offering recipes for Snickerdoodle, Rocky Road and even a Banana–Espresso–Cacao Nib Cookie. The book is a love letter to cookies (and bars, with a chapter devoted to brownies and blondies) and while reading it you can’t help but remember how much joy a simple cookie can bring, transporting you back to childhood, with your hands in the cookie jar. Even if you’ve found your tried-and-true, go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe, you can always go back to that one—it’s always fun to try something new.

Pan-banging chocolate chip cookies
Pan-banging chocolate chip cookies

The pan-banging craze really started to boom last spring, in anticipation of Kieffer’s cookbook and one of her recipes being published in The New York Times. Soon everyone was banging their pans and sharing their cookie creations with the accompanying hashtag. Another recipe of Kieffer’s also picked up some steam—her tri-colored Neapolitan cookies. They are quite the work of art.

Back to pan-banging. While I could share the recipe here, Kieffer lays out so much information and specifics about how to best achieve the ideal pan-banging cookie that I think it is best for her to explain. If you’re looking for a small substitute for the real embraces from family and friends, maybe give one of these innovative, yet humble Pan-Banging Chocolate Chip Cookies a try.

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