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Pan-Banging Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

I Baked the Viral #PanBangingCookies, and I'm Never Going Back

Baker and blogger Sarah Kieffer's "pan-banging chocolate chip cookies" have made the Instagram rounds for a while now, and I had to know first-hand if the hype for these high-maintenance cookies was real. Well, spoiler alert, they lived up to the hype (and then some) and yes, the extra steps are most definitely worth it. These huge, plate-size cookies are chewy and gooey, perfectly thin and slightly crispy around the edges, and they have almost a caramelized flavor thanks to the unique baking method and copious amount of sugar and butter (no complaints here).

After trying several chocolate chip cookie recipes over the last few months, it's safe to say these are now my go-to cookies (especially since my cookie connoisseur husband gives them a 10/10 rating).

Before you get started, here are a few pointers for successful pan-banging cookies.

These cookies are big (see large dough ball below). If you make them smaller, they won't get all the nice ripples that make them so delicious.

You can see the pan banging in action here. I just carefully lifted up the pan a couple inches above the rack and dropped it down. You do this every two minutes after they've first been in the oven for 10 minutes. You'll know they're ready when the middle is almost done but still lighter than the edges.

Do your best to space them out on the pan or they'll all meld together. This is also why the freezer time is super important. Making sure the dough got in its full freezer time prevents them from spreading out too much.

Drooling yet? Get the recipe now!

Pan-Banging Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sarah Kieffer, The Vanilla Bean Blog


  • I found a kitchen scale helpful for measuring the cookie dough balls to make sure they were big enough for the ripples and that they were consistent in size.
  • I also used a kitchen scale for measuring the flour and sugar based on the gram amounts in the recipe as it was featured in the New York Times.
  • You can substitute salted butter and just cut down the salt (I used 1/2 teaspoon instead of 3/4 teaspoon).
  • I used bittersweet chocolate chips instead of a bar of chocolate and chopped them up into really small chunks.

Pan-Banging Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe


  • 2 cups / 256 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 pound / 227 grams unsalted butter (2 sticks), room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups / 302 grams granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup / 55 grams packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces / 170 grams bittersweet chocolate (bar or chocolate chips), chopped into coarse pieces, bits and shards


  1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position. Line 3 baking sheets with aluminum foil (dull side up).
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda and salt.
  3. 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. (At this point, the dough can be refrigerated for several hours or overnight.)
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Form the dough into 3 1/2-ounce (100-gram) 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.
  5. Place the chilled baking sheet in the oven and bake 10 minutes, until the cookies are puffed slightly in the center. Lift the baking sheet and let it drop down against the oven rack, so the edges of the cookies set and the inside falls back down.
  6. After the cookies puff up again, 2 minutes later, repeat lifting and dropping the pan. Repeat a few more times, every 2 minutes, 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.
  7. Lift the foil off the pan to transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool.
  8. Repeat with remaining cookies.
Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Tara Block
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