We’ve never seen this technique before.

By Grace Elkus
December 04, 2017
Grace Elkus

If you follow even just a handful of food accounts on Instagram, you’ve likely seen the “rippled” chocolate chip cookie show up on your feed. The cookies are huge (a heaping 1/3 cup of dough per cookie), and are studded with roughly-chopped chunks of bittersweet chocolate. But it’s the ridges around the rim of the cookie that makes them so unique—and unlike any other cookie I’ve ever seen.

It's difficult to improve upon the classic chocolate chip cookie in a way that hasn’t been done before. Food writer and cookbook author David Leite is famous for his method of refrigerating cookie dough for 24-36 hours before baking (though we tested this method and weren’t convinced it’s worth it). Other recipes have you brown the butter for a nutty finish, or shape the dough a certain way for craggly tops. It seemed it had all been thought of—until Sarah Kieffer of the Vanilla Bean Blog decided to bang her pan of cookies while they were baking.

To achieve crispy edges and a soft, gooey center, Sarah lifts the side of her baking sheet up and drops it back down against the oven rack after the cookies spread and puff in the center, about 10 minutes. She repeats this every two minutes until ridges form around the edge of the cookies. This explains why the cookies are so oversized: smaller cookies won’t yield as many ridges, and the center won’t be as soft.

VIDEO: Does Refrigerating Cookie Dough Make a Better Cookie? 

I was curious as to whether the method was worth it, so I tried it out at home. The verdict? They were very tasty (my co-workers devoured them), but they won’t be my new go-to (the extra step of pan-banging wasn't worth it for me). Here’s a few tips if you plan to make them:

  • The recipe asks that you transfer the baking sheet with the dough balls to the freezer. If you’re like me and have a small freezer, place the dough balls on a plate, freeze, then transfer to the baking sheet.
  • Top with a generous pinch of flaky salt before baking. You won’t regret it.
  • My cookies spread into each other in the oven. I would recommend baking three at a time, rather than four.
  • Rotate your baking sheet halfway through the bake time so that the cookies bake evenly. Mine also took 22 minutes total, as opposed to 18.
  • Don’t attempt to make these with a sleeping baby (or in my case, puppy) in the room. The pan banging is VERY loud.
  • We tried the technique on double chocolate cookies with little success. Case in point: reserve this method for this specific recipe. 

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