I came across an article titled An Internet-Famous Cookie Worthy of Baking in Real Life in the New York Times recently, detailing the popularity of a crinkle chocolate chip cookie, originating from the super talented Sarah Kieffer…author of the very beautiful The Vanilla Bean Blog.
Sarah’s unique ‘trick’ with these cookies is to bang the baking sheet a few times throughout the baking process, mainly after the cookies have risen a little in the oven. This banging motion causes the cookies to ‘fall’, and the repetition creates a rippled effect, producing gloriously crisp edges and a soft and squidgy middle. Even Sarah Kieffer herself seems blown away by the response her cookies have had…
As soon as I read about them, I did of course have to try them for myself. I have tried so many different recipes for cookies over the years…soft ones, crispy ones, thin ones, thick ones…but this technique is one I have certainly never heard of, let alone tried. I had all the ingredients in my kitchen so I was all good to go. The original recipe doesn’t call for pecans, but I added them anyway as I adore pecans in cookies. You can obviously omit those if you prefer, however I think they taste heavenly.
INGREDIENTS (Makes 16 large cookies)
250g plain flour
½ teaspoon bicarb of soda
¾ teaspoon salt
230g unsalted butter, room temperature
300g golden granulated sugar
55g light soft brown sugar (dark is also fine)
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
170g dark chocolate (minimum 60%), chopped into coarse pieces
Preheat your oven to 180C/160C fan and line 2 baking sheets with parchment/greaseproof paper.
Sieve the flour, bicarb of soda and salt into a small bowl.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter on medium until creamy. Add the granulated and brown sugar and beat on medium until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
At this point, place the pecans on a baking tray and pop in the oven to toast. Keep an eye on them though, as they can easily burn and this really makes them taste horrible.
Add the egg, vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of 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. (I used a mix of dark and milk chocolate – mainly because I didn’t have quite enough dark chocolate in my cupboard, but it worked really well.)
Remove the pecans from the oven and chop them roughly. Add to the bowl and mix. (At this point, the dough can be refrigerated for several hours or overnight.)
Form the dough into balls. I did mine a little bigger than a golf ball. Place 4 balls an equal distance apart on your prepared tray, 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.
(If, like me, you don’t have a freezer big enough to put your baking sheet into it, simply place the 4 balls onto a small plate, or even a torn off sheet of baking parchment and pop them in the freezer. Meanwhile, chill your larger baking sheet in the fridge. After 15 minutes, you can then transfer the dough balls to the chilled baking sheet.)
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 risen centre falls back down. It feels a bit weird doing this, but go with it.
After the cookies puff up again, 2-3 minutes later, repeat lifting and dropping the pan. Repeat a few more times, every 2-3 minutes, to create ridges around the edge of the cookie. Bake for about 14-16 minutes in 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 baking sheet to a wire rack and allow to cool before removing the cookies from the pan, then repeat with the remaining cookies, alternating the baking sheets.
It took me a few tries to get them right. They looked great from the first go, but the texture wasn’t right. They weren’t soft in the middle, instead they were crispy all the way through. (Still delicious mind you!) But then I realised I had the oven on at 180C, when I was using a fan oven, so it should have been at 160C. Also, the recipe calls for the balls to be rolled way bigger than how I was rolling them, to make gigantic cookies. However, I didn’t want such enormous cookies so I reduced the size a little and reduced the cooking time by a couple of minutes.
I ended up with 16 cookies which disappeared within 24 hours. They are rather addictive! The initial crispiness of the edge is met with the gloriously squidgy centre. Coupled with the crunchy toasted pecans and the melted chocolate, these cookies are divine. I will absolutely be making them again.