This Pan-Banging Snickerdoodle Cookies recipe is a fun twist on a classic. The GIANT snickerdoodles have soft, chewy centers and crispy, rippled edges. Absolutely delightful!

several giant snickerdoodle cookies on a cooling rack

The Best Snickerdoodle Cookies are a Fun Twist on a Classic Recipe!

You know me. I’m always experimenting. I like to take tradition and give it a little twist. Such is the case with this super fun Pan-Banging Snickerdoodle Cookies recipe!

I’m sharing this snickerdoodle recipe from the new 100 Cookies book by local Minnesotan, Sarah Kieffer. If you’re looking for a Christmas gift for the bakers in your life, I absolutely recommend this book. Our daughters went crazy when the book arrived – pouring over its pages, tagging dozens (not kidding) of recipes to try. It’s going to keep us very busy!

Already a HUGE fan of Sarah’s Pan-Banging Chocolate Chip Cookies, I was banking on this new recipe winning us over, all over again. Sarah’s recipes (find her at The Vanilla Bean Blog) are tried and true – do give these snickerdoodles (with a twist!) a try!

100 Cookies book by Sarah Kieffer
close-up photo of pan-banging snickerdoodles

First Things First. What are Pan-Banging Cookies?

Pan-banging cookies are made by simply raising the pan of cookies in the hot oven, and then letting the pan fall (or Bang!) against the oven rack.

Repeat this pan-banging thing several times for each pan of cookies, at 2-minute intervals. This causes the warm, soft cookie dough to spread out flat and wide, into giant circles. These pan-banging snickerdoodle cookies measure five to six inches across!

Not only does this method create cookies large in diameter, but it also develops crinkly ripples at the edges. The cookies come out of the oven with soft, chewy centers and delicately crispy, ripply edges. The contrasting textures are absolutely delightful!

While tapping pans in the oven isn’t altogether new, Sarah’s very prescribed method for repeatedly lifting and “banging” pans against the oven rack has taken this concept to a whole new – and somewhat loud! – level. First with her famous chocolate chip cookies version. And now with TWELVE more pan-banging recipes in her latest 100 Cookies book. Our daughter Tessa says we’re trying the s’mores version next!

pan-banging snickerdoodles on a cooling rack

What is a Snickerdoodle?

Many people think that snickerdoodles are just your classic sugar cookies rolled in cinnamon sugar. And while the cookies ARE similar, there’s one key ingredient that makes a snickerdoodle a true snickerdoodle.

That ingredient is cream of tartar.

Cream of tartar adds that signature “tang” to the snickerdoodle flavor. It also prevents the cookies from developing sugar crystals like regular sugar cookies. This keeps the cookies soft and puffy.

Except that this recipe’s instructions have us banging the pans in the oven, flattening out the cookie into giant disks with eye-catching ripples. So you’ll just have to focus on the “tang” and overlook the “puffy” description when it comes to these non-traditional snickerdoodles!!

ingredients for cookies

Cookie Ingredients

The ingredients list for this easy snickerdoodle recipe is a fairly short one:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Cream of tartar – for that signature snickerdoodle “tang” that we already talked about!
  • Nutmeg – this recipe calls for freshly grated nutmeg, I’ll talk about that next!
  • Unsalted butter – let it come to room temperature
  • Granulated sugar
  • Egg
  • Vanilla – please use only pure vanilla extract, not imitation flavoring!
  • Cinnamon
freshly grated nutmeg

Why Use Fresh Nutmeg?

I’m not sure why I continue to keep a jar of ground nutmeg on hand. Because I always skip over it and grab the whole nutmeg seeds instead!

Freshly ground nutmeg is so absolutely wonderful. It is much more aromatic and all-around beautiful than the jar of dusty ol’ ground stuff. And I find the actual grating to be somewhat therapeutic. Baking should be like that.

I use freshly ground nutmeg in Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins, Carrot Cake, my favorite Apple Crisp, Almond Coconut Granola, Homemade Eggnog, and this fun-for-the-holidays Eggnog Cocktail!

I keep a few of these small, hard nutmeg seeds in a repurposed spice jar, along with all the other spices in the drawer. And I use a microplane zester to grate the seed into fine, frilly pieces. If you don’t have one of these zesters, I highly recommend it – it’s one of my favorite kitchen tools!

collage of images showing how to make pan-banging snickerdoodles

How to Make Pan-Banging Snickerdoodles

The pan-banging method definitely adds to the active time of this recipe. But it’s still very easy – and SO MUCH FUN!!

Prep oven & pans: Adjust an oven rack to the middle of the oven and preheat to 350° F. Then line three sheet pans with aluminum foil, dull-side up.

Whisk dry ingredients: In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cream of tartar, and nutmeg.

Beat wet & dry ingredients: In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter until creamy. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Then add egg and vanilla, and mix to combine. Finally, add flour mixture and mix to combine.

Roll dough balls in cinnamon sugar: Form dough into 3 ounce balls and roll in cinnamon sugar. Place dough balls on prepared baking pan.

Bake cookies & BANG THE PAN! Bake until dough balls have flattened but are puffed slightly in the center, 8 minutes. Then lift the pan up 4″ and let it drop down on the oven rack, so the edges of the cookies set and the centers fall back down. After cookies puff up again in 2 minutes, repeat lifting and dropping the pan. Repeat a few more times to create those pretty ripples, baking 14 to 15 minutes total. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes on pan.

close-up photo of outer ripples on pan-banging cookies

If you’re a snickerdoodles fan, or just enjoy trying new, intriguing things, you just have to give these pan-bangers a try.

Enjoy!!

Like these cookies? Save the recipe to Pinterest!

Pinterest image for pan-banging snickerdoodle cookies

I found a few more snickerdoodle recipes “with a twist”, check them out! Pumpkin Snickerdoodles from TidyMom, Snickerdoodle Pie from taste & tell, and Snickerdoodle Cheesecake from Recipe Girl.

pan-banging snickerdoodles

Pan-Banging Snickerdoodle Cookies

Yield: 10 giant cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

GIANT snickerdoodles with soft, chewy centers and crispy, rippled edges. A fun twist on a classic cookie recipe!

Ingredients

  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg - use a Microplane zester to grate
  • 1 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1.75 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 T. cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line three sheet pans with aluminum foil, dull-side up.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cream of tartar, and nutmeg.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat butter on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add 1-1/2 cups of the sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add egg and vanilla and mix on low speed to combine. Add flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and the cinnamon.
  5. Form the dough into 3 ounce balls (about 1/4 cup) - I use a kitchen scale to measure the weight. Roll each ball in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place 3 or 4 balls of dough an equal distance apart on the sheet pans. If you like the darker cinnamon streaks like my photos show, add a little pile of cinnamon sugar to the top of each dough ball. Bake one pan at a time, until dough balls have flattened but are puffed slightly in the center, 8 minutes. Lift the sheet pan up about 4 inches 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 14 to 15 minutes total, until cookies have spread out and the edges are golden brown but the centers are much lighter and not fully cooked.
  6. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack. Let cookies cool for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack to bring to room temperature. Cookies are at their crispiest, chewiest best on the day they are made. Store cookies in an airtight container for 2 days or refrigerate for up to 3 days. They are super fun to eat chilled!

Notes

From 100 Cookies by Sarah Kieffer of the The Vanilla Bean Blog.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 401Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 311mgCarbohydrates: 55gFiber: 1gSugar: 35gProtein: 3g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.

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I received a copy of 100 Cookies for my use and review. All opinions are 100% mine.