Ever see something on the Internet and think to yourself, “Whaaaaaat, there’s no way that actually works.”
Yeah, same. All the time. Especially when it comes to food stuffs and clever cooking tricks. And working at MyRecipes, after coming across one of these noteworthy but unbelievable hacks, we often ask one of our staffers to go try it in their own kitchen to see if there’s something legitimately useful there.
Because the culinary innovation of TikTok users knows no bounds, there’s always new and exciting techniques to explore. For example, this week, we tried pan-frying chocolate chip cookies (not to be confused with air-frying cookies). That’s right, pan-fried. Rather than baking in the oven, this cooking method—originally posted on TikTok by @iankewks and later shared by @foodies—involves dropping mounds of raw cookie dough into a skillet and searing the cookie on both sides. The desired result is a cookie with a perfectly crispy, caramelized exterior and gooey-chewy interior, delivered in about 20 minutes.
See the original TikTok from @iankewks here.
Our own Annie Campbell, assistant editor/kitchen adventurer/official tryer of random things we find on TikTok, gave this trick a whirl and came out less than impressed, for a few reasons:
A. There’s too much guesswork, and a high margin of error. It took Annie too many batches of completely butchered cookies (7 batches, to be exact) and trying to get the heat and timing just right before she was able to produce an edible cookie.
B. Flipping par-cooked cookies is significantly more challenging than you might think. In a hot oven, sugar- and butter-laden cookie dough simultaneously spreads and crisps into a sturdy disc. The top and bottom of that disc cook in tandem. However, this is not the case with a moderately warm skillet. Dense cookie dough doesn’t puff up the way pancake batter does, and it’s not as easy to slide a spatula under halfway through the griddling process. Even using two spatulas, Annie struggled.
C. This method only yields 2-3 cookies per batch. “I guess if you’re the kind of person that only needs 1-2 cookies to be satisfied, this could work for you… but I am not that person,” Annie says.
All of that said, Annie notes that while the pan-frying method didn’t work out great for her, it has clearly worked for some people, and it could be a viable option for temporarily ovenless bakers or people who just want to avoid heating up the oven when a cookie craving strikes.
If you fall into one of those categories and are interested in giving this TikTok-inspired trick a try, here’s how it’s done:
Prepare your favorite cookie dough recipe. Annie opted for one of our staff-favorite chocolate chip cookie doughs, and recommends chilling whatever dough you prepare in the refrigerator (30 minutes to an hour should do it).
Start with a cool pan (preferably one with a lid), and grease with butter or baking spray. Place 2-3 scoops of cookie dough in the pan and pat down slightly with a spoon. Cover the pan.
Cook over medium-low heat for 8-10 minutes, then flip and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Carefully remove the cookies from the pan and allow to cool. They will be soft when finished, but firm up as they cool off.
If you decide to give pan-frying cookies a try at home, be sure to show us how they turn out by posting and tagging @myrecipes on Instagram.