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So I found a recipe for cookies which calls to "Bake the cookies for 10 mins, taking the tray out halfway through and banging sharply on a work surface covered with a couple of tea towels - this dispels the air, making lovely squidgy cookies." (Source)

Is this sound advice?

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squidgy, adj: moist and pliant; soggy; unpleasantly damp – Sobachatina May 9 '12 at 19:44
I guess it would...collapse them? Could be tasty, though I suspect the same ends could be achieved through underbaking... – Adele C May 9 '12 at 19:48
Underbaking isn't quite the same thing as taking out air. It's probably a lot like reducing the leavening. – Jefromi May 9 '12 at 19:48
I wonder why the recipe would call for baking powder and soda and then add a step to reduce their effect. – Sobachatina May 9 '12 at 19:50
The soda and powder help to give the cookies spread, not only to gain volume. – mrwienerdog May 9 '12 at 20:15
up vote 7 down vote accepted

Based on the recipe, it seems that the intended result here is for a denser, chewier cookie. If you were able to perform this percussive therapy maneuver in exactly the method desired by the recipe-writer, then yes, it would knock some of the air out of the cookie, and collapse its structure a bit. I think that this maneuver would be difficult to perform precisely and repeatedly. Also, you'll have lots of variation in cooking time, as you have to open the oven halfway-though which lets lots of the warm air escape from the oven.

Instead of the "bang", just introduce less air into the cookies during the initial preparation. The easiest thing to do would be to under-cream the butter, peanut butter and sugar.

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Good idea - the chewy cookie recipe I used once didn't cream at all, it used melted butter. – rumtscho May 10 '12 at 9:28

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