Yes, You Can "Bake" A Cookie In A Frying Pan

This kitchen hack to baking will have you making cookie dough right now.

Photo by Roselle Miranda

Do you have a small kitchen and refuse to get an oven because you just don't have space for it? Perhaps you do have space but find that it's not worth it to have one? That's okay. 

It's a fact that many of us don't have ovens. While most of us will spend on a stove, rice cooker, refrigerator, and maybe an oven toaster or a microwave, a full-fledged oven is not on the list of must-haves for many households. 

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Small kitchen appliances are already quite handy and compact. However, if you want an oven but you just don't have the space to spare or don't want to add more to your growing collection of kitchen gadgets, you might not need one if you master this genius technique

This YUMMY KITCHEN TRICK is one that we learned and tested and may inspire you to bake even without an oven. If you've always wanted to make cookies but don't have an oven, we tested this hack for you. 

You can "bake a cookie" in your frying pan. 

To be more accurate, we highly recommend you use a nonstick frying pan and be as patient as the day is long. It may sound a little crazy but it can be done, with a few tips in mind. 

Place chilled cookie dough in a nonstick frying pan.
Photo by Roselle Miranda
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How do you do it? The idea here is to cook the cookie just enough so that the cookie is cooked all the way through without the bottom of the cookie burning. (This actually happened twice during our tests!)

In short, use the lowest heat setting on your stove. Don't be tempted to jack up the up heat to speed up the baking process! You'll end up with unevenly "baked" cookies! (We tried this, and it failed, resulting in burnt cookies on the bottom and undone cookie dough on top.) This also means you should preheat the pan just like you would as if cooking any other dish. 

Let these cookies cook until the tops are no longer shiny and the bottoms are browned but not burnt.
Photo by Roselle Miranda
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There were a few more factors that were necessary to pull off this cookie baking hack:

You need to do this in a nonstick pan because, despite the fact that the cookies were loaded with butter, it still had a tendency to stick. A nonstick pan solved this little dilemma easily. 

We also discovered that the best kind of cookie dough for this kitchen technique are chilled cookie dough balls. This prevents the cookies from spreading too much in the pan and results in taller, more chunky-looking cookies that look almost exactly like a cookie that has been baked in an oven. It also ensures that the center remains soft while the bottom cooks, resulting in soft-batch cookies. (If you like your cookies on the more firm side, omit chilling the dough or "bake" the dough for a little longer.) 

Lastly, the most important factor in "baking" a cookie on the stovetop is patience. Surprisingly, the stovetop cookie took twice as long as it would have baked if you used an oven. This might be because the heating element is only located on the bottom of the pan and not on top as it would be in an oven. While placing a lid on the frying pan while the cookies baked helped a little in "baking" the cookie, the heat trapped between the lid and the pan was almost negligible when it came to cooking the cookie. 

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These chocolate chip cookies are perfectly baked in a frying pan!
Photo by Roselle Miranda

We have one final piece of advice if you attempt this neat kitchen trick: be mindful of the cookies you're "baking", especially when doing this kitchen trick for the first time. You may have to regulate the heat just right so you have the perfect heat setting: it's hot enough to reach all the way to the middle of the cookie but not too hot that it will burn the cookie (and the chocolate chips!) before it's baked all the way through. You may think nothing is happening yet but there is. 

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Are you ready to try your hand at "baking" cookies on your stovetop? 

Here are all the tips you need to know to "bake" a cookie in a frying pan: 

  • 1 Make your cookie dough. Portion and then chill cookie dough balls. 
  • 2 Preheat your nonstick pan on Low when ready to bake. 
  • 3 Giving each chill cookie dough ball at least 2 inches space all around, place balls in the pan. Cover with a tight-fitting lid if desired. 
  • 4 Let cook, regularly checking that the bottom of the cookie is not browning faster than the cookie is being cooked. 
  • 5 Once the top of the cookie is no longer shiny and the sides and bottom are just browned, remove the cookie using a flat spatula. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with more cookie dough. 

YUMMY KITCHEN TRICKS is a new section where we teach you how to work with appliances and kitchen tools and share tried and tested cooking and baking hacks for those learning their way around the kitchen. 

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