Picking the Perfect Baking Sheet

By christina f on Dec. 24, 2012 at 12:00 AM

                                                                                    

Macaroons, chocolate chip, oatmeal, sugar, snickerdoodle, and white chocolate macadamian nut. No matter what the flavor, cookies are a delicious part of the holidays.

Did you know that all baking sheets are not created equal?  I learned this the hard way while baking a few batches of my Christmas oatmeal cookies last week. I had one batch in the oven on a non-stick cookie sheet, and another waiting to go in on an insulated cookie sheet. To my surprise, I liked the results I got from the insulated baking sheet much better! The cookies were softer and chewier - as all good oatmeal cookies should be.

I even put the two versions up to a taste test with the best taste tester there is - my son. He choose the ones baked on the insulated sheet too.

In all there are a few different kinds of baking sheets that all serve a different purpose for your baking needs. Take a look and decide which one is best for you.

Aluminum

Aluminum cookie sheets conduct heat quickly and provide an evenly heated cooking surface. Everything cooks at the same rate and the result is uniformity in cookie shape and size. Also, aluminum does not rust, so care for this sheet is easy. Even if you put it away a little wet, you'll be okay. The same cannot be said for the cookie sheets below.

Steel

Steel cookie sheets are more expensive than aluminum cookie sheets and that is because they are much, much sturdier. They also tend to last a lot longer. Some may need special care to ensure they stay seasoned. Cookie results are much like those baked on aluminum.

Insulated

An insulated baking sheet is formed with two sheets of metal, leaving a space in between for a barrier of air. Cookies take a little longer to bake on an insulated sheet, which means that you will have less browning and an overall softer, chewier cookie.

Non-stick pans

Non-stick pans usually produce crispy, crunchy cookies because they are good at repelling water, even through the baking process. You can get a light finish or a dark finish. Lighter finishes produce lighter cookies. Dark finishes produce darker cookies. Nothing sticks, and you don't need to grease the pans before use. It's a great convenience to have during busy baking times.

Moms, what cookie baking tips can you share?

christina f About :
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Replies (1-10):
  • SweetLuci
  • by Luci on Dec. 24, 2012 at 10:32 AM
  •  As a former pastry instructor, let me tell you that stainless steel pans have hot spots, they don't cook evenly, they are not a good choice. buy aluminum pans from a restaurant supply store. some Costco and Sam's have them as well. Use parchment paper to line them, it can be reused many times. Buy several pans, they're great for multiple baking tasks. when baking cookies, one pan can be chilling in the refrigerator while another is baking, and you're filling a third. Easy peasy.

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  • 4kidz916
  • by Silver Member on Dec. 26, 2012 at 8:00 AM
  • I need a good aluminum pan.  I had one a few years ago and lost it when I was moving.  :(  Right now I have a cheap one that does ok and I also have a stone that I like to bake on.

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  • GwenMB
  • by Member on Dec. 26, 2012 at 10:02 AM
  • Hmmm...I should add cookies sheets to my shopping list if they are on sale today!  I would like to get rid of the non-stick ones I have.

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