Kirbie's Cravings

Baking 101: Cookie Sheets


One of my goals for 2015 is writing a series of baking tutorials. First up, what is the best type of cookie sheet for baking the most even and pretty cookies.

Best Baking Pan for Cookies

Occasionally, I will get a comment from a reader that is having issues with one of my cookie recipes: the cookies didn’t spread out, they spread too much, etc. When I suggest that the issue could be their baking pan, they often don’t believe me. But baking pans can make a huge difference.

I currently use the Nordicware Aluminum Half Sheet Baking Sheets. Aluminum heats up quickly and evenly. These pans are sturdy, yet lightweight, and most importantly, they produce beautiful cookies.

Here are some recent chocolate chip cookies I baked on the aluminum baking sheet.

While I haven’t had the luxury of being able to conduct tests on dozens of different cookie sheet brands out there, I’ve found that in general, to stay away from the darker pans (steel, nonstick, etc).

Here are the results of cookies I made with a darker non-stick Chicago Metallic pan (top four) versus my Nordicware aluminum pan (bottom four cookies). I kept all the other variables constant: same batch of dough, same amount of dough, same position in oven, same amount of time, same baking temperature, etc.

As you can see the top ones, don’t spread out as much. Instead they get stuck and turn out thick, small and oddly shaped. Also, by the time the tops are finished, the bottoms are already overcooked. When you flip them over, you can see that the bottoms are also too dark.

So as you can see, the baking sheets you are using can make a big difference in how your cookies turn out.

As another example, over Christmas, I made four different types of cookies and each time, the aluminum baking pan with the silicone mat produced the best results. Here’s a photo of dark nonstick pan versus aluminum for some Nutella cookies I made (and yes, they are on different brands of silicon mats but I also switched the mats up and the problem was always the baking sheets rather than the mats).

For more baking sheet reviews, you can read here and here. These articles tested more brands, but came to a similar conclusion as I did.

In conclusion, if you want to bake up consistently nice looking and tasting cookies, I highly recommend you invest in Nordicware Aluminum Baking Sheets.

6 comments on “Baking 101: Cookie Sheets”

  1. I bake cookies on aluminum (I think) cookie sheets, using parchment paper instead of the silicone mats. I should try the mats to see if there’s a difference. I saw the silicone mats at Costco, but didn’t look very closely since I already had some. I like the circles and now I wish I had bought them, too.

    • Hi Sandy. I’ve noticed a difference with the silicone versus parchment. When I bake on parchment the bottom of the cookies don’t brown completely evenly, they are patches of light and dark, whereas on silicone it’s pretty even the entire bottom. It’s not a huge difference…not as big of a noticeable difference as using a steel or nonstick pan, but there is definitely some difference. I was actually going to add that here, but I wanted to actually test a few diff parchment papers out to see if there is a difference first

  2. I love the difference.. I’ve always wanted to give those a try.
    My cookies greatly improved when I started using very light half sheet pans covered in parchment paper.

    • it is a bit crazy how different the cookies can turn out, isn’t it? I actually only started using the aluminum ones towards the end of last year and I couldn’t believe the difference

  3. I use those baking sheets too! Last year at costco they had a two pack for somewhere around 12 so I bought them, making my total collection of 3 half sheets. I don’t mind because cookies are that much easier between cooking, prepping and cooling off!

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