What Is A Cookie Sheet Used For?

Cookie sheets are a standard part of anyone's kitchen cookware arsenal. But, have you ever found yourself wondering just what all can you cook on a cookie sheet? While cookies might be what they're designed for, that doesn't mean you can't bend the rules and experiment. After all, that's half the fun of cooking and baking! We have taken the time to search for all of the capabilities of cookie sheets, so you don't have to!

The more traditional cookie sheet style has limitations to things that don't involve liquid or spilling since they don't have edges. However, many types of modern cookie sheets do have edges and can be used for a wide variety of things, such as:

  1. Cookies
  2. Bars
  3. Pies
  4. Candy
  5. Breakfast
  6. Appetizers
  7. Dinners

As you can see, there are few limits to what a cookie sheet can do! While you might be itching to get out your cookware and try some new recipes, there may be a few things you want to learn about first. Ensure that you keep reading so that you don't miss out on any needed cookie sheet knowledge!

A roll of baking paper. What Is A Cookie Sheet Used For

What Is The Difference Between A Cookie Sheet And A Baking Sheet?

Before we dive into all of the different and wonderful things that cookie sheets can do, it's important to note this difference. It's very easy to muddy together cookie sheets and baking sheets as they are very similar with just one key difference. Technically, cookie sheets don't have edges. Baking sheets do have raised edges. Cookie sheets were designed this way to make sure cookies are baked evenly and as timely as possible. Also, it is easier to slide the hot cookies off of these flat sheets onto cooling racks.

baking tray with Baking sheet with cookies

Nowadays, it's hard to look for cookie sheets without finding that most of the options have raised edges like baking sheets. Many of the following recipes and ideas do require a cookie sheet with a raised edge. Traditional cookie sheets can still be found with just a little bit of extra searching!

Shop for traditional cookie sheets on Amazon!

Things That Cookie Sheets Can Be Used For

Let's take a look at some of the obvious and not so obvious things you can do with a cookie sheet!

1. Cookies

Freshly Baked Chocolate Chip Cookies on Baking Sheet

At the top of the list is, of course, cookies! The large variety of types of cookies alone that you can put on your sheet would have us here all day! Cookie sheets are great for all forms of cookies for a couple of reasons. The large flat surface area allows for the maximum amount of cookies to be placed while still giving them space to expand in the oven. The designs also help to cook these delicious treats evenly. Flat cookie sheets are the best at this, while ones with slightly raised edges may just take a minute or two more to cook.

2. Bars

A great way to make a large batch of amazing bars is to use a cookie sheet! They might be just a little flatter than your traditional bars, but they will be delicious all the same! Like with the cookies, the sheet's design allows for a fairly even baking of the bars and a large surface area to make a bunch. Try this cookie bar recipe to start things out!

3. Pies

A high angle close up of a grungy old baking pan with a home cooks first attempt at baking a berry pie

Cookie sheets are perfect for setting your pies on while they bake. While some pies are better suited in a pie tin, others can get a great bake on a cookie sheet. You can also usually a cookie sheet to set your pie on while it bakes simply for ease of taking it out of the oven. Having the extra space with the cookie sheet will make for a safer removal from the oven.

4. Candy

Another great way to use your cookie sheets is to try your hand at making some homemade candy. Sheets are great for this because of their flat, shallow design with a large amount of space. Since candy recipes usually start out as a liquid, that this design suits it perfectly! You can just lay down some parchment paper or aluminum foil and pour the liquid mixture right in to freeze it or bake it. Here is a great broken glass candy recipe to try!

5. Breakfast

Bacon slice being cooked in frying pan. Close up.

Now it's time to break away from sweets and desserts and look at how your cookie sheet can help you out with whole meals! The combination of a cookie sheet and an oven are great for making large batches of breakfast favorites. You make huge servings of scrambled eggs for the whole family on a cookie sheet. You can also make all kinds of scrambles with whatever ingredients you may want. A great way to get perfectly crispy bacon is to throw it in the oven on a cookie sheet and crisp it to perfection!

6. Appetizers

Cookie sheets may be an obvious way to cook some appetizers, but even this isn't as limited as you may think. Things like wings and egg rolls are usually cooked on sheets but have you thought of dips? Just like some of the other recipes, the design of the cookie sheet allows you to put some parchment paper down and pour in a dip to cook! Here is a great 4 cheese dip to try in your cookie sheet.

7. Dinners

Have you considered being able to cook an entire meal all at once on a cookie sheet? They make a great tool for cooking a large number of main dishes and side dishes. You can make everything from pork chops to mac and cheese on a cookie sheet! Even a romantic dinner for two isn't out of the question with this steakhouse dinner recipe.

More Cookie Sheet Questions

There may be some things that need to be considered before you can get to try out all of these great new ideas. Such as the different options available for cookie sheets. Different materials and sizes might be best for your preferences. Here are some things to think about when looking for a new cookie sheet.

What Is The Best Material For A Cookie Sheet?

While they do make steel cookie sheets, the most used material for them is aluminum. Standard aluminum cookie sheets are inexpensive, easy to clean, and cook things evenly and well. With these advantages, aluminum cookie sheets are most likely the best overall choice for at-home cooking and baking.

Are Nonstick Cookie Sheets Safe?

Nonstick has been a popular choice for all cookware for a while. Nonstick cookie sheets are great at cooking different items. They usually cook a little faster and make things crispier than standard nonstick aluminum sheets. The problem is when the nonstick coating starts to wear and break down; it is possible for it to mix with your food during baking.

For the safest practice while using a nonstick cookie sheet, you can cover them with aluminum foil or parchment paper. It is also important to replace them when you notice the nonstick start to fade or wear.

Are Insulated Cookie Sheets Better?

They are better for some things, yes. It just depends on what you're cooking. These cookie sheets are thicker and slow down the cooking process a bit. These sheets make it take longer to cook some items which are ideal for more delicate and thinner cookies for example. Insulated cookie sheets stop these delicate cookies from browning too fast and therefore burning.

What Can I Use Instead Of A Cookie Sheet?

Depending on what you are trying to make there are a few things you can do to replace that cookie sheet. If we're talking about a traditional flat cookie sheet, you can use a baking sheet instead. Your recipe may just take a little longer to cook through. You can also use parchment paper on any pan that has a flat surface. This can be anything from a skillet to a pizza pan. Aluminum foil directly onto the oven rack will also work. Just make sure that you keep an eye on whatever you're cooking, as cook times will vary with your cooking method.

Final Take-Aways

Cookie sheets are known for being great at making cookies, but they can go beyond that. With the right cookie sheet, you can make all of the ideas listed above and even more! The traditional flat cookie sheets are great for baking cookies and getting them off of the sheet easily. There are also other types of cookie sheets with edges that allow you to cook many things. All that's left is for you to pick a cookie sheet and start cooking!

For more baking knowledge, click on the links below!

25 Types Of Baking Dishes You Need In Your Kitchen

10 Best Baking Dishes For Convection Ovens

Are Convection Ovens Good For Baking Cakes And Cookies?

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