10 Best Cookie Baking Tools

With the launch of Sally’s Cookie Addiction, the holiday baking season upon us, and our general obsession with all things cookies— I figured it’s the best time to chat about what we’re using to MAKE cookies. The tools that help guarantee cookie success and put the best tasting cookies in our cookie jars– and hungry bellies.

Cookies are my favorite dessert to bake, so I’ve gone through my fair share of cookie baking tools to know exactly what works best– and, more importantly, why. Over the years, I’ve come to understand which cookie baking tools a baker truly needs and I’m super excited to chat with you about it today.

Let’s get started on another post in the baking basics series. And feast our eyes on cake batter chocolate chip cookies:

Before we get there, let’s review my top 5 cookie baking tips:

  1. Chill the cookie dough. If the cookie dough is particularly sticky, wet, or greasy– chilling is in its best interest. And yours! Chilling cookie dough helps prevent spreading. The colder the dough, the less the cookies are likely to over-spread into greasy puddles.
  2. Prevent excess spreading. See #2 in this post. As well as page 11 in Sally’s Cookie Addiction for 7 additional tips to prevent excess cookie spreading.
  3. Temperature is king. Unless you have a regularly calibrated oven, your oven’s temperature is probably inaccurate. Get an oven thermometer. They’re cheap and will save you a million headaches. Likewise, make sure your ingredients are the same temperature. Here’s why. Want to bring your butter to room temperature quickly? Here’s my trick.
  4. Ditch the specified baking time. I never look at recipe times when I bake cookies. I look at the cookies themselves. The cookies are done when the edges are set and lightly browned.
  5. One batch at a time. You get the best possible results when the oven only concentrates on that 1 batch. If you need to bake more than one batch at a time, rotate the baking sheets from the top rack to bottom rack a couple times through the baking process to encourage even browning.

Want more cookie tips?

  1. Here’s an entire blog post on the best practices for freezing cookie dough.
  2. And the BEST WAY to ship cookies!! (Seriously, it works!)

Ok let’s do this!

10 Favorite Cookie Baking Tools

1) Quality Cookie Sheets
First and foremost, a set of good quality cookie sheets are a MUST. Did you know the color and material of your cookie sheets greatly impacts the way your cookies turn out? Dark metal sheets typically over-bake cookies and thin flimsy cookie sheets = burnt bottoms. In the past few years, I’ve tested many brands and my favorite is easily USA Pan half sheet baking pan. They’re a wonderful size for baking a dozen cookies, have an edge so they can be used for other recipes like pouring out toffee, caramel corn, and sheet cakes. I suggest owning a few of them. I have 6!

*Remember, hot sheets are a no-no. Never place cookie dough on a hot baking sheet. It’s best to own a few extra cookie sheets so you always have a room temperature sheet on hand.

2) Silicone Baking Mats
Baking mats are my favorite cookie-baking tool. Coating your baking sheet with nonstick spray or butter creates an overly greasy foundation, causing the cookies to spread. I always recommend a silicone baking mat (11×16 inch size to fit your USA Pan cookie sheets) because they grip onto the bottom of your cookies, preventing the cookies from spreading too much. These mats also promote even browning. They’re reusable, dishwasher friendly, and perfect for roasting veggies, meats, fish, potatoes, etc. I have 6– one for each of my cookie sheets.

3) Cookie Scoops
These are not just for perfectly shaped cookies. I have one in each size. I use the large size for cupcake/muffin and pancake batter, ice cream, meatballs, and the prettiest mashed potato scoops. I use the medium size for cookies– particularly textured oatmeal cookies and sticky coconut macaroons. And I use the small size for truffles, tiny cookies, and as a melon baller. Cookie scoops are extremely handy. And you can’t beat OXO in my opinion.

4) Cooling Racks
I always allow my baked cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheets once I remove them from the oven. However, I immediately transfer them to a cooling rack after that. Why? The bottoms of the cookies need some air in order to cool so that we avoid soggy bottoms. (–> there’s 2 words I never thought I’d put together on my blog.) I own a few of these cooling racks. They’re super inexpensive, get the job done, and have lasted me years.

5) Stand Mixer
An obvious must if you bake cookies on the regular. You can certainly get away with a hand mixer instead (here’s the hand mixer I own and love), but a stand mixer is obviously super convenient– and versatile too! When I’m working with an enormous amount of dough/batter or making something that requires several minutes of mixing (old-fashioned fudge, marshmallows, bread dough etc) a stand mixer is key – I have two of these stand mixers. They’re the perfect size for a baker’s kitchen.

6) Quality Measuring Cups
It’s slightly embarrassing how many sets of measuring cups I own!! But I have two favorites. I love this set because of the soft easy-grip handles and stainless steel (great quality). I also love this set for the same reasons and the fact that there’s a 1/8 cup measuring cup. Which is rare in sets. 1/8 cup = 2 Tablespoons, a measurement used quite often. Very convenient! For more accurate measuring, definitely pick up a food scale. This OXO brand is my favorite. A gram is always a gram. An ounce is always an ounce. A cup is NOT always a cup and therefore weighing is the most accurate way to measure.

7) Rolling Pin
A must-have for shaped cookies. Rolling pins vary in price, but mine is inexpensive and has lasted years through my constant use. I highly recommend it.

8) Sturdy Cookie Cutters
You may love all the whimsically adorable shapes and sizes, but make sure you’re buying quality cookie cutters. By that I mean cookie cutters that are strong, sturdy, and have sharp edges to give you a clean cut. My must-haves include a set of round cutters (used most recently here, here, and here) as well as mostly anything from Ann Clark’s collection. Wilton brand is fantastic as well. Love these Mickey Mouse shapes and I also love this set of cookie cutters for not only cookie baking, but for pie crust shapes/designs as well.

Making cookies with a cookie press? Here is my preferred cookie press. The shapes are all so pretty, it’s super simple to use, and a breeze to clean.

9) Rubber Spatulas
Nothing beats spatulas, especially if they are well-made and heavy duty. I own plenty, but my favorite and most-used are these spatulas. From stirring and mixing, to scraping the sides of bowls, spreading frosting, cooking, etc. I use them for everything, everyday. And you obviously need some with cute sayings, too.

More super cute spatulas I own: chocolate makes everything better AND I never met a cookie I didn’t like!

10) Cookie Carrier
Traveling with your cookies? I’m sure you are! Whether your batch is for a party, bake sale, friends, family, or toting along to work– you need a case that will safely transport your cookies. I love this cupcake carrier. I use it for cookies (and cupcakes, of course). When I use it for cookies, I remove the tray and simply pile the cookies inside. I like this cupcake and cookie carrier a little better though– the cookies don’t fall out when you remove the lid because there are sides to the carrier.

Now let’s bake some cookies!

Q: What are your favorite cookie baking tools?

Further reading for cookie baking:


  1. Awesome! I love that I can use this post as a “one stop shop” for cookie tips. And knowing the tools you use is super helpful.

  2. Trying to sign up for an autographed bookplate as it is 9:23 PM in Arizona, so that makes it 12:23 AM on the East coast.  Where do I sign up?  If I did sign up in the right spot, is there any slim chance I can get 4 bookplates?  I bought 3 copies of all your books for a Christmas gifts… just thought I would ask….

  3. As a cookie monster myself, I am so excited to get into the holiday season baking! Thanks for these awesome tips!

  4. Very useful tips, Sally! Hope you are having a nice time with your daughter!! 
    The most useful tip for me: freeze cookie dough balls individually and then place in a ziploc bag and freeze. Had so much fun baking your brown butter choc chip cookies when friends came over. They were amazed that I baked from scratch so fast…used the frozen cookie dough balls 😉

  5. I love my cookie scoops and silicone spatulas and baking mats as well as my new French rolling pin.
    Though one of the best things I use since I move quite often and constantly have to adjust to a new oven is my oven thermometer…it is cheap but it works and has helped in many ways and for many years!

  6. I love baking on my cookie sheets, so many ways to use them.  Although I really want to get a cookie scoop- it would make life easier for sure:)

    1. I love my scoops!! But I actually don’t always use a cookie scoop when making regular drop cookies (chocolate chip cookies, snickerdoodles, etc). I use it mostly for oatmeal cookies (as the textured dough can be sticky and tough to handle) and always for super sticky coconut macaroons!

  7. I’m a little confused!! I have been following your blog for quite awhile now and I’m surprised to see measuring cups listed and not a scale. I recently purchased one and was literally shocked at how more more flour, confectioners sugar, etc. that I used compared to the cups measurements. I am surprised that any cookies I made before even turned out!! Do you use the scale or cup measurements??? Thank you for your precious time Sally☺

    1. Hey Wendy! When I test recipes, I use a food scale. But know the average person, especially in the US where I live, measuring cups are more often used. I included both, of course! 🙂

  8. Just curious as to why you have 2 KitchenAid mixers. I have the Pro model and just bought an additional bowl. I can’t imagine an instance where I would need 2 mixers going at the same time!

    1. I have a 2nd mixer because baking is my career 🙂 For the amount I bake, especially when I’m writing a cookbook, an additional mixer is much needed.

      1. Hi Sally, I was actually surprised that you only have two and not more.It is such an essential tool for your job.
        Not long ago Maria of Two Peas and Their Pod posted pictures of their new home The kitchen pantry picture was amazing. She has numerous mixers in all different colors!

  9. Love all these tips, I have those OXO measuring cups too and I love them. They are the most durable I have ever owned. I have to get my hands on some new cookie sheets. I agree with the rubber spatula tip too, I have had many bad one and one that outlasted them all. Thank you for all the posts in this series, its helpful to understand the whys and how’s of baking and science was never really my thing!

  10. Thanks for the tips Sally! I especially like the don’t look at the recipe for the baking time. I get caught up in what the timing “should” be.
    What are your thoughts of putting cookie dough on a hot/warm cookie sheet?

  11. This is super helpful! Thank you for pulling all of this together. My husband has told me how much better my skills have gotten, and I owe my improvement to you! Your recipes are so easy to follow, and my nerdly side appreciates that you go into the “why” of baking.

  12. I have some mega cookie sheets that I love because I can fit more cookies per batch. But I really need to invest in a cookie scoop, as my cookies usually aren’t all the same size.

  13. I know a few things to add to my Christmas list now. haha I’ve told my family, a safe bet for a Christmas gift for me is anything baking down the aisle, or a Starbucks gift card. Baking and coffee. Can it get much better?? 🙂

    I’m not sure if you have said this before, if I am baking one tray of cookies at a time should I put the rest of the dough in the fridge or is it okay to leave it out? Or is this completely dependent on the type of dough I am using? I’m always afraid my dough will get too warm while waiting on a different batch to come out of the oven, but don’t want it to be hard as a rock trying to scoop it.

    1. It depends on the dough. If the cookie dough needs to be chilled in the refrigerator prior to baking, I leave it in the fridge as I bake 1 batch. If not, it’s ok to be out. 🙂

  14. I am happy to report that I have all the essentials. If you ask my hubby, he’ll say that I have everything now that I ordered the jelly roll pan. He doesn’t know about the tart pan I just orderef

  15. I love the Pampered Chef scoopers I have. I have small, medium and large. They are a lifesaver and my go to for everything from cookies to muffins. I am always on the hunt for a new tool!

  16. Your recipes and tips have made me a much better baker – thank you!!  I really want to get your book and try all the recipes

  17. Thank you so much for this! I’ve been working on improving my cookies, and I think those baking sheets are going to be my next purchase. Definitely need those. I’ve purchased so many things you recommend and slowly but surely my kitchen is becoming so much more fun to bake in! 🙂

    On another note – the 24 count cupcake pans are WONDERFUL! I own 2 of that size and 1 of the 48 count mini cupcake pan.

  18. Big decision. Silpat baking mats of course, heavy duty mixers, but since I began to follow Sally (my new BFF for obvious reasons), I can no longer use a recipe to bake anything without my trusty kitchen scale.

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally