Addictive Recipes from a Self-Taught Baker

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.

(PS: autographed bookplate giveaway happening at 12am ET on my blog tonight, first 200 to enter win!)

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:

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

85 comments

  1. I love the baking basics series, I ALWAYS learn so much! I’m a new convert to the silicone mats, just still trying to solve the mystery of the greasy feel they get, even after I wash them – ?? And stainless steel measuring cups are the best. Definitely going to investigate USA Pans though, I need to upgrade my half sheet pans. Thanks as always!!

    • They’ll always feel slick and smooth– but if they eel overly greasy, take a paper towel and wipe clean. That always helps mine!

  2. The OXO Stainless Flexible Turner (spatula). Its thin and can get under any cookie! I never bake without it.

  3. Thanks Sally for all the cookie baking tips. I absolutely love your new cookbook!

  4. Mundy favorite tool is the Cookie dough scoop (ice cream scoop). IT makes all my cookies the same size. 

  5. Sally…possibly I ‘m mistaken.  Wasn’t there a promo for signed bookplates during the summer?  I thought I responded in time to earn.

  6. I love how Sally tells us the tools she uses making it easier to make cookies or decorate cupcakes.

  7. My cookie scoop. I get the perfect shape cookie everytime. They’re all the same size as well. 

  8. Love all the tips you share in your new cookbook. I have been able to improve on what I thought was the “best” to even better! Hat’s off to You Sally! And thank you!

  9. Love, love, love your books and blog!  Would love, love, love to win a signed copy!

  10. Love, love, love your books and blog and would love to win a signed copy of Sally’s Cookie Addiction!

  11. where’s the bookplate giveaway
    I am on here at midnight eastern and see nothing

  12. Where’s the giveaway post?

  13. Where do we enter for the name plate contest?

  14. I love the tips! Thank you!

  15. I love my cookie scoop! Thanks, Sally

  16. My stand mixer!

  17. Cookie dough scoops are totally going on my Christmas list this year!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.com

  18. My Kitchenmaid stand mixer is my favorite baking tool.  My in-laws gave me a refurbished version 15 years ago and it is still going strong.  

    Love these baking basic posts!  I just purchased the oven thermometer per your recommendation.  

  19. Ha ha!  Soggy bottoms!  Have you been watching The Great British Bake-Off, by any chance?  Paul Hollywood’s soggy bottoms are a national obsession!

  20. I love your blog! I find your tips very helpful and it saved me a lot of times from wasting my ingredients. I just want to let you know that I follow your blog and I nominated you for One Lovely Blog award. Following your blog, I know how busy your schedule is, especially now that you are a proud mom (Congratulations by the way). I hope you will take time to share a little something about yourself. No monetary compensation, just my way of saying keep on sharing your recipes. I love them! Please take a look https://sweetnspicyliving.com/2017/10/21/one-lovely-blog-award/.

  21. I am SO excited for holiday cookie season! These tips and tools are fantastic. Thank you for sharing!

    xx Allison

  22. I love this post. I have 9 out of the 10 items you mentioned already, and use them lots. You know you’re a baker when… 😉 The only thing I don’t have yet is a cupcake carrier, which I definitely want next time I have to transport cupcakes. Thanks for sharing!

  23. I loved this newsletter! Really enjoyed the 10 best cookie baking tools list 🙂

  24. I found your site while looking for a gingerbread man recipe, btw I’ve gotten so many rave reviews on them, thanks!, but I’m a little surprised your favorite measuring cups don’t include a 3/4 cup, its amazing how many recipes call for that measurement. My set also includes a 2/3 cup but I don’t use that as much.

    • You make a great point, Sarah! But I’ve never had issues using my 1/4 cup measure 3x to get 3/4 cup total. But I certainly wouldn’t complain if I had a separate 3/4 cup measure 🙂

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