Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Heavy Metal...Works for Me Wednesday

Cookie sheets...I have a million of them.
{Well, more like 25.}
I use them all. Some for everyday cooking, some for "trays" for cookie decorating, and only a select few for cookie baking.

Let's talk cookie sheets...
Thin and shiny. No, I'm not talking RHOBH here.  You know these sheets...they're not very sturdy and and super shiny.  You could bend them easily.

These cookie sheets are ones I use purely for decorating and "transportation."  Once my cookies have cooled, I place them on cookie sheets, rather than a countertop or table for decorating.  Usually these sheets are covering my dining room table and I carry them back and forth to the kitchen where I decorate.  They're too flimsy and too thin for baking.


Dark and heavy.  I have no idea where I got or why I have this cookie sheet.  It's very dark...almost black...and very heavy.  Again, it is only used as a tray of sorts for holding cookies for decorating.  A cookie sheet this dark will leave your cookies burnt on the bottom.

Commercial sheet pans.  I love the feel of these sheets.  They're sturdy and substantial.  Look at the pictures....obviously, I do put these to use.  But not for baking cut-out cookies.  These sheets are so thick and insulated that cut-out cookies don't brown at all on the bottoms.  I find that cookies tend to break more when I bake on these sheets.  They're just too tender for moving, packaging, or stacking.

Matte and sturdy.  Ah, just right.  {I feel like Goldilocks.}  You might find these sheets labeled as non-stick...but you'll be using parchment, so that doesn't matter.  Right?!?  These cookie sheets are a matte grey color, not super shiny...and not too thin. You could not bend one in half (or at least, I couldn't).

These cookie sheets are the ones I use for baking cut-out cookies.  They are thick enough to prevent the bottoms of the cookies from getting over-browned, but they still get a nice, light golden color.  Perfect for a cookie which will be moved, iced, packaged, or stacked. 

And these?!?  Well, I have two cookie sheets that are my show ponies.  These are for photos only.  If you ever see one of these nice, spot-free cookie sheets on the blog, you'll know the truth...that all of the spotted, ugly ones are doing the real work. ;)

Cookie sheets....they work for me! :)


57 comments:

  1. I should have known that there was a secret! No wonder my cookies always turn out burnt...or mushy. All of our pans are a mess. Thanks for letting us know what to look for!

    Allyson
    http://cupcakescandycanes.blogspot.com

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  2. HA!! I love that you have ones just for show and that you're spilling your secret!

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  3. Oh, I loooove the commercial sheet pans for my recipe. My cookies are completely different on them. I get bubbles on other cookie sheets, but on the GFS ones: PERFECT! And so cheap!! Sorry, excited.

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  4. I love the results I get on the commercial sheet pans, and I also use silpat with them.

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  5. Thanks so much for sharing this!

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  6. Do you allow other things to be baked on the cookie sheets that you use for baking cookies or do you have dedicated cookie sheets? I have a set of three different sizes and I always seem to be reaching for the same one, no matter the task.

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  7. That's interesting, I'm glad to see I use the right pans!

    Sometime could you explain why using parchment paper is important? I've baked cookies with and without it and can't really tell a difference, but I'm sure there must be one since everyone recommends it!

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  8. thanks for a helpful post! we're stalking up the kitchen with baking goodies, now i know what to grab!

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  9. I use matte finished sheet and I love how my cookies turn out!!! Great post!!



    Carsedra of:

    http://sweets4yourtooth.blogspot.com/

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  10. So funny, I have a few different kinds too. And they all get used, but I love your info, makes thing clear for me now.

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  11. Wow. That's a lot of cookie sheets. I have one sturdy one, two not-so-sturdy ones, and one jelly roll pan. I basically use my two silpat sheets and the one sturdy cookie sheet. Happy baking!

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  12. Great post Bridget! I've been using the commercial one and thought it was ok, at least my cookies come out OK :) I'll will try my matte finished grey ones I have two and use them once in a while. Now I'll look out for the difference. Thanks!

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  13. I'm seriously relieved to learn that the photo sheets are not the ones you use for baking as I thought I'm not the only one with spotted sheets and I don't have any photo prop sheets..time to get some!
    Actually I haven't given sheets much thought before, though I awlays talk about how I need new ones!Mine are so old, you can barely see the original surface, I always use parchment paper on them. Love the picture where they all stacked

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  14. The pink tray of course caught my eye. I've never seen a colored tray like that! So true that there are so many varieties. Everyone has a favorite though. ;)

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  15. Love that you are sharing all your secrets. I've been using pampered chef stoneware for as long as I can remember (at least 15 years). Some years back they also came out with metal baking sheets, that I occasionally use as well, sturdy and a little thicker.

    We get used to what works for us, don't we!! Thanks for the peek into your kitchen cabinet :)

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  16. Stoneware baking sheets are my favorite:) I am definitely going to buy myself at least one cookie sheet for "show", maybe today! What a great idea:)

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  17. Of course there is a pink cookie sheet tucked in with the other 25 varieties! I don't have near 26 but I do have three favourites that I always use...with parchment paper. I'm curious to try the silpat sheets as some swear by them but the cost is keeping me at bay. I suppose after the initial investment you would be saving in the long run by not buying rolls and rolls of parchment paper. Oh well...old habits die hard with old ladies like me. LOL

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  18. love this post!

    I have a cutting board like your cookie sheets ... "you'll know the truth...that all of the spotted, ugly ones are doing the real work. ;)" - amen sista.

    Just got together with Marla for coffee and I asked her about Girlhunger and she said you are the sweetest person ever which makes me want to meet you even more :)

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  19. Thank so much for this look into your kitchen!! It is really helpful to know the different qualities of the sheets and which is best! Thank you!!!

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  20. When I stayed at the Whirlpool's Real Whirled House - we did a test with cookie sheets.......we used refrigerated cookie dough and baked on 5 different types of cookie pans, in the same oven for the same amount of time - amazing how different the cookies turned out on each pan!

    I have 6 pans - 3 different kinds, and then, my stone - which I love to use for drop cookies.

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  21. Such a great post! I love that you spilled your secret!! TOO FUNNY! :) Now I will never look at a cookie post the same way...!

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  22. I love when I see that other bloggers use pans that are really worn... I always feel like I need to have perfectly clean pans! Now I see your trick, those are just for show ;)

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  23. I'm totally addicted to sheet pans. Big ones, half-size ones, commercial, dark, non-stick, etc, etc. I'm so glad to know which ones are the best for when I make your cookie recipe for decorating though.

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  24. I feel like I just snooped through your kitchen cupboards! LOL...very fun post! I use a silpat and the demarle(?) cookie sheet that has honeycomb holes in it. I am hooked...I have 3! LOVE them!!! I am going to try your suggestion out too!

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  25. What do you think about stoneware cookie sheets?

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  26. I think I have about 10 different cookie sheets I've collected over the years either bought new or at yard sales. And honestly, I've never really put much thought into how the different color/material/thickness was affecting my cookies. Thank you so much for breaking it down for us! Very informative and helpful. How many times can you use the same sheet of parchment paper- once, twice, three times? Do you ever use silpat mats? Thanks again for your wonderful fun blog.

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  27. This is great and so timely for me. I have two Pampered Chef sheets that are heavy like commercial ones that I've been using to bake. Two isn't enough so I bought a few more cheapies but still use just the PC ones to keep things uniform. Maybe I'll buy a few matte ones instead. Thanks!

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  28. Thanks for posting this. I was at Hobby Lobby yesterday looking at cookie sheets trying to decide if I should buy some new ones but no clue which ones to buy. Now I do =)

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  29. I was wondering if there was a brand of pan that may work best of these types?

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  30. Love this post!! You are EXACTLY right, those commercial pans are NOT for decorated cookies. I have several and although I LOVE the size and weight, the cookies don't brown.

    I have a few air bake (is that the name) pans that I use for cookies and LOVE.

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  31. Ok, duh the commercial, rimmed half sheet pans are the ones I use for ALL of my cookies!!! Including cut-outs. I've never had any problem w/ them- they do brown lightly on the bottom & no breakage, but I definitely want to try the ones you recommended. Would love a link to a brand that you like...

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  32. Thank you! What great information.......and from someone who knows what she's talking about! I love that you showed pictures so we know exactly what you mean by the descriptions:)

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  33. Great post1 I'll be sending my readers to it!

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  34. Great post! Super informative! I just bought some dark cookie sheets and I should have known better! All of my cookies burnt on the bottoms! I need more commercial sheets :) I agree with Lori - would love a link to any brands that you like!

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  35. Love this, Bridget...this rocks. I needed this post!

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  36. You make me laugh so hard Bridget! I love your show ponies! I don't have any of those though! Must amend that!!
    I do have my cookie baking, my cookie decorating and my normal use pans though!
    Great post. Thanks for sharing more of your dirty-cookie secrets :)

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  37. How do you keep other people in the house from using your fancy pans to do things like broil french fries? My hubby always manages to turn our nice pans into black roasting trays!

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  38. I haven't had as good of luck with that particular one, I have some not so shiny more silvery ones that have worked better for me. But great info! I wonder if it matters based on your oven?!?

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  39. I have the hardest time finding good cookie sheets and baking pans. I'm always finding the dark pans and I refuse to buy them. Usually I'm only looking at big box stores for convenience so that may be part of my problem. Do you have any suggestions of where to look and/or brands to look for?

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  40. Very good to know! I have been using the wrong cookie sheets when I try to bake cut outs no wonder I never have success with cut outs. Thanks so much..love this post!

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  41. Do you use air bake for chocolate chip cookies? My cookies are coming out flat and my mother in law makes the exact recipe and they come out thicker, if you know what i mean...any tips?

    Thanks!

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  42. It's so weird that we all seem to have our favorites. I love reading which ones are yours and why!!! My mom and SIL HATE the airbake sheets and gave all theirs to me because I LOVE them. I'd really like to find some jellyroll-style airbake pans (that have the lip around the edge), but haven't had much luck.

    I also use parchment, not silpat. I like the idea of silpat, but it's just easier to throw away the parchment than wash the silpat. I know, lazy. But I don't have a dishwasher so I get sick of hand-washing.

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  43. What a great post!
    I too have lots of cookie sheets and only use the "preferred" sheets for baking cookies~ ;)
    I'm glad you posted this.
    Everyone needs to know to STEER~clear of those dark pans...BURN~cookie~BURN!
    I've learned so much from this blog!
    I can't imagine my life without BAKE at 350!!!
    Hugs and LOVe from Bainbridge!
    xoxoxoxo

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  44. I LOVE your cookie sheet post! I have "show ponies" as well!

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  45. What a fun idea for a post. I too have a million baking sheets (from when I had my cookie business) and can't seem to part with any of them. They're all work horses in my kitchen. Sadly no show ponies here :( Great idea though. Maybe I should invest in a few more sheets! Ack!

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  46. I love cookie sheets. Does that make me weird seeing that I am not a *real* baker? Sigh. I adore the commercial rimmed baking sheets. I kinda collect them. :)

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  47. Most of my cookie sheets are the "dark and rusty" looking ones, but since my oven is too small now, I only use three small sturdy and sleek ones that are perfect! ^^

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  48. My hubby gave me new Nordic Ware cooking sheets for Christmas - they are fabulous! And so heavy.

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  49. This post is great! I usually bake with my sturdy industrial sheet pans. Now I know why my cookies don't come out like yours...must have been the pans all along.
    It is good to know what the bestie is for you. The cookie queen. The show ponies are pretty grand too!

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  50. When my husband buys tools for his wood shop, he tells me that he needs the best tools. Yes, they cost quite a bit, but they are reliable work horses that he can count on when he needs them. He told me that women should look at their kitchen tools in the same way. Now I go ahead and buy the best. He's right, they work, last longer and do the job they are designed to do. Sometimes that dollar or two saved costs us more in the long run. I have a wise hubby!!

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  51. I, too use silpat mats on all my sheets. I use them also for dipping things in chocolate. They come right off and are easy to clean.

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  52. I just lost my 3 cookie sheets since my husband used them (!) in the garage (!) & accidentally ruined them. Since I haven't bought a cookie sheet in years, can anyone give me the name of the brand or place to buy the matte finish sheets? I do a lot of cookie baking for my kids' school, so I've got to replace...
    Thanks!
    Shar

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  53. Heavy dark metal pans, nonstick pans, and glass pans absorb and hold more heat, resulting in heavy, dark crusts.

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  54. Nice Maritime blog - I'm in the metal sheet industry and some of your info would benefit us quite well. Decorative Metal Sheets

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