- Use shiny, heavy aluminum or gray, nonstick-coated cookie sheets for evenly browned cookies.
- Cookie sheets should be a least 2 inches smaller than the inside of your oven to allow the heat to circulate around the cookie sheets.
- If you bake cookies often, have at least 3 or 4 cookie sheets, so as you bake 1 sheet, you can get another one ready to go.
Baking Pans for Bars
- Square pans–and smaller rectangular pans–come in several sizes and can make choosing a bake time confusing. Measure pans carefully for size, and use the bake time for the closest pan size. And always follow the doneness test for the recipe or mix.
- Shiny aluminum or gray, nonstick-coated metal pans are preferred for baking bars. Because heat is reflected, these pans prevent the crust from getting too brown and hard.
- Bars baked in pans that are too big can become hard and overcooked.
- Bars baked in pans that are too small can be doughy in the center and hard on the edges.
To Grease or Not to Grease
- Grease cookie sheets and baking pans only if a recipe specifies to. When greasing cookie sheets, use shortening or cooking spray. Regrease cookie sheets if cookies begin to stick during baking.
- We don’t recommend using butter, margarine or vegetable oil for greasing. The area between the cookies will burn during baking and will be almost impossible to clean.
- Don’t grease nonstick cookie sheets even if a recipe calls for greasing; the cookies may spread too much. But do grease nonstick pans when baking bar cookies.
- Cooking parchment paper can replace greasing. It’s found in grocery stores near the aluminum foil or in the baking ingredient aisle. When using parchment paper, just tear off the length of paper you need to cover your cookie sheet and place it curled side down on the cookie sheet.
- In a hurry? Just slide the baked cookies along with the parchment paper off the cookie sheet onto the cooling rack. In no time, you’ll have a cooled cookie sheet ready for the next batch.
- Have more baking to do than pans? Line baking pans with aluminum foil for super-quick cleanup and to help cut bar cookies evenly. When the bar cookies are cool or nearly cool, just lift them out of the pan, peel back the foil and cut. Your baking pan will be free for the next batch.