Heat your oven. This usually takes about 10 minutes. (unless otherwise directed)
Make all cookies on each cookie sheet the same size so they bake evenly.
Bake bar cookies in the size of pan called for in a recipe.
The best cookie baking happens when you bake one cookie sheet at a time, using the middle oven rack.
If you decide to bake 2 sheets at once, position the oven racks as close to the middle of the oven as possible while allowing for good circulation. And remember, switch the cookie sheets halfway through baking for evenly browned cookies.
How can you tell when your cookies are done? Each recipe gives you 2 ways to determine when cookies are done: a bake time and a doneness test.
Check at the minimum bake time listed in the recipe.
Even 1 minute can make a difference, so watch cookies carefully while they bake.
* If the dough is dark, color changes are hard to see. So we recommend touching them to see that they are set and firm enough to be done.
After baking 1 or 2 sheets, you’ll know just the right baking time.
Cool the cookie sheets between batches; otherwise, cookie dough placed on warm cookie sheets will spread.
Always use a pancake turner (or similar “lifter” gadget) to remove cookies from a cookie sheet.
Remove immediately any thinner cookies that are rolled or sliced, as well as dense or very sturdy cookies; otherwise, they may stick.
Wait 1 to 2 minutes for drop cookies and soft cookies to give them time to set; otherwise, they may fall apart when moved.
It’s best to cool cookies (pans of bar cookies too) on wire cooling racks and in a single layer to keep them from becoming soggy.
Uh-oh! The cookies were left to cool too long on the cookie sheet, and you’re having trouble getting them off without breaking them. To solve the problem: Just put the cookies back in the oven for about 1 to 2 minutes to warm them; they should come off the sheet easily.