Baking pans and baking sheets come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Pans are designated for specific types of cookies. Choose and use the bake ware indicated by your cookie recipe so you get best results.
But first things first.
Although the term are often used interchangeably, there is a difference between the two.
Baking pans have rolled or raised edges to contain cookies or other baked foods. They are available in a variety of shapes – square, round, and rectangular. Bar cookies, brownies, and shortbread are baked in pans. You can use baking pans to bake individual cookies, too, but the pan will hold fewer cookies than a baking sheet. The most common pan for cookies is a 13” x 9” x 2” size, sometimes referred to as a “quarter sheet.” Jelly roll pans measuring 15½” x10½” x 1” are also regularly used for baking cookies.
Baking sheets, also called “cookie sheets,” are flat and rimless. Their large surface area, usually about 14 inches by18 inches, allows room to hold a large number of cookies with the customary 2 inches in between each one. One or more ends of the sheets are angled upward, like a lip, to allow you to grasp the sheet with a potholder and remove it from the oven safely. Baking sheets are most often used for individual drop cookies, sliced cookies, press cookies, rolled cookies, and types of molded cookies. (Read more about baking sheets.)
8” x 8” (both 1 ½” deep and 2” deep)
9” x 9” (both 1 ½” deep and 2” deep)
11” x 7” x 2”
13”x 9” x 2”
Jelly Roll pans
10 ½” x 15 ½” x 1”
12 ½” x 17” x 1”
Round pans (also called cake pans)
8” x 1 ½” (or 2”)
9” x 1 ½” (or 2”)
Deeper than typical round cake pans, springform pans have removable sides released by a spring.
8” x 2 ½” (or 3”)
9” x 2 ½” (or 3”)
Pans are available in aluminum, glass, insulated metal, and nonstick surfaces, silicone, and stainless steel. No matter what size you choose, look for heavy, thick pans. Weight and thickness are more important than brand or material.
If you have a limited budget or limited storage space, choose a 13” x 9” pan and a jellyroll pan to get started. These sizes can be substituted for baking sheets as you build your collection of baking equipment.
Pans are available for many specialty items. Roasting pans, bread pans, muffin pans, tube pans, quiche pans – even tortilla shell pans and pate pans – all are used for different kinds of foods baked in the oven.
More on Baking Homemade Cookies from The Elf