Baking is a daily event in my home and one of the things I bake most often is cookies. Chewy and gooey or light and crisp. Chocolate chip, peanut butter, gingersnaps, or oatmeal raisin. Round cookies or bar cookies. All are favorites in my home.
Over the years I’ve come up with creative ways to bake cookies and one of the methods I’m often asked about is whether you can, or should, bake cookies on aluminium foil.
Below, you’ll find out whether or not this is a good idea, along with some tips for successfully baking with aluminum foil.
Why Bake Cookies on Aluminum Foil?
Some cookie recipes call for the cookie sheet to be well greased. Others call for cookies to be baked on parchment paper. Both have their benefits and will depend entirely on the type of cookie you’re making.
Baking on a greased cookie sheet will result in a crispy cookie that bakes quickly. Cookies baked on parchment will be soft and moist with a lighter colored bottom. Baking on aluminum foil produces a cookie that fits right in between crisp and soft, with a nicely browned bottom.
Easy Clean Up
As well as using aluminum foil to bake a cookie that’s nicely browned while still moist, I use it when I want easy clean up and no fuss in my kitchen.
There’s nothing quicker than sliding the cookie sheet out of the oven, lifting the cookies onto a rack to cool…and removing the foil from the cookie sheet. Voila. The only things to wash are the baking bowls and utensils – no scrubbing of cookie sheets.
This easy clean up can be really helpful when you’re baking cookies that are gooey and sticky, such as Chocolatey Bird’s Nest Cookies or cookies that are baked with a lot of chocolate or caramel.
Do You Need to Lower Oven Temperature When Baking on Foil?
Whenever I bake cookies on aluminum foil, I turn the oven temperature down by 5 degrees. Why? Heat conducted on the foil means the cookies will bake faster and hotter. This can result in a dark cookie…and it’s easier to burn cookies at a higher temperature on foil!
I also check sooner for doneness. My Double Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe calls for a baking time of 10 to 12 minutes. When I bake on foil, I adjust the time and check after 8 minutes to see if they’re nice and brown and ready to pull out of the oven.
Do You Need to Grease Aluminum Foil?
There’s nothing worse than craving cookies only to have them stick to the foil as they bake. For this reason, I always grease aluminum foil before putting the cookie dough on top. This prevents any sticking from happening.
My preference when it comes to greasing is to use butter rather than a baking spray – and you won’t need a lot. Just lightly grease the foil, otherwise the butter will burn if you use too much.
Always Use Heavy Aluminum Foil
When buying aluminum foil for baking, always look for the heaviest kind. This may mean avoiding the dollar store, which usually carries the flimsy foil that tears easily. Look for sturdy baking foil in kitchen speciality stores.
Place Aluminum Foil Over Oven Racks
Another way that you can use aluminum foil to bake cookies is by wrapping the foil around the oven rack, skipping the cookie sheet altogether. Just pull the rack out and place a layer of foil on top, greasing lightly.
Scoop the dough onto the foil and place the entire rack back into the pre-heated oven. Reduce baking time and check after about 7 minutes to prevent burning.
Keep in mind that cookies baked right on the rack will bake crispy and brown – so if you’re baking delicate cookies, such as shortbread or sugar cookies, this method may not work.
Making Aluminum Foil Cookie Sheets
Much the same as baking right on the oven rack, you can form aluminum foil into a tray to use as a cookie sheet.
I often do this when I’m baking a huge batch of cookies and my other two cookie sheets are already in use. Remember to grease lightly with butter to prevent sticking.
You can also bake cookies on an aluminum foil tray when you’re out camping! Just place the foil tray on a grill over the fire.
Bar cookies, such as Ginger Molasses Bars or Oatmeal Shortbread Bars, are best baked using aluminum foil. These types of cookies stick if the pan isn’t prepared just right. Before baking, grease a square baking pan and flour lightly.
Then line with heavy duty aluminum foil, leaving a two-inch edge so you can easily remove the entire bar from the pan after baking.
Grease the foil well, including all four corners. Spoon the batter inside and bake, remembering to shorten the baking time just a bit.
Once baked, remove the pan from the oven and let cool on a rack. When still warm, pull the cookie-cake from the pan by holding onto the foil. Let cool completely on the rack and then peel off the foil. Cut into bars for the perfect cookie treat for your family and friends.
Meringue Cookies Are Best on Aluminum Foil
One of our holiday favorites are meringue cookies. This is one cookie recipe that needs to be baked on aluminum foil to ensure that you get just the right bake.
The flexibility of the foil lets you easily lift the entire sheet of foil off the cookie sheet. Then just carefully pull each little meringue cookie away from the foil without having to use a knife, which can damage the bottom of the cookie.
The aluminum foil also cuts back on clean up time – meringue cookies often stick just a bit to a bare cookie sheet which means scrubbing before you’re done in the kitchen.
Last Words about Baking Cookies on Aluminum Foil
Now that you know you can bake cookies on aluminum foil, and how easy it is, you’re ready to use foil more often when you’re baking up your favorite flavor of cookie.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.