Problem: I live in an apartment with limited kitchen storage space, so I can't keep a giant stack of baking sheets on hand, which becomes an issue when I am baking cookies in batches. The first round of cookies comes out of the oven, but the next batch can't go in until the piping-hot baking sheets cool down. Solution: a step so simple I often kick myself for not thinking of it sooner.
After the baked cookies are transferred to a cooling rack, I rinse the baking sheets under cold water until they are cool to the touch, which takes a minute or less. Then I dry them with a towel and load them up with the next round of cookies. Before I stumbled onto this solution, I used to sit around waiting until the metal cooled on its own, adding a sizeable chunk of inactive time to big cookie-baking sessions. Now I am able to bake one batch right after the next, leaving time for a much more important activity: cookie-eating.
Why cool the baking sheets in the first place? Butter-based cookie doughs will begin to melt as soon as they touch a hot sheet pan, which can result in flat, misshapen cookies. Using a cool sheet pan and chilled dough gives better results.
Do you have any tips for making holiday cookie-baking easier or more efficient?
(Image: Anjali Prasertong)