Choosing a cookie sheet can be complicated business. Between all the possible variations on offer — aluminum, nonstick, perforated, heavy-duty, with a rim, without a rim — there are enough options for whatever sort of cookie you're baking. But unless you're making hundreds of cookies a day in a bakery, all those options aren't necessary.
Most home cooks only really need one sheet — and it's not a cookie sheet at all.
Years ago, I cut out all the confusion and made it way easy on myself by stocking just one pan for all my baking projects. Whether bringing a tray of cookies to life or, frankly, doing a thousand other baking (and roasting) projects, I settled on a half-sheet aluminum baking pan.
On buying a sheet pan: Here's How to Buy a Sheet Pan You'll Use Forever
This is, as I mentioned, not in fact a cookie sheet. Technically, a cookie sheet is one that doesn't have a rolled-edge rim. That can make it easier to simply slide the cookies straight off the tray onto your cooling rack or plate.
But trays without a rim are one-trick ponies, only useful when baking up, well, cookies. You can't bake a sheet cake on it because it doesn't have a rim to catch your cake batter. You can't roast vegetables or a piece of fish on it because any collected liquids or oils will simply slide off the sheet into your oven.
A straightforward baking sheet pan with the rolled-edge rim, on the other hand, does everything beautifully. And when I do bake cookies, I frankly prefer the rim so that my spatula can snug up against it when I remove the warm rounds of sugar-and-flour from the pan.
Buy It: Half-Sheet Aluminum Baking Pan, $3.50 at Webstaurant Store
Do you also use a half-sheet pan when you bake cookies?