15 Essential Cookie Tools Every Baker Needs
Behind every great baker there's a solid collection of sturdy, reliable, and functional cookie baking essentials — and, even if you're not exactly a cookie connoisseur, everyone should be prepared with a few basics for when unexpected chocolate chip cravings strike. Whether you're a seasoned pro or just cookie-curious, you need the right tools to make the most of your baking sessions. That's why we came up with this comprehensive list of the absolute must-have cookie tools that every baker should have in their arsenal. From mixing bowls and oven mitts to cooling racks and cookbooks, here's what you need to stock your cookie toolbox.
Every cookie baker needs a set of basic, yet high-quality, mixing bowls. As much as you love your grandma's heavy-duty ceramic bowls, you'll be surprised how much a lightweight, stainless steel set will change your life. This top-rated set of six is functional, space efficient, and totally affordable. "These bowls are AWESOME," raves a reviewer. "Whether I'm mixing cake batter or cookie dough, putting together pasta salad or mixing nuts before baking them for hostess gifts this past holiday season, these bowls were phenomenal. You can really get in there and stir up the contents whether you're using a hand mixer or a spatula."
You're also going to need a reliable collection of dry measuring cups and spoons (plus a good liquid measuring cup for wet ingredients — this classic glass Pyrex has stood the test of time for a reason). You can definitely get by with a basic set of the most common measurements like ¼ cup, ⅓ cup, ½ cup, and 1 cup. But, honestly, a more comprehensive selection, like this 16-piece set, just makes things easier.
Wooden spoons are great for cooking, but rubber (or silicone) spatulas are absolutely essential for baking. Use them to stir, fold your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients, and to scrape cookie dough off the sides of the mixing bowl. Choose a sturdy design with a flexible head that will allow you to scrape dough with ease, like this affordable option from Allwin-Houseware.
As much as we love to lust after KitchenAid's gorgeous-yet-expensive stand mixers, it's not necessarily an essential for most home bakers. Unless you have really strong arms, though, a hand mixer is absolutely a must-have for making perfect dough every time. You don't have to spend the big bucks for a quality mixer: This six-speed Hamilton Beach option comes with beaters and a whisk, as well as a built-in storage compartment for the attachments.
Related: The 7 Best Hand Mixers You Can Buy
Say goodbye to misshapen cookies! A cookie scoop, which is basically a small ice cream scoop with a spring-loaded handle, allows you to easily ladle and eject evenly sized dough balls wherever you need them. This best-selling OXO Good Grips model holds 1.5 tablespoons of dough and makes cookies with a 2-and-¾-inch diameter.
For many people, "rolling pin" evokes images of a large rotating stick with handles on either end. While that large kitchen accessory might come in handy sometimes, it's really not necessary for cookie baking. You can easily roll out dough for cutout cookies with a traditional, minimalistic, French-inspired rolling pin with tapered ends. Not only does it get the job done, it's easier to store when you're not baking.
Round Cookie Cutters
Here's another essential for cutout cookies. While festive and unique shapes are certainly fun (check out this cheap set of 101 shapes — it has cutters in the shapes of symbols from major U.S. holidays and all 26 letters of the English alphabet), all you really need is a good old-fashioned round cookie and biscuit cutter for most recipes.
There would be no cookie baking without a cookie baking sheet (or two, or three). Instead of buying your cookie sheets separately, opt for a non-stick pair or trio that nests for easy storage. This two-piece set from Wilton has more than 1,000 five-star reviews: "Who would've thought it'd be so difficult to find baking sheets that don't stain after one bake?! Well, after months of baking these look brand new," according to one happy Amazon customer. "SUPER high quality and very durable? I don't think there's a scratch on them."
Silicone Baking Mats
If you're at all familiar with the wonderful world of modern baking, then you've probably seen silicone baking mats (which eliminate the need for oil, cooking spray, and parchment paper) pop up on must-have lists a time or two. They've become more fashionable in recent years but, honestly, how did we ever live without them?! Silpat is the most popular and reliable brand, albeit a little pricey. This top-rated set of three mats is almost identical to the real thing — but a fraction of the price.
Silicone Cookie Baking Mat
If you're really serious about cookies, you might consider investing in this Silpat Perfect Cookie Silicone Baking Mat. It features 13 evenly spaced indents for making perfectly sized cookies every time."I've been seeing these silicone baking sheets thinking 'well maybe I should give this a shot," says one Amazon reviewer. "I baked my first batch of chocolate chip cookies with my baking mat, and I will tell you those cookies baked up perfectly and did not stick. They slid right off the mat."
OK, this seems like a no-brainer, but a lot of people forget to replace their oven mitts every few years — and you really don't want to be caught with a hole in your mitt when it's time to take your cookies out of the oven. This quilted pair, which features a heat-resistant coating and cotton lining, can withstand temperatures up to 425℉ and has more than 3,000 five-star reviews.
A good nylon turner is a super versatile kitchen tool, as it comes in handy for flipping everything from hot pancakes to delicate fish and crepes. But, for our purposes, it makes an excellent cookie spatula. Use it to move warm cookies off the baking sheet and onto the cooling rack without breaking them into pieces.
Tiered Cooling Rack
Have you ever wondered why the bottoms of your cookies are always burning? Well, if you haven't been using a cooling rack, there's your answer. Your cookies aren't done baking when you take them out of the oven — they need air circulation on all sides until they're completely cool. A tiered cooling rack, like this three-layered Wilton one, allows you to cool a whole batch of cookies at once without sacrificing counter space.
Piping Bags and Tips
While a zip-top bag with an edge snipped off works in a pinch, professional cookie decorators know there's no substitute for a legit piping bag for applying royal icing. This affordable 100-pack of bags allows you to apply as much pressure as you need without worrying about bursting. You're going to want some reusable attachable tips, too — there are plenty of options out there, but this cheap four-piece set will work for most basic designs.
Airtight Storage Container
Can you imagine going through all the effort of making a perfect batch of cookies, only to let them go stale in a day or two? Yeah, that's a nightmare. You don't need a fancy cookie jar (though it's nice to have one for company), but you do need a large airtight container to store your cookies once they've completely cooled. This large $10 Rubbermaid container is just the ticket for all your cookie storage needs.
BONUS: A Solid Recipe Collection
We don't want to brag, but we at Allrecipes do have quite the diverse collection of reliable, easy-to-follow, and delicious cookie recipes. But, for those times you just want to hold a physical book in your hands, check out culinary guru Dorie Greenspan's award-winning cookbook Dorie's Cookies. It boasts more than 300 critically acclaimed cookie recipes you'll absolutely love.