What to Expect when Baking Cookies on Aluminum Foil

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Baking cookies has been a passion of mine for many years. A few months ago, I had last-minute guests come to my house and I had to bake cookies on a whim. All I had in my kitchen at the time was aluminum foil. This got me thinking: Can I bake cookies on aluminum foil? What do I need to know when baking cookies on aluminum foil?

Can you bake cookies on aluminum foil? Yes, you can. Aluminum foil produces crisp cookies with moist insides. It bakes cookies faster and has an easier cleanup process. Keep in mind that aluminum foil will make the cookies darker and crispier than other methods. Put a paper towel between the foil and the sheet to contain the heat.

There are many methods of baking cookies. Baking cookies on aluminum foil has its ups and downs. When I started baking my cookies on aluminum foil, there were many things that I did wrong. That’s why knowing how to use aluminum foil correctly is a must.

Using Aluminum Foil For Lining Your Baking Sheet

Let’s not start any debates here but crispy cookies with soft centers are THE best cookies! As you take a bite of your cookie, it gives you a satisfying crispy texture while the moist, gooey inside makes you crave more. The secret behind this is using aluminum foil. After experimenting with a few greasing techniques, I found the perfect one.

When I first started lining my baking sheet with aluminum foil, I was afraid for my cookies. I didn’t know what to expect. However, as I continued experimenting with the foil, I steadily got the hang of its proper use.

Aluminum foil is a common item found in all kitchens. It’s such a versatile tool that it could be used in food storage, cooking, and even baking. Lining a baking sheet with aluminum foil has benefits that range from perfectly baked goods down to a stress-free cleanup.

The foil conducts heat which speeds up the baking process and gives a cookie the crunchy texture it deserves. It allows you to enjoy a moist cookie while at the same time having a distinct snap.

Here’s a video explaining the benefits of baking cookies on aluminum foil:

There are different ways to bake cookies but each has its own distinct texture. Baking directly on a greased cookie sheet was a hassle during clean-up. You just want to dive into those freshly baked cookies without having to scrub these annoying sheets. The cookies turned out way too crispy, almost like eating hard sand (not that I would know).

*By the way, if you’re looking for some new cookie sheets/baking pans to replace for your kitchen, I recently came across the Perfect Nonstick Cookie Sheets / Baking Sheets Set that I got for myself and they work great! You can check out these Nonstick Cookie Sheet Set on Amazon!

Parchment paper is also convenient when it comes to cleaning but the cookie doesn’t achieve that fulfilling crunch. Instead, you have a uniform circle of chewiness that doesn’t excite your mouth.

Greasing Your Aluminum Foil Sheet

Lining a baking sheet with aluminum foil isn’t the only step for successful cookies. Properly greasing the foil is essential to prevent the cookies from sticking to the foil as well as preventing them from burning.

The best methodology is using softened butter. You don’t need much; use your fingers to grab a piece of the softened butter and spread it evenly all over the surface of your pan. If you forgot to bring your cold butter to room temperature, like I always do, don’t worry.

  1. Take your cold butter out of the fridge and place it onto a clean surface
  2. Take a microwave-safe bowl that is big enough to encase the butter
  3. Microwave the empty bowl for 30 seconds and remove (be careful, the bowl heats up fast!)
  4. Flip the bowl upside down and cover the butter with it for 10 minutes
  5. Repeat these steps until you’re satisfied with the texture of your butter. This method doesn’t melt the butter; it speeds up the softening process

If you don’t like using butter, you can simply use canola oil or vegetable oil. DO NOT use olive oil or avocado oil; they have low smoke points! Pour about 3-4 tablespoons of oil onto the aluminum foil and use your hand to evenly spread the oil thinly and evenly.

I’ve tried using baking sprays on aluminum foil but they have always failed me. The baking spray coats a thin layer of oil onto the aluminum foil. A thicker and more viscous oil is needed to prevent the cookie dough from sticking to the foil as well as prevent the cookies from drying out.

Baking Tips When Using Aluminum Foil

Aluminum foil and steel are very good conductors of heat. It warms up and drives the heat to the bottom of the cookie which makes it burn. The foil conducts heat in a way that speeds up the baking process. Keep in mind that when using a recipe, I tend to reduce my oven temperature down by 10 degrees Fahrenheit and decrease the baking time by 2 minutes.

Of course, this depends on each individual since exact oven temperatures vary. I recommend peeking into the oven to check up on your cookies 2 minutes before the time stated by your recipe. If you think it needs more baking time, keep it in for a minute or two longer.

When picking out aluminum foil, make sure to always use heavy-duty aluminum foil. I buy the thinner version when I’m storing leftovers after dinner but never while baking.

The heavy-duty one, as the name implies, is much sturdier and thicker than the thinner one. It can endure the high heat of the oven and is safer to use while baking.

With cookies that are more in a shape of a dome, like chocolate chip cookies stuffed with extra chocolate (I really like to spoil my stomach), I layer a few sheets of paper towel on my baking sheet before using foil. With these cookies, I can’t risk having a fully baked bottom and a semi-raw top. Covering cookies is a big no-no because it traps steam which will result in soggy cookies.

  1. Take a few sheets of paper towel, I use about 2-3 rectangles depending on the size of your cookie sheet. Use enough to cover the surface with two layers
  2. Line the aluminum foil over the surface of the paper towels
  3. Lightly grease your aluminum foil with softened butter
  4. Scoop your cookie dough as you normally would and distribute it onto the surface of the foil. Make sure not to overcrowd your baking sheet

This methodology is also great for oatmeal cookies that tend to be on the chewier side. This technique helps achieve the texture that I want while preventing the bottom of my cookies from burning as well as ensuring a fully baked cookie.

Different Types Of Cookies Baked On Aluminum Foil

Cookies Baked On Aluminum Foil

When baking cookies, be mindful of what cookies you are baking and what the end goal is. Since aluminum foil adds a crispy texture to your cookies, its best to know which type of cookies to use it for.

Below is a chart of the most popular cookies. The chart should give you an idea of when you should use aluminum foil in your baking journey.

Chocolate Chip CookieGinger Snap CookieSugar CookieLace Cookie
(Oatmeal, etc.)
Use Aluminum FoilUse Aluminum FoilDon’t Use Aluminum FoilUse Aluminum Foil

When I bake chocolate chip cookies, I love a nice crunchy one with the chocolate chips melting in your mouth. Aluminum foil is absolutely perfect when you need a cookie to have more texture.

Sometimes you’re going to want a lot of heat getting into your cookies like when you’re baking lace cookies. Use a double layer of oven sheets to create insulation for these cookies. This will allow the cookies to be air-baked.

Ginger snaps are a perfect example of a delicious and crisp cookie. The name literally implies a snap when eating. Using aluminum foil is ideal to achieve the perfect snap as well as give it the rich, brown color that we all love about ginger snap cookies.

If you’re baking sugar cookies, the end goal is a delicious, light cookie. These cookies do not need extra coloring and tend to be whiter in appearance. Using aluminum foil will darken the bottoms too much which defeats the purpose of a sugar cookie.

To Summarize

In short, baking cookies in aluminum foil is based on preference. The ultimate cookie, in my opinion, will always have a crisp exterior and soft interior. The magic behind a delicious cookie like this is lining your baking sheet with a paper towel with an aluminum foil sheet on top.

Just by lining your baking sheets with greased aluminum foil, you can upgrade the texture of your cookies, the baking time, and even the cleanup time. It’s my secret weapon that I’m most fond of.

People Also Ask…

Is it safe to put aluminum foil in the oven? While it is safe to bake with aluminum foil, I don’t recommend putting the foil to line the bottom of your oven. You will avoid possible heat damage to your oven. Instead, put a heavy-duty aluminum foil sheet on the rack below your baked good. DO NOT use aluminum foil in a microwave!

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My name is Fainna! I've been baking desserts ever since I was 10 years old with my grandma passing her baking wisdom down to me with every passing day. I hope you find these tips and tricks helpful here at my little Baking Nook!

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