Why You Should Never Use Aluminum Foil When Baking Cookies

If you've ever had a problem with your homemade baked goods sticking to your sheet pan, then you've probably resorted to using aluminum foil to line the pan to prevent sticking. However, there is at least one baked good that you shouldn't let anywhere near aluminum foil: Cookies. And for good reason.

As it turns out, using aluminum foil will actually lead to your cookies being baked unevenly. Here's how it works: Because aluminum is a heat conductor, the part of the cookie that is directly touching the aluminum foil (i.e. the bottom) will receive more heat and, thus, bake faster. So, the end result will be super crispy bottoms and not-quite-done middles. In a worst-case scenario, the bottoms of your cookies may even burn while the rest of them don't thoroughly bake through — definitely not ideal.

The good news is that there are other solutions — so, what should you use instead of aluminum foil?

Alternatives to aluminum foil for baking cookies

Next time you are baking cookies and need to line your baking sheet, reach for parchment paper instead of aluminum foil. Parchment paper will also prevent sticking, and, unlike aluminum foil, it will actually distribute the heat evenly — in other words, no more burnt cookie bottoms. One thing to keep in mind though is that parchment paper is distinct from wax paper — despite looking similar — as wax paper cannot tolerate heat and is actually a fire hazard if exposed to high temperatures.

Additionally, for an even more efficient option, you can invest in buying a set of silicone baking mats, which are also non-stick. They also have the added bonus of being reusable, so you never have to worry about running out like you would with parchment paper. Finally, if all else fails, you can simply grease your baking sheet with cooking spray, butter, or shortening to make sure your delicious homemade cookies don't stick. 

Now that you know all of your nonstick options, all that's left to do is pick a good cookie recipe and get to baking.