Gadget Or Gimmick: T-Fal AirBake Cookie Sheets

Fresh cookies, whether you're making them from scratch, mix, or a tube, are truly one of life's great pleasures. One problem: It is wildly easy to accidentally overcook them. Unless you always remember to set a timer (congrats), it's one of those things where you can sit down to a phone call or start watching TV and completely forget that cookies are in the oven until... crap, is something burning?
So when T-Fal offered to send me cookie sheets that would prevent burning, I was both skeptical and excited. It was like someone told me, "Here is a pizza pan that will keep the cheese from burning the roof of your mouth." As it turns out, however, there's some pretty simple science that makes AirBake cookie sheets work: the cookie sheets are insulated with a bottom layer that allows airflow to decrease the temperature of the metal, keeping the baking temperature more even on the entire cookie. It all makes sense, but I was still skeptical — so I put it to the test.
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I made up a batch of classic chocolate chip cookies and separated them into four batches. The first two batches I cooked side-by-side on a traditional and AirBake sheet for a normal amount of time. I repeated the test a second time, this time over-baking the batches on purpose.
The first cookies out of the oven did, indeed, show slightly different browning: the bottom of the cookies baked on the AirBake sheets (left) were just a shade lighter. There was also more spread on those cookies, which could be attributed to the fact that my regular cookie sheets have a lip. Both cookies, however, were similar levels of chewiness once they cooled. It was the over-baked cookies that really showed the power of the AirBake sheets.
From the top, the cookies are similar levels of brown, though, again there was more spread on the cookies on the T-Fal sheets (right). Turned upside down, however, there was a different story.
The cookies that were baked on a regular cookie sheet were burned past eating (unless you like really, really burnt cookies). The over-baked T-Fal cookies, however, were the same even, golden brown that they were on top. Cooled, they were deliciously crispy and perfect for anyone who likes a crunchy cookie.
The only real drawback to the AirBake line of bakeware is that they aren't dishwasher safe, but, since food is less likely to burn, if you grease it when recommended, a quick scrub in the sink should suffice anyway. If you like really gooey cookies, this might not be worth upgrading, as long as you are already diligent about taking cookies out when they're still a little underdone. But, if you like a crispier cookie (or are just always accidentally burning batches), this little cookie sheet is perfect for you.
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