Jelly Roll, Cookie Sheet, or Baking Sheet – What’s the Difference?
You know that it’s always important to have the right baking equipment when you’re ready to make your favorite recipe. Sometimes you know exactly what cooking instrument is being called for in a particular recipe, but there might be other pieces of equipment you’re not so sure of. For example, do you know the difference between a jelly roll pan, a cookie sheet, and a baking sheet?
Jelly Roll Pan
The jelly roll pan is sometimes mistaken for a cookie sheet. After all, the jelly roll pan is a flat pan that does a pretty good job at baking cookies. The distinguishing feature of a jelly roll pan, though, is that it has a raised edge. The most common size jelly roll pan is will be approximately 12 by 18 inches, and have an edge up to one inch high.
It’s the raised edge that lets you use a jelly roll pan to make so many other things besides cookies. The can was originally developed to make jelly rolls – thin cakes that are topped with jelly then rolled up into a spiral log shape. The edges of the jelly roll pan allowed for a large but thin cake to be baked. Jelly roll pans are used by home cooks to make granola bars, peanut brittle, free form meatloaves, and roasted vegetables.
But keep in mind that while you can use a jelly roll pan to bake cookies, the heat flow around your cookies may be slightly different from how it would be with a cookie sheet. Because of this, you may need to adjust your cooking times accordingly – just start taking a look at your cookies 5 to 10 minutes earlier than normal if you’re using a jelly roll pan, and check on how they’re baking.
A cookie sheet is often as large as a jelly roll pan, and sometimes even bigger. A cookie sheet may have a single raised edge to help you get a better grip when taking it out of the oven, but the other edges will be completely flat. This makes it easy to slide the cookies off the sheet when they’re done cooling.
Cookie sheets are usually constructed from a single sheet of metal, but in recent years so called “insulated” cookie sheets have become popular. These are constructed from two layers of metal, with an insulating layer of air sandwiched between them. This can help avoid hotspots and make your cookies will cook more evenly.
When someone says “baking sheet” they’re usually referring to a jelly roll pan, but other people would also include a cookie sheet as a type of baking sheet. In general, baking sheet simply means a flat pan that’s used to bake things in the oven – it can mean a jelly roll pan, a cookie sheet, or a pan that is somewhere in between the two with a raised lip or handles used to bake other items besides cookies or dessert rolls.
If you can only have a single baking sheet in your kitchen, make it a jelly roll pan. You’ll be able to do everything you can with a cookie sheet, but be able to make plenty of things that you can’t make with a cookie sheet.