Become a Toaster Oven Cookie Baking Expert. With these five tips, you’ll learn more about your toaster oven and how to bake any cookie recipe using it.
Your grandmother’s oatmeal raisin cookies are legendary. You’ve baked the recipe hundreds of times.
In a full-sized oven.
Right now, you’re holding a tiny cookie sheet, eyeing your toaster oven and wondering…
“How do I convert my recipe’s cooking time or temperature, do I even need to?”
“Does making just one or two cookies affect the baking time?”
“Can I really bake cookies in my toaster oven?”
The good news is Yes You Can! Even better, there’s no magic secret to baking a fantastic batch of toaster oven cookies.
After years of baking crowd-pleasing cookies in our toaster oven, we’ve learned a few things.
Below you’ll find our best tips for baking small batch cookies you can be proud of!
Tip #1: Discover If Your Toaster Oven Lies
Does your toaster oven’s temperature run hot, cold or just right?
With a basic oven thermometer and our toaster oven temperature guide, you will know for sure.
Then it’s easy to make adjustments to any recipe’s baking temperature and time to accommodate your little oven’s heating quirks.
Tip #2: Make Clean-Up Simple
Have you been using parchment paper in your toaster oven? Take a second and grab the box from your pantry.
Look at it closely. Closer….
Yeah, it was an unpleasant surprise for us too. Since we found out, I’ve been reading every parchment paper box I see.
So far, all of them have expressly stated: “Not for use in a toaster oven.”
And the FAQ for parchment paper on the Reynolds Kitchens website says the same thing too “do not use with a broiling unit or toaster oven.”
You can always grease your pan old-school style if the recipe calls for it but we like to use a Silpat® or baking mat instead.
To learn more about them, you can check out this toaster oven silicone baking mats post.
Tip #3: Bake A Toaster Oven Test Cookie
You’ve verified your toaster oven’s temperature accuracy, have your cookie sheet prepared and are ready to get baking.
But wait! If this is your first time baking that recipe in your toaster oven, take a few minutes and bake a test cookie.
A test cookie (or two) will tell you everything you need to know about how best to bake a whole batch of cookies.
Trust us, it’s better to sacrifice just one cookie than burn an entire batch.
How To Bake A Test Cookie:
- Follow your recipe for preparing the cookie dough (including any chilling)
- Place one scoop or ball of dough on your cookie sheet
- Bake according to the recipe directions (with any adjustments from your thermometer test)
- Start checking 3-4 minutes early and note when the cookie is baked to your liking
Now that you’ve got the timing down you can bake a whole batch!
In our experience, the increased portions won’t dramatically affect the baking time. Occasionally, you may need to bake a full batch for an additional minute or 30 seconds.
Troubleshooting: Overbaked Cookies
If your test cookie is burned or overcooked on the edges or bottom reduce the temperature by 15 to 25 degrees and bake another test cookie.
The cookie on the left was baked at 375 for 7 minutes and came out overdone. For the cookie on the right, we reduced the temperature to 350 for 7 minutes and it was way better though we probably could have taken it out 30 seconds earlier.
If your test cookie is taking twice as long to bake, increase the temperature by 25 degrees and test another one.
Troubleshooting: Over-Browned Bottoms
In one of our toaster ovens, we have four rack placements and the “middle rack” is closer to the bottom heating element. This is where the majority of the heat comes from when using the Bake setting.
Baking a batch of sugar cookies recently I noticed the bottoms were browning too fast while the rest of the cookie was baked perfectly.
Instead of reducing the temperature for the next batch, I moved the baking sheet up one rack placement.
This easily gave my cookies nice golden bottoms without making any changes to the baking time or temperature.
What about Convection?
Follow the same Test Cookie steps, but reduce the temperature by 25 degrees and start checking for doneness even earlier.
Tip #4: Give Your Cookies Some Space
Almost all cookie doughs spread but especially chewy chocolate chip cookies.
Before baking check your recipe for notes on spacing the dough or if the cookies will spread.
If your recipe doesn’t specify, leave at least 1 to 2 inches of space between the cookies.
To keep from overcrowding the pan, you may need to bake your toaster oven cookies in more than one batch.
But What if You’ve Only Got One Cookie Sheet?
If that’s the case, let the cookie sheet cool between batches. A warm cookie sheet will cause the dough to spread too fast and could burn your tasty cookies.
To quickly cool a hot baking sheet run the backside under lukewarm water, dry well and bake another batch!
Do You Want to Bake A Lot of Cookies?
You might want to consider getting a second baking pan then.
If you like the one that came with your toaster oven visit the manufacturer’s website they usually sell replacement pans.
Before purchasing a pan that’s not from your oven’s manufacturer you should measure the interior of your toaster oven to make sure it will fit.
To see our Top 6 favorite pans check out this Toaster Oven Sheet Pans Post.
4.1 Battling Hot Spots
All ovens big and small have hot spots: areas that are warmer than others.
While you can’t do much to change them, you can rotate your pan halfway through the baking time to equally expose your cookies and even-out any browning issues.
Tip #5: How To Handle Grandma’s Awesome But Enormous Recipe
We’re working on a series to help you “small-batch” your favorite large-oven sized family recipes. But until it’s ready, we know you still want to enjoy your Grandma’s famous cookie recipe, right?
Well, you probably only want 2 or 3 cookies. So what to do with all the leftovers?
How To Freeze Baked Cookies:
- Allow baked cookies to cool completely
- Place cookies in an airtight container (or bag) with pieces of parchment paper between the cookies
- Seal the container and freeze cookies
- They’ll have the best flavor for about 1 month but still be good well after that
To Thaw: Leave frozen cookies on a plate for 10 minutes to bring to room temperature. Rewarm in a 350 toaster oven for 2-3 minutes if desired.
If you don’t want to stand at your toaster baking dozens of cookies all at once you can always freeze the dough.
How To Freeze Extra Raw Cookie Dough:
Roll or scoop the leftover cookie dough into evenly sized portions. Then, place them on a baking mat or parchment-lined cookie sheet in your freezer until frozen.
Use a marker to write the original baking directions on a freezer-safe bag. You can store the dough in your freezer for up to 6 weeks.
Again, that’s for best flavor, the frozen dough will still be okay to bake and eat after 6 weeks.
How Should I Bake The Frozen Cookie Dough?
The Choice Is Yours!
You can bake the dough straight from the freezer. Just add 2 or 3 additional minutes to the baking time.
They won’t taste exactly like the fresh cookies, baking freezing cold cookie dough will result in a thicker denser cookie.
Instead, we like to bring the frozen dough to room temperature first (about 10 minutes) and then bake as originally directed.
Keeping a batch of cookie dough in the freezer is our favorite baking tip.
Without dirtying a single dish, you can enjoy a freshly baked cookie (or two) in 20 minutes or less.
We do it all the time with our double chocolate chip cookies and it’ll work great for your Grandma’s famous oatmeal raisin cookies too!