The most common way that you will see anyone baking cookies is in a full-sized oven, but there are other methods to make these sweet treats. So, whether you have a small apartment or just don’t want to heat up your whole kitchen, consider using a toaster oven.
You can bake cookies in a toaster oven the same way you would in a full-sized oven. The only differences between the two are the batch size, temperature control, and some of the accessories (like baking sheets) that you would use.
Before you can make exceptional toaster oven-baked cookies, you’ll need to really understand the nuances that your toaster oven brings to the table. Lets’ get into it!
How to Bake Cookies in a Toaster Oven
Baking in a toaster oven is very similar to baking in a full-sized oven. However, you will probably have to use a smaller baking sheet / container and adjust the temperature settings.
To start, here’s a 3-min video that walks through the steps:
As you can see, the actual preparation of the ingredients and dough are similar. But, there are also a couple of things that you need to do for toaster ovens that you wouldn’t need for a regular oven.
For instance, if this is your first time baking cookies in your toaster oven (or if it’s been awhile) then you’ll want to check the temperature.
Test the Temperature
Before you start laying out the cookie dough, you should make sure you understand how to set the temperature on your toaster oven.
Most toaster ovens have a “bake” setting that allows you to set your desired temperature, and they’ll usually also have a timer. These features may look quite different than the ones on a regular oven, so keep that in mind.
Once you’ve found your temperature settings, then it’s really important that you test it to make sure that the temperature that you set is the true temperature that it reaches. Basic oven thermometers are a perfect measuring tool for this.
The reason this is important is that toaster ovens don’t always heat perfectly to the temperature that they’re set to. As a result, you’ll want to understand any discrepancy in the real temperature so you can adjust it to get the perfect temperature for your recipe.
Gather Your Equipment
Before you prepare the dough, you’ll also want to check to see if you have all the tools you need in order to safely and effectively bake in your toaster oven.
Oftentimes, the utensils that you use to bake in a regular oven will work just fine for a toaster oven. But, there are a few items that you may need to have in smaller sizes.
1. Baking sheet
In particular, you’ll need to make sure that you have the correct-sized sheet to bake in. You may have a pan or sheet already that came with your toaster oven. If you do, great, you should be good to go.
On the other hand, if you need to purchase a sheet to fit your toaster oven, then make sure you get the right size – especially if you are ordering online.
An easy way to prevent a mistake is to look up the company that manufactures your toaster oven and see if they sell accessories specifically for the model that you own.
2. Silicone Baking Mat
You may use silicone baking mats in your regular oven. If not, they are just what the name entails, a mat intended for baking purposes made out of silicone.
Of course, for a toaster oven, you’ll probably need a smaller size. And that’s why we’re mentioning it here.
Plus, these silicone mats are really fantastic for toaster oven baking because they:
- Get rid of the hassle of cleaning a used pan
- Are non-stick
- Are reusable
- Save you money on parchment paper
3. Toaster Rack Puller
One of the advantages of using a larger oven for baking is that the extra space gives you room to reach inside to move dishes around or pull out racks without worrying about burning yourself.
With a toaster oven, the more narrow opening and smaller interior make removing dishes a little more dangerous.
Instead of risking a burn, use a toaster rack puller. It eliminates the need to reach directly into the hot oven, and it could be useful for your full-sized oven as well. Rack pullers are also relatively inexpensive and very easy to use.
4. Toaster Oven Liner
You may also want to have a toaster oven liner. Oven liners are thick metal sheets that you place on the very bottom of the inside of your toaster oven to catch any crumbs or oil that may fall through the cooking racks while heating up food.
If you decide to get one of these, it is very important that you do not buy a thin oven liner. You want the liner to be able to withstand being heated repeatedly at high temperatures. If you use a thin liner, it may curl, crack, or even start smoking.
Buying an oven liner saves time on cleaning, and buying a sturdy oven liner saves you money on replacing a brittle, thin liner.
5. Oven Mitts
Okay, let’s be real. You don’t need special tiny oven mitts for a toaster oven (although that could be kind of cute). You can use your regular oven mitts for a toaster oven as well.
However, I still wanted to mention this because I don’t want you to burn yourself 🙂 Toaster ovens are smaller than ovens, and so there’s a greater risk of touching the rack or sides and burning yourself.
So, make sure you protect your hands by using good oven mitts that cover your hands entirely.
Do a Test Cookie
Once you’ve gathered all the gear you need, and after you’ve figured out the temperature settings on your toaster oven, then it’s time to bake a test cookie.
This is especially important if your toaster oven uses unspecific temperature settings like “cookies”. You want to make sure you know exactly how one cookie comes out before you make a whole batch.
Now, if the single test cookie turns out okay, you should probably do more than one next to see if your toaster oven has any hot or cold spots.
Once your toaster oven passes the test, you are ready to bake to as many cookies as you want (or at least as many as you can fit!).
What Cookies to Make First
Not sure what kind of cookies to try in your toaster oven first? Here are some ideas:
Classic Chocolate Chip
You can never go wrong with a long-time favorite like chocolate chip cookies. You’re already trying something adventurous by baking them in a toaster oven, why go father outside of the box than you have to?
JoyFoodSunshine has a great recipe with helpful tips on how to make the best chocolate chip cookies (here).
Brown Butter Bourbon Spice Cookies
If you want to challenge yourself, try making some Brown Butter Bourbon Spice Cookies. These are Fall cookies, but they taste amazing year-round.
You can find a recipe (and appetizing photos) here.
Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
If you’d like to try a vegan option, then you can give this vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe from Tasty.co a try.
Helpful Tips to Get Started
Here is a short recap of the advice given at the beginning of the article. Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to baking great cookies in no time!
- Make sure you know how to adjust the temperature and timer on your toaster oven
- Use an oven thermometer to check if your toaster oven heats up to the correct temperature
- Gather all of the cooking gear you need to bake in your toaster oven BEFORE you start baking
- Test your new equipment and toaster oven with a test cookie before you make an entire batch
And if you like the idea of simplifying cooking with a toaster oven, you might also like our article about cooking bacon in a toaster oven.