Make Perfect Cookies with These Test Kitchen Favorites
In the test kitchen, we believe there’s a cookie for every occasion, whether it’s an afternoon snack or the sweet ending to a special meal. Over the years, we’ve perfected the art of cookie making and have found the best equipment for the job. Our winning kitchen scale guarantees consistent results thanks to precise measurements, and our favorite portion scoop ensures that every cookie is the same size—a perk for parents everywhere. If you’re the go-to cookie maker in your crowd, our top-rated stand mixer is a worthwhile investment, making it easy to mix even stiff or chunky doughs.
If you like cookies (really, who doesn’t?), then you’ll love our new release The Perfect Cookie. This book is the ultimate guide to making cookies, brownies, and bars the test kitchen way. We’ve included 250 bulletproof recipes for classics that are a cut above, fancy bakery-style treats, and cookies that will make your holidays a little bit sweeter this year.
The redesigned version of the OXO scale is accurate and had all the features that made the old model our favorite: sturdy construction, responsive buttons, and a removable platform for easy cleaning. The screen can still be pulled out nearly 4 inches when weighing oversize items. Instead of a backlight setting, the screen now has brightly lit digits on a dark background, which we found even easier to read than the old model’s screen. OXO also added two display options for weight. Users can choose to view ounces only (24 oz), pounds and ounces (1 lb 8 oz), grams only (2500 g), or kilograms and grams (2 kg 500 g), which comes in handy when doubling a recipe. The scale now uses decimals rather than fractions, so it’s more precise and easier to read.
Accurate and extremely durable, this set snaps together for compact storage. The handles are seamless with the cups themselves, making them easy to level off.
The unbeatable traditional version of the Pyrex Liquid Measuring Cup is back on the market.
We wish the measurement markings had more staying power, but we can’t complain about how easy to use and effective this measuring cup is with messy ingredients like honey, yogurt, shortening, and peanut butter.
Comfortable and accurate with long handles, this set nests nicely. The rim of each spoon is flush with the handle so it is easy to sweep accurately. Our only gripe: The oval bowls made measuring liquids slightly tricky.
This Microplane grabbed the top spot thanks to its great performance and its soft, grippy rubber handle that was slightly more comfortable and secure than that of our old winner. Otherwise, their grating surfaces are identical, so they both shredded cheese, zested lemons, and grated nutmeg, garlic, and ginger with ease. The Premium Classic came sharp, stayed sharp, and looked as good as new after testing. We do wish it had a wider surface so it didn’t form a trench in our cheese while grating, but it’s still the best option out there.
This powerful, smartly designed machine made quick work of large and small volumes of food. The bent tines of its whisk fit the bowl’s shape perfectly, its Y-shaped paddle creamed quickly without allowing butter to bunch up in the crevices, and the model handled batches of stiff dough without flinching. Testers liked the bowl-lift design and large vertical bowl handle that aided pouring.
BUY FOR $654
This basic, compact, heavy machine’s across-the-board performance knocked out many competitors that were bigger and much more costly (although its tilt head broke on an extreme abuse test). We wish that its bowl had a handle, and a bowl-lift (rather than a tilt-head) design would have been nice, but those are small concessions given its affordable price.
A practical, no-nonsense spatula that aced every cooking test, with a great balance of flexibility and firmness for both the head and the handle; however, the head did become slightly discolored by the turmeric in the curry test, and if we were going to quibble, the handle, while providing a great grip, could be a bit more cushy. But all around, a terrific choice for nearly any job in the kitchen. (We also went beyond its top recommended temperature with no sign of damage.)
BUY FOR $14
This model is firm enough for scraping and scooping but also fit neatly into tight corners. Its straight sides and wide, flat blade ensured that no food was left unmixed. The all-silicone design eliminates any crannies that could trap food. It felt exceptionally comfortable. Its smaller blade fell short in our folding test.
This light, smooth bamboo spoon was broad enough to churn bulky stews, yet small enough to rotate a single chunk of beef without disturbing surrounding pieces. Its rectangular handle was comfortable to grip; its head had the most surface area in contact with the pan, so it excelled at scraping fond. Stain-resistant, it emerged after testing looking closest to new.
BUY FOR $17
The deeply beveled edge of this scraper cut through pizza and bread dough quickly and scraped the work surface effectively. The textured polypropylene handle was easy to hold on to, even with greasy or floury hands, and was thinner than other scrapers’ handles, helping us hold it flat to the work surface for easier, more effective scooping and scraping.
Perfectly contoured to fit the side of a bowl, this scraper had the most surface contact of all the scrapers. No dough or batter was left behind. It gained rigidity from a steel insert. Opposite the contoured side is a straight edge that doubles as a bench scraper or dough cutter, making this a multipurpose winner.
Featuring grippy rubberized handles and an inner spring with just the right amount of resistance, this portion scoop was very comfortable to hold and squeeze. It also dispensed dough with the neatest and most controlled motion.
This pin capably handled dough for pie, cookies, pizza, and yeasted rolls, with gentle weight and a slightly textured surface that holds a dusting of flour for less sticking. Its long, straight shape made achieving even dough thickness and rolling out larger disks easy.
Everything prepared in this sturdy, warp-resistant sheet cooked appropriately and evenly. Best of all, our new favorite is a few bucks cheaper than our old winner.
Testers gave top marks to this rack, which has six feet on three support bars for extra stability. Cookies cooled evenly on this rack, and pork emerged from the oven with crisp, browned surfaces. It fit perfectly in our favorite rimmed baking sheet (and other standard-size baking sheets) and is safe to wash in the dishwasher. It’s sold in packs of two, making it the best value in the lineup. Update October 2018: Since publishing this review, the quality of this rack has become inconsistent. We now recommend the Checkered Chef Cooling Rack, which had earned a Highly Recommended rating and come in a close second place in our original review.
No other cookie jar in our lineup had an airtight seal (activated by a pop-up button on the lid). We also liked that the clear plastic (BPA-free) jar showed off our baking. The container was easy to clean, but the lid’s nooks and crannies took more effort, and the lid is not dishwasher-safe. We tested the 4-quart model; the container comes in several sizes and shapes.
This set has all the essentials: six core tips in the right sizes, twelve 16-inch disposable pastry bags, and a set of four reusable couplers. The six tips make topping cupcakes, decorating cakes, piping pâte à choux, and filling savory foods effortless. all the components are available at craft stores such as Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, or Jo-ann Fabric and Craft Stores.
All products reviewed by America’s Test Kitchen are independently chosen, researched, and reviewed by our editors. We buy products for testing at retail locations and do not accept unsolicited samples for testing. We list suggested sources for recommended products as a convenience to our readers but do not endorse specific retailers. When you choose to purchase our editorial recommendations from the links we provide, we may earn an affiliate commission. Prices are subject to change.