Speaking of cookies this holiday season

Cookies are very much on my mind.

We’re counting the days until our upcoming Nov. 4 Holiday Cookie Swap.

And since there is no escaping cookies — and why would you want to? I thought this would be a good time to talk about cookie sheets.

Possibly because cookies are such an intensely personal treat (chewy? crunchy? delicate? soft? sandwich? nutty? cake-like? Holy Cookie, Batman!) I see a tendency to make the actual cookie sheet a bit more complicated than it needs to be.

Here’s how I see it: from the most fragile of the super-thin to the chewiest of chunky, a cookie sheet should accommodate all kinds of cookies.

Here’s one thing, though…the difference between a cookie sheet and another kind of baking sheet is the lack of sides.

By definition, a true cookie sheet will have at least one side without any kind of rim at all, and may have as many as three rimless sides.

This is simply to make the removing of the cookies as easy as possible. For all of you purists out there, our classically defined, non-stick Fat Daddio’s and USA Pan cookie sheets will make you swoon.

Other “baking” sheets have four-rimmed sides, like a jelly-roll pan or an “industrial strength” 1/2 sheet pan.

I know I’ve talked about these incredibly all-purpose pans before, but they are just too versatile to ignore.

Most 1/2 sheets are made of rolled aluminum, which means they can take a beating and are a great heat conductor. Also they’re not expensive. I use parchment paper or a Silpat liner on mine so cleanup is a breeze, and use them for everything from, well, baking cookies, to roasting vegetables, to cooking large quantities of bacon.

Our annual Holiday Cookie Swap is Thursday, Nov. 4 from 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Call 980-3661 or or e-mail info@bakeandcookco.com for more information.

Susan Green is the owner of Birmingham Bake and Cook off Valleydale Road.