Cookies should (almost) always be baked on the middle rack of the oven. The middle rack offers the most even heat and air circulation which helps cookies bake consistently.
Use the bottom heating element. Direct heat will in effect toast or crisp things in the oven. You don’t want to toast a cookie.
Baking and Testing for Doneness
For more even baking, position oven rack at the center of the oven and bake one sheet of cookies at a time. If you prefer to bake two sheets, space racks so oven is divided into thirds and switch cookie sheets top to bottom and back to front halfway through baking.
The simple answer to this question is, meet in the middle. Cookies should (almost) always be baked on the middle rack of the oven. The middle rack offers the most even heat and air circulation which helps cookies bake consistently.
Baking two trays of cookies at a time is fairly standard, but if your oven has space for more, three or four can be used. Industrial ovens often have five or six racks. Putting four trays of cookies in an oven will still not affect the cooking time, but the trays may still need to be rotated for even browning.
Bake at 375 degrees F until golden and tender, 12 to 15 minutes. For crispy-cakey cookies: Bake the cookies at 425 degrees F until golden and crunchy on the outside, 8 to 10 minutes. For chewy cookies: Use 1 cup light brown sugar and 1/4 cup corn syrup and omit the granulated sugar.
And there are no baking police: If your recipe tells you to flatten your cookies before baking, you just go ahead and do that however you want. So long as they end up evenly flat, that is; squashing cookies haphazardly under your palm means they may bake and brown unevenly.
Lining a baking sheet when making cookies: Not only will the parchment help cookies bake more evenly, the non-stick quality also helps prevent them from cracking or breaking when lifting them off the sheet.
For chewy cookies, allow them to cool on the baking sheet for 3 to 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. For crispier cookies, let cookies cool for one minute on the baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack.
Cookies, cupcakes, muffins and other smallish baked goods don’t need a rack of a particular size to cool because they are small and can be placed close together on a rack, although you might need an extra one or two if you routinely bake large batches and have dozens of cookies cooling at once.
To cool cookies without a rack, remove cookies from the baking sheet and allow them to cool on paper towels on the countertop. When using this method, you may notice that the paper towels absorb excess fat from the cookies, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Gas ovens that contain their heating unit in the bottom may save the space as a broiler drawer. This is often a very narrow space that acts as a broiler and fits baking sheets and casserole dishes. It’s ideal for browning the tops of casseroles, caramelizing chicken skin, or even roasting vegetables.