I got a couple questions recently about cookie scoops, so I figured I'd do a combo scoop-and-other tools post. Here goes:
Half-sheet baking pans: If I remember correctly, Cook’s Illustrated magazine rated the Williams Sonoma Goldtouch pans highest, but I think any half-sheet pan will do because their thicker bottoms conduct heat better and more evenly than standard cookie sheets, and half-sheet pans have a raised edge with a rolled lip, which makes them sturdier than standard cookie sheets.
Silpats: These are silicone baking mats. Silpat is the best-known brand, thanks to Martha! But there are a bunch of brands available, so you can be sure to find one at a price that’s right for you. I absolutely love these guys. They’re dishwasher safe and reusable, and I’ve never had a problem getting cookies off of them. In fact, rested cookies literally pop off of a Silpat with a slight twist of your wrist. You don’t even need to use a spatula.
Cookie scoops: What’s the secret to getting perfectly round and perky cookies every time? Simple...a cookie scoop. But not just any cookie scoop. Steer clear of those shiny, retro-looking aluminum guys with visible springs in the handles. They’re expensive, they pinch your hand, and even worse, they break. Trust me. I’ve had a lot of luck with scoops that have plastic handles and mechanisms. Any cookie baker needs one.
You can find these tools at any home/cooking store. Don't feel like you have to spend a fortune: there are tons of brands available, so you'll be able to find stuff for the price that's right for you. I really like the King Arthur online store because it has a great selection and reasonable prices. Best of all, I can do my shopping in my pajamas...and who could complain about that?