Sheet Pan Sweets with Molly Gilbert
In Episode 57 of the Kitchen Confidante Podcast, Liren Baker talks with Molly Gilbert about her latest book, Sheet Pan Sweets: Simple, Streamlined Dessert Recipes.
Sheet Pan Sweets: Simple, Streamlined Dessert Recipes — with Molly Gilbert of Dunk & Crumble
On the podcast, I recently spoke with Molly Gilbert of the food blog Dunk & Crumble.
Molly is a professionally trained pastry chef with culinary and pastry training from the French Culinary Institute. She also has experience as a private chef, a chocolatier, and at the SAVEUR Magazine test kitchen. Her first two books — One Pan & Done and Sheet Pan Suppers — embrace simple meals that go from oven to table. Now she’s back with a third book!
In this episode, we talk about her latest book, Sheet Pan Sweets: Simple, Streamlined Dessert Recipes. Molly shares her love of sheet pan cooking, what makes the perfect sheet pan, and all her best cooking and baking tips.
Listen to the full episode here or keep reading for some of my favorite moments with Molly.
How did you get into cooking with sheet pans?
Throughout my earlier career, I gained a lot of various cooking experience through working different jobs. While these various jobs were not the right fit for me in the long term, they were great learning opportunities. They helped me figure out my cooking style, what I enjoy cooking, and how to cook for a crowd. They also helped me hone my skills in writing about cooking and setting up food photography shoots.
So, those opportunities shaped me as a cook and created great connections that I could use as a jumping-off point later for my books.
Sheet pan cooking was relatively new to me, and my editor had the original idea for the book. However, the idea just made sense to me!
I’d used sheet pans in many ways in my kitchen for years. I loved the idea of using just one pan for cooking a whole meal. I also loved that most people have sheet pans in their kitchens. They’re a kitchen starter pack item.
Sheet pans are inexpensive and easy to use, and the meals you can cook with them tend to be mess-free, hands-off, and low maintenance — which is great for busy moms like me! I love that you can do other things, like clean, while the sheet pan is in the oven.
What are the benefits of cooking or baking with a sheet pan?
I see four major benefits to cooking or baking with a sheet pan.
- High volume — sheet pans have a ton of surface area to use
- Quick bake times — the large surface area means food bakes quicker than in things like loaf pans
- Quick cooling times — the large surface area also means food cools quicker
- You can really feed a crowd — sheet pans are huge and can make more food at once than other baking dishes. They also travel well for parties, potlucks, bake sales, holidays, or other events.
Baking with a sheet pan can also just be very fun, easy, and nostalgic for me. Growing up, good things often came on sheet pans, so I love the feelings associated with that.
Sheet Pan Sweets: Simple, Streamlines Dessert Recipes, by Molly Gilbert (Union Square & Co., 2022).