& get 200 points!
& get 200 points!
Parchment paper, Silpat, mesh baking mats — oh my!
There are so many options for baking surfaces, it can make your head spin. Figuring out which one is right for you can take some time and experimentation, and I’m not going to lie — it can result in some ugly cookies along the way. But once you figure out which baking surface works best for your needs, you’ll find that your process moves much more smoothly.
Baking sheets (also called cookie sheets or jelly roll pans) are an absolute must when it comes to baking cookies. Many of them come in nonstick surfaces nowadays, which can offer quick release.
Some cookie sheets can discolor or tarnish over time, and that can affect how well your cookies bake—not to mention the cleanup! So, while your baking sheets are the foundation of your cookie-making empire, placing another medium between your pan and your cookies can really fine-tune your process.
Parchment paper is an easy and disposable way to line your pans. Not to be confused with wax paper (please please please, do NOT put wax paper in your oven, unless your intention is to light your oven on fire!), parchment paper can be found in any grocery store.
What is parchment paper? It is a food safe, nonstick, and heat-proof paper that is also grease- and moisture-resistant.
Wax paper, on the other hand, does not have the same heat-proof quality, so it can be very dangerous to try to swap these two interchangeably.
What are the PROS of baking on parchment paper?
What are the CONS of baking on parchment paper?
How many times can I reuse the same sheet of parchment for my cookies? At least 3. If your parchment starts to show an accumulation of grease on top, simply dispose of that sheet in the garbage and replace it with a fresh one.
Silicone baking mats are typically thought of as a step up from plain parchment paper. They create a solid nonstick surface on which cookies can bake evenly; they don’t conduct heat, so they don’t create hot spots or cause your cookies to burn.
What are the PROS of baking on Silpats?
What are the CONS of baking on Silpats?
At first glance, these mats look very similar to the standard nonstick silicone mats. After all, they are coated in silicone, so they do offer the same nonstick properties. But that is where the resemblance stops. While standard silicone mats are one solid sheet of nonstick silicone, mesh mats are made up of a gridwork of tiny perforations. This allows air to flow around and under every cookie placed on the cookie sheet, which can result in more even baking.
What are the PROS of baking on Mesh Mats?
What are the CONS of baking on Mesh Mats?
Where can I find mesh baking mats?
The Cookie Countess makes and sell them in our online store. Since they're our top pick for baking cookies, we make them in three different sizes to fit the most popular sheet pan sizes.
As you can see, there are benefits to each of these options. Just as you fine-tune your cookie recipes by adding more of one ingredient or adding less of another, so it is with selecting with surface on which to bake your cookies.
Ovens vary, elevation can play a huge role, and bakers’ preferences will always differ. But now that you know what you are looking for, you can make a more educated decision before you go to make your next batch of cookies.
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