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Is there a noticeable difference between silpat and parchment for baking cookies?

For several years, I've been using silpats as cookie sheet liners. A few weeks ago, I used parchment. I can't tell for sure, but I thought the parchment-baked cookies were a shade crisper on the bottom. Then again, I may be wrong.

Okay, all you experienced bakers, am I imagining things? Is there really a differnce between the two?

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  1. Yes, that's my experience. I don't really use silpat for cookines any more.

    1. Yes, I've noticed that. I like my silpat mats, though. One complaint on the silpats is that I can't just slide the sheet on/off the cookie pan like I can with parchment.

      I've noticed a big difference in cookie sheets, too. I have a couple of good ones from Williams Sonoma and the cookies bake up much differently than the ones on the cheaper Kitchenaide Target ones.

      1. I'm fascinated. I hate the feel of the silpat even when it's gone through the dishwasher. I bake a lot of cookies and it never occured to me to use parchment..thanks, just in time.

        1. Depending on the recipe, Silpat can also cause the cookies to spread out more than parchment. I like Silpat for its ease of release, but have certain cookie recipes, the CI chocolate chip cookie, for example, for which I only use parchment.

          1. I like the IDEA of Silpat, but frankly don't care to use it. Parchment has to be replaced for each batch (or every other, depending on the oven temp), but on the other hand you don't have to wash it, do you? And the cookies or biscuits or whatever come out much nicer, I think.

            6 Replies
            1. re: Will Owen

              I agree -- parchment for me for cookie baking. The cookies get crispier on the bottom, and slide off easily. I really don't like the kinda slimey feel of the Silpat, although I do use it for things like candied nuts/brittle.

              1. re: Will Owen

                I've never tried Silpat, but I just wanted to say that I often re-use my parchment when making a batch of cookies. I usually use two baking sheets, alternating between them (my oven is small), and I keep re-using the same two sheets of parchment for the whole batch. Of course, I throw it away afterward. But sometimes it gets used 3 or more times, and I've never noticed a problem.

                1. re: Kagey

                  Me too... I use the parchment paper over and over, usually until I'm done with the cookie dough, unless something catastrophic happens.

                  I've never used a silpat... for a long time I just couldn't bring myself to pay the price, but now I just don't want something else to wash!

                  1. re: Kagey

                    Same here. Never used silpat, but I reuse parchment -- not too much, until the oil spots get pretty big, then I replace. But I never make a huge batch at one time anyway. :-D

                    1. re: Covert Ops

                      Me four - like Kagey, I tag-team between two cookie sheets, and sometimes as many as three or four sheets of parchment when I'm doing massive Christmas baking or the like.

                      I set up one sheet of parchment on the counter and form cookies on that while the two cookie sheets are in the oven. When the finished cookies come out of the oven, I slide the parchment off to cool on a rack till the cookies can be moved, and slide the parchment with waiting cookies onto the sheet to go right into the oven. I only dispose of the parchment when it starts to brown (or the end of the baking session, whichever comes first.)

                      I have several silpats, but have fallen out of the habit of using them for cookies, not so much for the crispness/chewiness issue but because they retain heat longer so I have to wait to turn around a sheetful. I agree with those who don't like the texture - I do dislike the feeling that it's still slightly greasy no matter how thoroughly I soap it up when cleaning it.

                      However, I *love* the big Silpat I use for rolling out pie crust and cut cookies.

                      I use the air-insulated cookie sheets, so it takes a bit of work to burn cookies at all.

                  2. re: Will Owen

                    I have been able to get away with just two sheets of parchment for an entire batch of cookies - one for each cookie pan. Take the baked cookies off, wipe it lightly with a paper towel, and repeat. Works perfectly and not a whole lot of waste. I personally worry that we're going to find out that silicone isn't so wonderfully inert as we've been lead to believe.