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Dec 7, 2008 05:45 PM

Sugar Cookies - Parchment paper necessary?

I am an infrequent baker but decided that I'd like to make some cookies this holiday season. The consensus on the Board seemed to be that the Martha Stewart recipe was best for sugar cookies. The recipe calls for lining the cookie sheets with parchment paper. How essential is this? When I went to the grocery store today, all parchment paper was sold out. When I made sugar cookies as a kid, I recall that we placed the cookies directly on the cookie sheet (ungreased, I think). Comments?

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  1. I think there is enough fat in the cookie that you wouldn't need parchment. I never use it for cookies.

    1. I always use parchment or a silpat when I bake cookies, especially sugar cookies. I didn't when I was younger and found that the bottoms would sometimes brown too much for my liking. This is really the only reason to use parchment for a sugar cookie, if you're not too concerned with that - then no worries about not having parchment.

      1 Reply
      1. re: jazzy77

        i have been using parchment these days. I would use them for cookies that tend to melt and spread and also those that are delicate. I recommed using them though to minimize spreading and it is just easier clean up, in case of burned on bits, it is easier to remove for the next batch of cookies. i reuse my paper a few times while making cookies, the paper really holds up. if you don't bake a whole lot, that roll will last you a long time - super handy for sticky stuff though(chocolate, baked potato wedges, roasted veggies, fishes, granola etc) i use them in place of foil most of the time...

      2. Thanks for all the advice. I made the cookies last night, without the parchment paper (was not in the mood to make a special trip to the store just for that), and they turned out fine -- not too brown on bottom, no sticking. I was using new cookie sheets; don't know if that helped or not.

        9 Replies
        1. re: masha

          Next time you see parchment, get some. I became a real convert - no washing of cookie sheets, and better control of baking. Because you can immediately lift the parchment from the pan to the cooling rack, cookies won't continue to bake from residual pan heat. You can portion your cookies out onto parchment while one batch is in the oven, then immediately get the second batch onto the pan when the first ones are done, so you save time and energy costs. I prefer parchment to silpat because the silpat still needs to be washed and dried (and can develop a tackyness that's hard to remove), and because when you lift the hot silpat sheet off the pan, the cookies can easily slide right off onto the floor. To keep the parchment flat, clip it to the edge of the pan with the black and silver binder clips sold in office supply stores.

          1. re: greygarious

            Good advice!

            After working as a baker for a year, I learned that parchment paper is your friend for everything in the baking world. I use it to line my quick bread and cake pans (because they release much easier when lined with parchment). Plus, I don't have to really get into the corners to clean the pan becaue there isn't really a crummy mess there to begin with. Plus, it's reusable for cookies and such, and cleaning a silpat isn't really that fun. I only use the silpat for the really sticky things.

            Plus, I use it to make collars for frozen souffles and such. It's extremely handy.

            1. re: jazzy77

              I agree - so much easier. Making some cookies right now, couldn't remember whether I was supposed to grease the pan or not, so just used parchment paper and all is well.

              1. re: jazzy77

                Someone suggested that you can buy a box of sheets at a restaurant supply store that will last you a looooong time.

                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                  For around $30 some 5 years ago, I bought a box of 1000 17x24-ish sheets at a paper goods store. I've given some to friends but there's still so much it's going to be a codicil in my will (;-D)! I find the sheets more convenient to work with than a roll. Before I became a convert, I remember when Martha Stewart revealed herself to be a good sport by going on the Car Talk radio show, giving advice about barely car-related questions like cooking chicken on an engine block while driving. She won't let tin foil touch food so she always recommends wrapping it in parchment first. The brothers had never heard of parchment and kidded her a bit. She went on about its versatility until Tom said "Everybody needs parchment - they just don't know it"......turns out, he was right!

                  1. re: greygarious

                    I find the most annoying aspect of using parchment paper tearing it off the roll and having it curl up, so flat sheets sound very appealing. I'm concerned that a box of 1000 sheets would take up too much room in my kitchen, but I suppose I could just take out a couple of dozen sheets at a time and keep the box in the storage room.

              2. re: greygarious

                Thanks. Sounds like a good idea. As stated in the OP, I'd planned to use it but the grocery store was sold out.

                1. re: masha

                  I think they sell more parchment paper in the four weeks from Thanksgiving to Christmas than they do the rest of the year. Of course, sometimes they have it on sale then, too. Or at least my supermarket did when I bought some this time of year a couple of years ago!

                2. re: greygarious

                  The point about having cookies ready to go on the parchment paper is great. I always let the cookie sheets cool down before placing the next batch on them, so this would be faster and more efficient (although typically I have 4 sheets going in continuous rotation, 2 in the oven, one cooling, and one prepped to go in, so it was the same effect, just 2 more sheets to wash).

                  I've been using these Cook-Eze liners for 10 years now and love them. They are lightweight and easy to use, like parchment paper, but reuseable. They don't get tacky like Sil-pat, and you can cut them to size if need be. Love them! Never occurred to me to use them this way for cookies, though. (Well, I haven't baked cookies in years, but I use the Cook-Eze liners all the time for roasting veggies, etc.)


              3. One more reason to have parchment on hand for sugar cookies - for those cookies with delicate (pointy) edges*, you can easily roll you dough onto the parchment and cut the cookies directly on the paper, then peel away the "scrap" dough - never once having to move the cookie.

                *So, no more stars that look like starfish!