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Baking cookies on a silpat versus parchment versus directly on sheet

what's been the best result? I'm thinking silpat isn't baking my cookies well enough...

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  1. I've never used parchment for cookies, but silpat won't let them brown on the bottom. My vote is directly on the pan. There's enough butter in cookies that they rarely stick anyway.

    1. I always use silpat's, they work fine. I find cookies are more uniform in color. If you're looking for a more well done bottom cookie, use just a plain pan.

      1. Depends on the cookie, for me. On the Silpat for peanut butter or choc chip. My new obsession, however, is spritzed butter cookies, so directly on the baking sheet & they get a slight brown crunch on the bottom.

        1 Reply
        1. re: pine time

          yeah, i'm making butter cookies. cc cookies are fine on a silpat for me but my last batch of butter came out kind of lame.

        2. Best = parchment
          2nd = silpat
          Last= direct on sheet

          IMHO. :)

          1 Reply
          1. re: lynnlato

            Parchment allows you to whisk the baked cookies off the pan and onto a cooling rack if they are the sort you want chewy inside, which entails getting them off the pan while they are still soft. It also allows you to portion out as many sheets as you want, so as soon as a pan is free you can reload and get it back into the oven, saving energy costs, and time. No pan-washing needed.

            Cookies don't brown well on a silpat, leave a tacky spot behind that is virtually impossible to get off no matter how well you wash the silpat. Cookies slide on the sheet so you have to be exceedingly careful if you want to move the silpat from pan to cooling rack. Wish I'd never bought the silpat - it was expensive and is rarely used.

            Baking directly on the sheet is necessary for the best results when doing spritz cookies. Even if you weight or clip parchment into the pan, it tends to life a bit when you disengage the cookie press from the just-piped cookie.

          2. I like on the sheet or parchment. As mentioned the Silpat doesn't allow adequate browning.

            1. Parchment is always the best for me.

              1. I've never used silpat... I usually use parchment because that way I can mass-bake cookies using just two trays, and the last tray comes out as nice as the first.

                1. I like parchment. Ended up getting rid of my silpat.

                  1. I find the silpat results in oily cookies. I prefer parchment just out of laziness but directly on the sheet is fine too.

                    1. It depends on the results you want. Silpats are super for things like florentines, cheese crisps, and candy. Batter can also spread a lot on Silpats and can take on a more buttery flavour and texture. That can be good or bad. It's preference. Silpats are a bit of a pain to wash and dry properly as they're quite floppy. Storage is best if they can be flat. I put a sheet of paper towel between mine.

                      Parchment is very convenient and keeps your cookie sheets clean. It's also very handy for lining the bottom of cake and tart tins. I use mine on a baker's peel, under wet loaves and slide the paper and all into the oven. It also keeps my baking stones cleaner if there's any oil (think cheese) in the dough. Cookies on parchment spread less. Cleanup is easy. Mine goes into the fireplace.

                      Sometimes you want to use just a buttered or greased sheet for flavour. Cookies spread just a tiny bit more than on parchment and you have to give the sheet a good wash afterwards.

                      I use all three depending on what I'm baking. Parchment gets the most use, followed by greased sheets, then Silpat.

                      Experiment. That way you'll find out what works best for the recipe you're putting together that day.

                      1. I use parchment for everything but my spritz with cookie gun-they don't stick and oatmeal cookies. They just come out best on a greased metal pan. Nothing else produces the same texture.

                        1. I use silpats for various things, but not cookies. For cookies, I use parchment.

                          This doesn't address silpat, but pans of various colors (light/dark) with and without parchment. Very interesting comparison! http://www.kingarthurflour.com/blog/2...

                          Despite the greater evenness of browning without, I cannot be bothered with greasing (and having to wash) cookie sheets, versus the ease of parchment (which I also reuse for subsequent pans/batches).

                          1. I've been using this washable 'parchment' for a couple of years. I have only had it fail by my stupid error of cutting thru a batch of brownies with a serrated knife:( I have a couple of silpat and do not like them, cookies have a different crispness than with the parchment and they just have a weird feeling to touch.....
                            http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000...

                            1. I've been a fan of parchment for past several years. Found baking directly on "non-stick" sheets (with a little spritz of "pam") eventually results in gunk you really can't get off??

                              Back during holiday season, had 4 sheets working at once while baking cookies. No need to replace parchment between batches. I've even saved used sheets for later use.

                              1. I would think it depends on the type of cookies you are baking, as mentioned.
                                My Christmas baking is done on Silpats. I do a lot of the German type Lebkuchen/Elisenkuchen and baked Marzipan, they come out more evenly baked on Silpats. Before they came out with Silpats I used Parchment paper.