Do you think it's a good idea to invest in a few Silpats, or is it better to just use parchment paper?
I think the Silpat is worth the investment, but I would probably use both. I know some people use cookie cutters directly on their Silpat. I probably wouldn't due to the possibility of damage. I would roll out the dough between two layers of parchment and then probably cook on the parchment. But if I were making cookies that were not rolled out, I would use the silpat for sure!
I only use the Silpat mats. They rock! It's great, even baking. No burnt bottoms. No messy flour. They go right from the freezer and into the oven too if you need, very convenient. I invested in 12 of them to fit my half-tray cookie sheets.
I've used mine for about 8 years now, which pleases me so much when I think of all the parchment paper that saved from ending up in the garbage. That's such a waste.
I roll my dough right onto the mats without the need for dusting with any flour at all, cut the cookie shapes, slide the whole Silpat onto a cookie sheet, put it into the freezer for 10-15 minutes, pop out the stiff cookies onto another Silpat and right into the oven.
Thanks for the replies -- the Silpats are sounding pretty good!
Be sure and buy the Silpat brand. I bought several others, and ALL of them wrinkled in the oven and ruined the cookies! I would reach in and pull on either side of mat to flatten, and they would wrinkle again! I use parchment now.
Silpat will save you rols and rolls and rolls of parchment in the next 10 years. Figure out the $ amount of the parchment !
...not to mention it being better for the environment, right?
I use parchment for everything. It saves a lot of soap and hot water not having to clean the pans or the silpats, etc.... not to mention the time it saves.
I get a case at Smart & Final and they end up being 1/2 cent a piece for a standard jelly roll size parchment. I have 2 dozen cookie sheets ( 12 standard and 12 full size) and I am forever filling sheets and swapping them out so for me to convert to Silpats would cost a fortune.
I also love that you can cut them down to all sizes for whatever diameter and shape of pan you need. As for the environment, I sort of pick my battles..... and I would convert to cloth napkins before I would ditch my parchment!!
I prefer the parchment paper as I don't think the silpat mats transfer the heat as well as the paper on a metal tray.