When it comes to pastry, confectionery, or something in-between, the very first thing that comes to mind is, of course, cookies! If one were to start listing all the available recipes that combine cookies with some other forms of culinary goods, they’d never finish, just like the recipients of such treats will never have enough of these amazing baked treats.
What’s great about them is theirs versatility. Because with cookies, the sky's the limit when it comes to skill ceilings. Make it low, make it high, the results probably won’t disappoint in either case if you follow your recipe to a tee. Chocolate chip, sugar, peanut butter, caramel, coffee, marshmallow, jelly, jam, nuts, ginger root, dried and fresh fruit, or even veg (who could forget about carrots!). With such incredible filling ideas at hand, cookies are something we can truly make our own.
There’s one crucial detail we still have to keep in mind when attempting to surprise the world (or just friends and family) with our next incredible baking masterpiece — and that’s baking utensils. Amateur cooks can spend their whole day looking for that one perfect baking mat, an absolutely essential item one should certainly spend their time examining before deciding on purchase. Especially since there are so many different types and materials of this cooking utensil available on the market.
Today, though, we’ll focus on one particular type of utensil and material that we personally find to be amongst the best, if not outright the best — and that’s silicone baking mats. Because when you’ve got your ingredients and oven all set-up and ready for action, if anything, what you need to check is the very thing that your cookies are going to sit on.
You’ve guessed it, we’re very fond of silicone as a permanent member of the family of essential kitchen tools, and we’re not going to hold back when talking about them, not a bit. And here are the reasons:
- It can easily withstand heat and cold: silicone bakeware (and utensils) is far more tolerant to average oven heat and freezing temperatures than, say, plastic or rubber, which makes them almost perfect for the job.
- It’s nonstick: the reason why it’s important is simple, and describing it seems almost redundant. It’s nonstick! With silicone bakeware, you don’t have to use Pam, any other cooking spray, or butter to prevent your food from sticking. Sometimes one less thing to worry about is enough to convince a busy home cook to change things up a bit in their baking routine and finally try silicone.
- Easy to clean: not only is quality silicone bakeware easy to clean, it’s also easy to pop out your baking creation right out of your mold.
- Burning won’t be as bad: silicone also heats up rather evenly, so get used to having zero burning when you bake something with lots of sugar in it.
- No more parchment paper: in addition to getting rid of cooking spray or having to waste time covering your molds with butter, what you can also forget about is parchment paper. Because let’s face it, cutting and measuring parchment paper for baking (and doing it all over again since it never goes well the first time) is simply not fun. Not to mention that some silicone mats already have all the required measurements, allowing you to prepare your dough with extreme precision, which is something parchment paper just doesn’t have.
- Easy kneading: another reason why you may want to try out silicone mats instead of parchment paper when baking cookies is that you can use this same mat for kneading a dough as another great way to use its non-stick qualities.
These are just some of the many reasons why you should consider at least trying to use silicone bakeware in your kitchen. Chances are it may significantly improve the process of whatever you like to cook or bake, or maybe even change your whole attitude towards this material for the rest of your life.
Baking Cookies with Silicone Mats
So, you’ve decided to use silicone mats to bake cookies. You’re done with all the necessary preparations and all the ingredients are in place — great! You are ready to begin. As we’ve stated before, cookies are one of the most creative types of pastries you can make, so don’t hesitate to pick recipes with any of the ingredients we mention below!
- Fondant: if you really want to make the most of having a silicone mat, fondant is something you certainly should consider. Many online stores and manufacturers sell special silicone baking fondant mats, which are made especially for this type of icing and come with their own specialized measurements. So if you want to try your hand at some sugar fondant cookies, it’s never been easier than now. Another type of icing similar to fondant is marzipan, an almond paste pastry. And just like with fondant, you can use the baking mat to knead and give your marzipan any shape you desire.
- Macarons: being the French dessert that they are, macarons are one of the hardest types of cookies to make, even though they require so few ingredients. So, one way to make this recipe easier is to have a special macaron baking mat so you get the right measurements and sizes for your macaron cookies. Keep in mind that this can be said about all kinds of measurements. Like this silicone baking mat by Cook'n'Chic®, which can ensure you won’t waste even an ounce of your precious cookie dough.
- Keep it cold: why? Ice cream cookies! When making something you have to store in the freezer, just put it in with the baking mat. We promise, silicon won’t crack and crumble on the floor once it’s time to get your cookies out.
- Protect your baking pans: keep your baking pans clean by using a baking mat. I hate washing big baking trays, and usually, parchment paper can’t sustain all the oiliness and stains on the tray, unlike a silicone surface. You can use it in many baking recipes that require oil.
- Fudge: another thing that makes you feel extremely advantageous over anyone who still isn’t lucky enough to use silicone mats is fudge, an extremely sugary substance that is also a common ingredient in cookies. With silicone mats, getting fudge out of your tray will be a much easier task.
Cleaning Your Mats
So yes, baking cookies on a silicone mat can save you lots of time, cooking spray and parchment paper. One thing you should also remember, though, is that although you can knead and cut your dough right on the mat, silicone is still silicone. This means that if you cook with a silicone mat, be careful with a knife or any kind of blade or sharp object on the surface. If it so happens that you damage your mat with punctures or cuts, it will become significantly difficult to clean. Not only that, these punctures and cuts will also probably start to deteriorate even further.
Of course, it goes without saying that cleaning your mat also shouldn’t involve anything too gritty or sharp, like, for example, steel wool. The best way to care for your mat after baking something like cookies is to wash it with a soft cloth or a sponge in warm water and hand dry the mat with a towel. And remember that most silicone mats are usually designed to withstand temperatures up to 450°F.
As you can see, using silicone mats for baking cookies is something that all kinds of cooking aficionados can make use of. There are tons of options and variants of special baking mats that await us on the journey to the perfect pastry, while some of the individual, unique qualities of silicone can provide us with the necessary time-saving features that every cook will be grateful for.