Many chowhounds love Silpat silicone sheet pan liners because baked goods release effortlessly from them. But some prefer using parchment paper when baking cookies, because it allows the cookies to bake up with crisper, browner bottoms than Silpat mats. Certain cookie recipes tend to spread more if baked on Silpat, as well, says JoanN. And virtualfrolic notes that if you use air-insulated cookie sheets, parchment results in more even baking. Some hounds use parchment for crispy cookie recipes or ones that need good browning, and Silpat for chewy cookies or things they worry about burning.
Here are some ways to get maximum use from your parchment paper when baking cookies: You can usually reuse the same sheets through a batch of cookies, or up to three oven cycles each, unless they get too brittle to use. If there is oily residue left from the previous panful, just blot it up with a paper towel.
Allstonian uses parchment to speed the whole cookie-baking process. While two pans of cookies are in the oven, she sets up the next pans’ worth on sheets of parchment on the counter; when the hot cookies come out of the oven, she slides the parchment, cookies and all, from the pans to a cooling rack until they can be moved, and moves the parchment with oven-ready cookies onto the pans and straight into the oven.