A silicone baking mat–commonly referred to as a Silpat (the name of the best-known brand)–is one of a baker’s best friends in the kitchen, hounds agree. They are stick-resistant even where parchment paper fails, help cookies and other baked goods brown evenly without burning on the bottom, can withstand high oven temperatures, and are dishwasher safe. Beyond lining cookie sheets, they’re also great for roasting vegetables, rolling out and kneading dough without sticking or using too much extra flour, and making candies such as nut brittle.
There are, however, a few baking tasks they’re not well suited for–like achieving the correct texture on the bottom of delicate ladyfingers and high-volume holiday baking where you’re churning out many dozens of cookies simultaneously.
Silpat is, again, the best-known brand, but a number of companies now make mats that perform equally well and vary in price. They can often be found at good discounts via Amazon.com’s Friday-only sales, or using Bed Bath & Beyond’s frequently mailed 20% off merchandise coupons.
Order a standard half sheet pan-size silicone mat online.
Board Links: Silpat Baking Mat