Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Anna Monette Roberts
Until about a year ago, I had never heard of the word "Silpat." I'm not exactly a Great British Baking Show contender, but I do love whipping up a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies from time to time. And now I can't believe I ever went a day without a Silpat, aka the nonstick baking mat made of fiberglass mesh and food-grade silicone that won't let anything — anything — stick to it.
This is a Silpat ($30 at Williams Sonoma; sold at most cookware stores). The popular product, which has a loyal following, is made in France and has been around since the late 1960s. What makes it such a game changer is that it eliminates the need for nonstick spray, butter, or parchment paper, and it's reusable and will last years (two to three thousand uses, according to the brand). You place it directly on a baking sheet and put cookie dough, biscuits, garlic herb baked pretzels (pictured below), scones, or anything else you want to bake right on top of it. Some of them even come with different shapes, like the outline of a cookie, for perfect placement.
Image Source: Jelly Toast
A Silpat can withstand oven temperatures up to 480°F, and the mesh material allows for evenly distributed baking. When your food is done and has cooled, it lifts right off the mat with no stuck-on residue. The best part? There's zero mess on your sheet pan, and you simply have to give it a quick rinse. When I'm done with my Silpats, I wash, dry, and store them (you can store them flat or rolled up like a poster), and rejoice in the fact that my baking cleanup was a little easier than it was in my pre-Silpat days. I have two Silpats in my kitchen, and although I cook a lot more often than I bake, I look forward to trying out easy baking recipes that give me an excuse to bust them out.