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I have to confess that I am still experimenting with Silpat baking mats. It is really amazing how well cookies come off of these given how rubbery the mats feel to the touch. The bottoms of the cookies come out totally smooth with an almost shiny finish. Nevertheless, I have been disappointed with the results for some cookie recipes.

I have noticed that some cookies baked on silpat brown very differently in addition to changes in how the dough spreads. See the cookie photo below—the silpat batch didn't crackle as nicely on the top for Spice Cookies. I tried them recently with chocolate chip cookies and the results were mixed. Sometimes the bottom of chocolate chip cookies can be brittle, but the silpat did wonders at keeping the cookies intact. The Silpat cookies also packed better since the bottom of the cookie was left structually intact.

Silpat mats are fantastic for caramels. I first used Silpat with caramels in 2006 and won't ever go back to peeling foil away from caramel. Apart from th bumpy texture, the caramels were perfect.

Breaking in your new Silpat mats
New Silpat sheets should be baked ahead of time at 400° F for at least 15 minutes before you first use them. Ours really smoked a lot and even set off the smoke alarm in the hallway. I didn't see smoke coming from the mats, but the smell was definitely a little strange and there was a little bit of a haze in the house. I searched around on the web and found that other user experiences with smoke is mixed. Ours only smoked the first time we used them. I would recommend cleaning and pre-baking any bakeware before first use to burn off any industrial or shipping residues.

Click any image below to enlarge
  1. Comment from Mema 
    1:19 PM   14-Dec-2008
    I have just bought one, and was glad to know I should "temper" it before using it. My problem is, I want to know if, when I roll out the cookies on the mat, and peel away the part that isnt cookies, do I have to flour the mat? I guess I'll figure it out tomorrow when I use it for the first time, huh?
    1. Response from Brian
      6:32 PM   19-Dec-2008
      I don't think you will need flour unless the dough is too fragile for peeling. Flour allows the dough to slide, and even with silpat, the dough will probably not slide.
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