Silicone baking mats do everything parchment paper does and more. Silicone mats have an ultra-smooth surface that gives cookies more spread, makes breads brown better on the bottom and causes candy to set faster than on on parchment paper and nonstick metal. The difference lies the center of the mat. The center of a silicone mat contains a fiberglass grid that doesn't retain heat like metal does, so baked goods cook on the bottom at the same rate as they do on the top. You can use silicone mats over 3,000 times with proper care and cleaning.
Rinse the silicone mat with cool water and dry it with a paper towel. Heat the oven and place the baking mat on a single-layer baking sheet. If your silicone mat has writing or a logo on it, position it with the writing facing up.
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Add the pastry dough, batter or item for baking on the mat, allowing about 1/4 inch more space on all sides than you do when baking on parchment. For example, if you normally space cookie-dough portions 1/2 inch apart, space them 3/4 inch apart to accommodate for the extra spread.
Place the baking sheet on the center oven rack and bake according to the recipe. Take the pan out of the oven and set it on a wire baking rack. Let the baked good cool for a few minutes then transfer it to another baking rack to finish cooling.
Hand wash the mat with soap and water and wipe with a soft sponge. Dry the mat with a paper towel and lay it flat to store. You can also roll the mat into a tube and secure it with a rubber band.
Don't use silicone to broil, grill or cook on the stove or above 480 degrees Fahrenheit. Don't fold or sharply bend silicone baking mats.