Kitchen 101: Why (and Where) To Use Parchment Paper

May 3, 2014

As if I didn’t spend a good bit of time in the kitchen before, I really am spending time in this favorite room of mine lately. More than just a place I like to spend time, my home kitchen has been turned into a working athlete-food-lab. This means I spend a good bit of time also going to the store to stock up on ingredients I run out of, and equipment that I need to do my work, and keep that work as streamlined as possible. The thought came over me earlier this week, as I was standing at a checkout counter balancing my bike helmet in one arm, and a basket full of parchment paper in the other, that this particular provision is something a few of you readers might not yet be familiar, or addicted to yet, and so I thought I’d share a few how/why/where tips on parchment paper here.

Unlike wax paper or aluminum foil, parchment paper is moisture-resistant and grease-resistant, and absolutely should be on hand whenever you set out to cook or bake anything. Here’s why:

  • Cleaning up couldn’t be easier: You won’t need to wash your cookie sheets, or apply extra elbow grease to those baking pans with the burned bits on them after you roast vegetables. 
  • Baked goods won’t stick to pans: remove the doubt from your baking process and kiss your cooking spray, additional butter and extra oil good bye. Cookies, bars, scones and cakes will come out of their baking pans like a breeze. 
  • Parchment preserves the life of your baking sheets and pans: with fewer burned bits on your trays, you’ll keep your nice baking sheets longer!
  • Transporting + wrapping baked goods is a breeze: Brownies, cookies, and quick breads can be lifted right out of their pans. Use parchment to roll up cookie dough and store it so you can slice and bake it later. You’ll never spill granola while transporting it again, and if you want to wrap up a treat to go in your pocket, simply fold it up in its paper!

You can buy pre-cut parchment paper sheets at specialty cooking stores; these are typically in half-pan sizes, or circles suitable for cake pans. Or, you can shortcut this stop on your errand list and buy an inexpensive roll of parchment paper at the grocery store, and tear off the amount that you need to line your pans. Earlier this week, when I made a flourless almond cake, I used a piece of parchment paper from a roll to line the bottom of a cake pan. Here’s how I cut the right sized circle: 


Don’t forget – keep your parchment paper away from the broiler; it will catch fire in seconds. And, know that parchment paper and wax paper are NOT interchangable in recipes. Wax paper wax will MELT off, so never bake with it.

How are you using parchment? I hope often, and for everything….that means your in the kitchen! Enjoy! xo -L



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