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Reusing parchment paper?

Parchment paper with cookie doughI always recommend that you line baking sheets with parchment paper, instead of simply greasing them or trying to rely on a nonstick surface. It is the best way to ensure that nothing sticks to your pan and it makes clean up very easy because it can be thrown away when you’re done. When you have to do a lot of baking – especially when you’re baking batches of cookies and nothing is left on the paper after baking – it seems like a waste to discard all that paper. Fortunately, you can actually reuse parchment paper several times before throwing it out. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend trying to re-line a cake pan with a round of parchment paper that has crumbs of a previous cake still stuck on it, but you can definitely reuse cookie paper over and over.

When I first started to use parchment paper, I often threw sheets out after baking just one batch of cookies. I was relieved – partly because I didn’t have to buy nearly as much parchment paper – when I realized that I could use it multiple times. The only time I don’t is if something really stuck onto the parchment paper (unusual, but possible) and I don’t want it to burn on another trip to the oven, or if I’ve baked something with a really strong flavor (mint or orange) and don’t want the scent to be on the next batch of cookies.

Most parchment paper is oven safe to about 425-450F. At temperatures higher than that, or if you are baking something at that high of a temperature for an extended period of time, the paper is going to start to turn a deep brown around the exposed edges and it can even start to smoke a bit. If you need to put something in the oven at 450F, that parchment paper probably isn’t going to be able to go another round. For most regular cookie baking, parchment paper can make at least a half-dozen trips into a 350 or 375F oven. After a while, the paper will still begin to turn a very light brown around the corners, but it will hold up very well for several batches of dough. You can even save the paper with the baking pans and use the same sheets another day.

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  • Jamie
    December 11, 2008

    Thanks for this entry! I’ve been wondering about this ever since I started using parchment for all my cookie baking a few weeks ago.

  • Brittany
    December 11, 2008

    Rather than having to constantly buy parchment paper (and generating all of that waste), I would recommend getting a Silpat baking mat to line your baking sheets with. Nothing EVER sticks to mine. Plus, it can be used up to 3000 times and withstands heat up to 482 degrees. I love mine and will never ever make cookies again without it!

  • Leslie
    December 11, 2008

    Thanks for the information! I’ve been using parchment for the past year, and have been tempted many times to use a sheet again, but I thought that was a “no no.” This will save me some $$ and trips to the grocery story.

    I have a silpat liner too, but I just don’t like it. My cookies seem to spread differently, and washing it every time is a pain. Plus it never seems to get clean. The butter/shortening stays on the liner even after washing.

  • Debbie
    December 11, 2008

    Regency makes a reusable parchment paper sheet. It runs about $5-6 a sheet. I have used mine a lot for a couple of years. They can be found in specialty cookware stores and if you are real lucky Sur la table.

  • Jerzee Tomato
    December 17, 2008

    I reuse it when I am making cookies. As long as it looks somewhat clean and I am making the same or like cookies I leave it on the half sheet.
    Have been doing that for about 16 years.

  • Wendy
    December 17, 2008

    I might be the only one that REGULARLY has things stick to parchment. Any time a recipe recommends parchment and I follow that advice, I regret it. I just made the best macaroons – but they stuck. I have silpats I could use – but this is bugging me and I really want to know if I’m doing something wrong.

  • Gunawan
    June 11, 2009

    I’ve been using parchment for the past year too.. thanks!

  • Tia
    March 3, 2010

    really informative. thanks!

  • Ann
    January 19, 2011

    Very informative! Thanks for sharing…I’m new to baking so this helps a lot!!!

  • Nicole
    February 20, 2011

    If your compost is collected by your city/town/municipality, you can usually COMPOST used parchment sheets.

    Don’t chuck it in your own bin though because yours won’t generate enough heat to break down the parchment properly.

  • Julie
    May 18, 2011

    I made like 4 dozen cookies tonight and wondered if I could reuse the parchment, Darn it! I wish I had read this first. I ran out because I used a fresh sheet each time. Plus hubby got a special BIG cookie at the end of my baking, but I used my exopat, don’t really like it though because I never know if things will stick and they do sometimes. I think I prefer parchment now. I will now reuse for my baking.

  • Shauna
    February 24, 2013

    Thank you! I am making large cookies and hate to toss a sheet after only 5 cookies!

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