The History of Silpat, Our Favorite Cookie-Baking Helper

They were born (and are still made!) in France.

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When we bake a batch of cookies, there's a tool we always reach for, and that's a silicone baking mat. It ensures our cookies slide right off the baking sheet after they come out of the oven. When we forget the mat, our cookies stick to the sheet and we end up scraping and scratching the baked-on dough off our prized cookie sheets. Shudder. Silicone baking mats help us avoid cookie-baking disaster, and that's a valuable thing. There are lots of baking mats out there, but the one you'll find in our kitchens most often is the original, Silpat.

Silpat has become synonymous with baking because they're the ones that pioneered the technology and created some of the first silicone baking mats. The company is based in France, and that's where they produce their first Silpat mats, which are billed as the "original non-stick baking mats." According to Silpat, "Monsieur Guy Demarle, an experienced French baker, set out to develop a better way to prepare and bake baguettes. His invention, a new baking mat, began a revolution in professional baking. And he rapidly acquired a reputation for the best baguettes in France."

Demarle named the product "Silpat" because of the materials used in the mats, which combines fiberglass mesh and a silicone coating. They're safe and sturdy and can be used in temperatures from -40˚F to 480˚F. They're built to last, too: each Silpat mat are guaranteed to withstand 3,000 trips into the oven. When it launched in the 1960s, it was the first product of its kind and it definitely made a splash. They have a reputation for making baking quicker and easier—and they cut down on clean-up. It's no wonder Silpat has been a kitchen winner for decades (SHOP: $21.24,

Now, Silpat mats come in all shapes and sizes, including half sheets, petite jelly rolls, and toaster oven sizes. They also come with guides, which have cookie sizes printed on the mat to ensure you get a perfectly proportioned batch every time (BUY IT: $22.95, Add one to your kitchen toolbox, and you'll never look back.

What kitchen tools do you use again and again? Do you have any favorites that are so good you gift them to friends and family?

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