In keeping with my promise to post more material in 2013, I’ve decided to implement a weekly kitchen-oriented quick tip to add a few new tools for your cooking and baking time. This week’s tip focuses on why every kitchen should include parchment paper.
It’s only recently that I come to recognize the many uses of this nonstick paper when baking. For years I’d purchase a package of wax paper and stow it in the drawer for the rare occasion I’d want a nonstick surface when packing frosted cookies in a container. (Don’t use wax paper in the oven unless you want your baked goods to taste waxy.) I assumed parchment paper and wax paper were on par for usage, and since wax paper tends to be much less expensive than parchment paper, it was a no-brainer when deciding which type of nonstick paper to include in my pantry.
As I began baking more frequently in Denver, I noticed how frequently parchment paper was implemented in recipes and started researching its virtues. As it turns out, good ol’ parchment paper is “a workhorse in the kitchen,” as Cooks Illustrated illustrated in its special Holiday Edition this fall.
From fashioning the paper into a funnel for pouring dry ingredients without the mess and attaching to your electric hand mixer as a shield over bowls when mixing ingredients to lining cake pans and cookie sheets and rolling out sticky dough between two sheets, parchment paper works great in the kitchen to reduce mess and help your baked items more evenly bake.
And as you might remember from my recent post about Cameron’s eggnog birthday cake, parchment paper is a wonderful drop cloth when frosting cakes. If you scroll down in the post, you can see that I cut four pieces of the paper and slid each between the cake stand and cake. When you’ve finished frosting, gently pull the parchment paper from the finished cake for a professional finish.