The holiday season is quickly approaching and that means one thing. CRAZY. INSANE. BAKING. I get it. I’m in the same boat as you, baking tons of stuff and trying to figure out how to do it as fast as possible. Well here’s a little baking tip and trick that the pros use. Pretty much every recipe out there tells you to cool you baked goods on a wire rack before removing the baked good. But you know what cools metal faster than air? Try marble or stone tiling.
Pull your hot pan from the oven, let it cool a bit on a wire rack for 5 or 10 minutes then put your metal pans directly on a marble countertop or (if you don’t have pets, kids and aren’t crazy OC) your clean stone-tiled kitchen floor that metal pan will cool super fast. That means you can pull the cookies off the baking sheet faster and get another batch in the oven, you can cool your cake down faster which means you can frost is quicker, and those brownies will be ready to eat sooner rather than later! Just keep in mind that you should ONLY do this for metal pans baked at 350˚F or less, not glass or ceramic as the extreme temperature change might crack or break the container. And, it goes without saying, if you DO chance it and put your pan on the floor, try not to step on it.
*Update* A few people have mentioned to me that this can be dangerous to the marble or granite counter, especially if there is a heat sensitive sealant on it. According to several websites, granite is heat resistant, but micro-fractures in the rock can be exacerbated and cause cracking and chipping on the countertop. I’ve never had any problems doing this cooling method, but as one site mentioned, it only takes 1 time for it to be a disaster.
If you are concerned about your counter or floor, try placing your hot pan on a baking stone (like the one you use for baking pizza) or a piece of scrap marble or granite that you can pick up at a hardware store.
Depending on where you live, another option is to put the baking sheets outside for a few minutes.
For many baked goods, such as cookies – go rimless and use parchment. Place the parchment on a rimless baking sheet, and you can slide that parchment right off the pan in a quick motion – a bit akin to using a pizza peel. Now the cookies are on a rack – just like the recipe says, and your baking sheet is free to cool – which it will do more quickly now that there is nothing on it. One does have to be very careful with granite, slate, marble, and other surfaces. Not one manufacturer who is telling you the truth will ever tell you it is OK to put anything hot on those surfaces. The man made ones are simply not engineered for it, and the various natural stones can not with stand the temperature shock over an extended period of time as microfractures develop. Over time, with repeated insults, the microfractures become honest to goodness visible-to-the-naked eye fractures.
I just slide the parchment sheet /silpat off the cookie sheet onto a cooling rack then run the cookie sheet under cool running water, dry it and then slip the next parchment/silpat with cut cookies on top and pop it in. Makes the transition super fast. (Just another method!)