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I made rugelach the other day and the parchment paper burned! I've never had that happen. Oven was only at 375. Any ideas why this might have happened?

asked by AmyKlegs over 6 years ago
6 answers 6157 views
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added over 6 years ago

Weird. I hope you were able to salvage your rugelach!! Did the paper burn/catch fire, or just turn really dark? But at that temp, it shouldn't really have done much to the parchment. Are you positive you didn't use wax paper? I don't know if wax paper would burn, but i know you're not supposed to use it for baking.

I wonder if different brands of parchment have different max temperatures???

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Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 6 years ago

I'm wondering what kind of pan you were baking on. Was it pretty thin? Maybe it conducted too much heat and burned the paper? (I hope your rugelach is OK, too. If it's burned, send it to me! I love burned cookies. Weird I know.)

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added over 6 years ago

Baking parchment has been treated with silicon to make it non-stick and is densely-made paper that holds up to heat better than plain paper. It is not burn-proof, but should hold up to the dry temperatures reached by most household ovens, 450 to 500 degrees. (Untreated paper burns at 451 degrees F.)

Which part of the parchment burned? Was it the overhang? It's an extra step (and who wants another step added to the rugelach recipe-whew!) but always cut parchment to fit the bottom of the baking sheet.

Sugar burns very easily soon after it reaches its melting point. If the parchment burned underneath the cookies, it's probably because some of the sugar from the filling leaked out. Parchment offers some protection from burning cookies--it acts as a very light insulator--but it won't prevent burnt bottoms.

Were your oven racks positioned at the very top or very bottom levels? For cookies, they should be positioned in the middle third of your oven.

I'm guessing that you didn't use waxed paper because no one buys it anymore except people who make candy. Waxed paper doesn't tolerate any heat at all, and its wax coating will start to smoke, setting off your detector, before the paper begins to burn. (Ask me how I know.)

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added over 6 years ago


1. It was not wax paper- definitely less than a year old parchment paper
2. It was probably the sugar that I sprinkled on the tops of the rugelach... and maybe a tiny overhang of the parchment paper over the baking sheet.
3. Will probably move to using a silicone mat for good after this!

I was able to salvage my rugelach by scraping the bottoms that were burned. Overall they were a labor of love over 2 days but worth it!! Ruglach are a comfort food and so perfect for Hanukkah.

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added over 6 years ago

Yep, I believe that it is a combination of the sugar and placement of the oven rack. Basically, the heating elements at on oven cycle on and off throughout cooking. Since the temparature of an oven can be as much as +/- 50 degree F over the setting, then right near the elements can be exposed to significantly higher extremes.

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added over 6 years ago

@AmyKlegs Try nesting your baking sheet on top of another when you bake these. I've experimented both ways (single vs. double baking sheets) and the latter produces just caramelized bottoms, while the prior resulted in just burnt bottoms. After the time you put into your recipe, it stinks to have them come out even slightly burnt!

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