Professional bakers love their tools as much as home cooks, and one of the more popular ones is parchment paper. Lay a rectangle of parchment paper on top of a baking sheet and your cookies won't stick, your baked goods will brown without burning and your pan will stay nice and clean, ready for the next batch. Home cooks can get this same result without paying for expensive sheets of parchment. Prepare your pans the correct way and your baked goods will slide off, golden brown without a touch of burnt edges.
Read your baked goods recipes before doing anything to your baking pans. Many recipes, like cookies made with a large amount of butter, don't need anything done to their pans. If you add shortening to a cookie sheet the cookies could spread out too much and burn. Always follow the directions in the recipe when it comes to pan preparation.
Spray your baking sheets or pans with a prepared baking spray, if these pans need some kind of coating. Manufacturers have created a baking spray that combines oil and a flour coating, eliminating the need for separate steps and allowing the coating to get into any fluted areas or small corners in your pan.
Spread a thin coating of solid shortening over the entire inner surface of your pan, if you have no baking spray. Coat the bottom, sides and corners of the pan. Use your fingers to ensure an even coating all over the inside of the pan.
Drop a teaspoon full of flour into the bottom of the pan if your recipe calls for greasing and flouring. Move the pan around, tipping the sides up and tapping the outside of the pan, to make bits of flour stick all over the inside of the pan. Turn the pan upside down over a trash can to tap out any excess flour after the interior is coated.