I believe that given the right tools, you can pretty much do anything. Well, almost anything. But you get what I mean, right? I have a large kitchen. A very large kitchen. No double oven. That is a huge sore spot for me, and a comment I probably drop to Erik at least weekly. In fact, just yesterday Erik and I were talking in the kitchen and I commented that someday I will not only have a double wall oven, but I will have a separate "baking kitchen". He gets scared when I start talking like that! So until then, I will just continue to bake here...
Tools. Ahhhh yes!! There are certain baking tools I have that I could not live without.
First let me just say that THIS PAN FREAKING ROCKS!!!!!It's not your standard mini-muffin pan. You know, the one everyone has in their cabinet - that makes cupcakes the size of a Reese's. I searched high and low for a commercial pan that made ones "like Costco" -- one step up from mini (or "micro"), and one step down from standard. And I found it. At Williams & Sonoma. I was in my glory -- so much so that I asked Erik to buy me another one so I'd have two. And then they were discontinued. Seriously??? Just when I'm telling EVERYONE about this pan, they get discontinued? I called every W&S store around and nobody had one left. Finally, I was told they're getting new ones in - the updated model. All I have to say is I sure hope it's as perfect as this one!! I'll be sure to let you know when the new one is available. I check weekly. Ok, daily. but don't tell Erik because he already thinks I'm nuts.
And let me show you this baby.... literally "baby"... It's the Babycakes Cupcake Maker. And OMG, who doesn't want a George Foreman-like grill for cupcakes??? With a power converter, you can even plug it into your car! My daughter bought this for me for my birthday last month. My ex did a great job shopping and helped her pick out the perfect gift! I cannot praise this baby enough. Cool, isn't it?
But wait.... the BEST part is it makes 8 cupcakes in FIVE MINUTES. Perfectly shaped. Perfectly cooked. FIVE MINUTES FLAT. Unbelievable!! It also comes with a tool to make perfectly shaped pie crusts, plus a decorator bag and tips. You MUST get one of these. The booklet even says you can put crustless white bread in & make toast cups. Really? How cool would your kids think you are if you served them eggs in a toast cup!!! (Mine would think I've lost my mind....)Now, keep in mind that both of the "pans" above use a non-standard size baking cup. I found them online at www.wesellcoffee.com - for 500 @ $4. Yep - even cheaper than the micro ones in the stores! What's even better is that this "non-standard size" seems to be the "standard size" for mini cupcake clamshells, holders, etc. It's the size the stores use. PERFECT!!! Well, nearly perfect. My only issue is that they only come in white. So I sourced out some custom printed papers. (Of course I did....). You should have seen Erik's face when I told him the minimum order is 250,000 pcs.
Now for my favorite frosting tip.... Wilton's 1M (aka: 2110). The large star tip. Every kitchen should come with one of these when you buy it. Well, every kitchen should also come with a double oven, too - but we know how that goes, right? I use either this tip or a large circle for the majority of my cupcakes. I will never frost another cupcake with a spatula. (Except for this weekend because I have to make "pool waves" on them.) Use this tip with a pastry bag (either reusable or disposable - whichever you prefer). I will post pictures soon showing you how to make a pretty swirl on top!
And finally, my clamshells.... Yes, we have hundreds of these at home. I think I get a box weekly of these. I have an unhealthy fear of running out of clamshells. Sort of like running out of toilet paper. And I just can't let that happen! Think about it, if you're bringing cupcakes to work or to school or to a friend, how many times have you put them on a plate, stuck toothpicks in and covered it with foil. Yep. We've all done that. Then we go out and buy that nifty cupcake carrier. But the minute you give one of the kids the task of carrying it, you can kiss those pretty little cupcakes goodbye. When you go to the supermarket, you marvel at how awesome that little cupcake clamshell is, don't you? So did I. And then I searched. And searched some more. And then I found them. In every size. My favorite mini size. Standard size. Muffin size. Extra deep for cupcakes with lots of frosting. Holding 4, 6, or 12 cupcakes. I am in clamshell heaven! Wait -- I forgot to mention... they even have individual clamshells!! You can find them at www.wesellcoffee.com! Pure heaven!