There are shaped pans for baking cakes, mini cakes, muffins/cupcakes and breads. It seems like the only baking category where you aren’t expected to use a shaped pan these days is cookies, where cookie cutters are the shaping standard. But just because they’ve been the standard for such a long time doesn’t mean that they’ll stay that way. This year, I’ve seen more cookie pans than in previous years and it is beginning to make me wonder if they’re here to stay.With the pans, you simply drop dough into the pre-moulded forms and let the oven do the rest of the work. The resulting cookies will have a lot more detail than a cookie cutter cookie – eyes on gingerbread men, santa hat on santa, etc. – and can either be kept plain or decorated further, and there is no need to roll out cookie dough or get flour all over your kitchen to work with them.
The Norpro pans include recipes, but you should be able to work any cookie recipe that spreads out with these pans (since you want the dough to spread into all the little corners of the mold). I’ll probably stick with cookie cutters for most of my baking, unless I’m using a knife to cut shapes out by hand, but these pan certainly are a good idea and you can’t beat them for ease of use.