Archive for: nordicware
Hand pies and fruit turnovers are some of the most delicious treats that you can bake up and serve your family. They’re small, so each one can easily be a single serving, and they bake up a lot faster than full sized pies do. This very nifty looking Filled Pastry Press allows you to make these pastry treats faster and more easily than you can by hand. The press has two plates that come together, when pressed down firmly, to make eight crimped pastry pockets. Each of the pockets measures 2 1/2″ x 3 3/4″. It can be used with many different kinds of dough, depending on what you want to make, but a thinly rolled pie crust and puff pastry are easy options that will provide good crusts for most things you’ll want to bake.
In addition to sweet pies and turnovers, you can use this press to make all kinds of savory things, as well. For instance, it can be used as an empanada mold and filled with meat and beans. You can also make breakfast pockets by filling some pastry with eggs, sausage and cheese, then serving it with salsa. The options are just about endless and this is one of those things that makes the process seem so much easier that you’re a lot more likely to decide to put the effort into these little filled pastries.
Cake pops are usually made by mixing up cake and frosting together, into a dense and truffle-like ball. The frosting helps the cake pops hold their shape, while the cake gives them body, and everything is simply blended together in a bowl before the cake pops are shaped by hand. Some bakeware manufacturers are looking to make the cake pop-making process easier and less messy by introducing cake pop pans that allow you to simply bake round cakes. This Pumpkin Cake Pop Pan from Nordic Ware has the same idea as the round cake pop pans, but with a seasonal twist for fall.
The Pumpkin Cake Pop Pan allows you to bake 12 small, pumpkin-shaped cakes that can be easily decorated and turned into cake pops. The pan comes in two pieces. The cavities on the bottom half of the pan are filled completely with your cake batter and then the top half of the pan is snapped into place. As the cake bakes, it rises up to completely fill the cavities and created a 3D ball of cake. The pan has a nonstick finish, so the little pumpkins should come easily out of the pan.
The cakes can then be mounted on cake pop sticks and decorated with glazes, frostings or dipped into candy melts (an artificial chocolate-like coating that is popular for dipping cake pops because it comes in a wide array of colors and is easy to work with). They can also be served as mini cakes without a stick, where they make a nice addition to a fall dessert tray.
Many grocery stores sell premade shortcake cups made from plain sponge cake are intended to be filled with fresh fruit, ice cream or whipped cream.These cakes are handy when you’re looking for a base to use for a strawberry shortcake, but they’re not usually all tasty on their own. Nordicware’s Shortcake Basket Pan lets you make this same type of design with a from-scratch recipe for a beautiful and delicious finished product. The pan bakes six cavities, each of which has a detailed basketweave pattern on the outside and a shallow cavity waiting to be filled on top.
The pans are made of cast aluminum and have a nonstick coating inside to help the cakes slide out easily. There is enough detail on this pan that it would be a good idea to lightly grease and flour the cavities to ensure that they come out cleanly. One very nice feature of the pans is that they have handles at either end that makes them easier to grip and remove from the oven. You can bake just about any type of cake in these baskets, so choose something that suits your fillings. Both lemon and chocolate cakes go well with strawberries, though the butter cake recipe that comes with the pan is also a good place to start.
Brownies are usually baked in square or rectangular baking pans, which leaves them in an easy-to-slice – if somewhat boring – shape. You can put your brownie batter into pans of different shapes and sizes, but brownies are a very sensitive type of baked good where the size and depth of the pan really matter if you want your brownies to turn out to be moist and fudgy. Nordic Ware’s Bundt Brownie Pan is designed with this in mind. The cast-aluminum pan has a dozen shallow, bundt-shaped cavities that will give a batch of mini brownies an attractive look and enough depth to bake to a fudgy consistency. They’re slightly larger than mini muffin cavities (another popular choice for mini brownies), so you will generally get a moister brownie when you’re done. The pan is nonstick, but I definitely recommend lightly greasing and flouring (or using cocoa powder, if you’re baking brownies) this type of pan because you can’t fit a muffin liner inside and you definitely don’t want your brownies to stick.
This pan isn’t just for baking brownies, of course. Like a mini muffin pan, you can use it for many applications, including cakes and muffins. Because of the details on the pan, this works best with plain batters that don’t have mix-ins like chocolate chips or berries, which could cause you to lose a lot of definition when you pop your cakes out. There is a cake shop in my area that sells these bite-sized bundts instead of cupcakes, puts a dab of frosting on top and calls them Bundtinis!
There are plenty of ways to decorate cookies. They can be shaped and sliced, rolled and cut with cookie cutters, topped with sprinkles or spread with frosting. Cookies can also be stamped with designs, and the Holiday Cookie Stamps from Williams Sonoma are a fun way to decorate cookies for the holidays. The stamps are made of cast aluminum (produced by Nordic Ware) and feature three different festive designs: a snowflake, a gift tag and a wreath. They stamps have very clear designs with a lot of detail, and there are smooth wooden handles on each stamp to make them easy to hold and use. Essentially, all you need to do is push the stamp down onto a ball of cookie dough and your holiday cookie is ready to bake.
The stamps performed very, very well and my cookies came out looking just like the cookies on the box. You could see every detail clearly, including the text that was printed on the cookies! The dough for must cutout cookies needs to be chilled before you roll it out. The dough for these does not need to be as cold (it’s easier to press the cookies the closer the dough is to room temperature). I do recommend chilling whatever dough you’re working with at least slightly, however, as dough that was too-warm did occasionally stick to the stamp. These will stay in my holiday toolbox and I might even keep an eye out for other holiday designs throughout the year.
The stamps are fun to use and the results are great. Choose a shortbread or butter cookie recipe that won’t spread much, such as my Classic Cutout Christmas Cookies, to get the cleanest results from the stamp. Also, be sure to clean the stamps extremely well with soap and water before you use them, as the cast aluminum can leave a little bit of residue/discoloring on the dough if they haven’t been thoroughly washed before use.