You may recall our post about Nordic Ware and their incredible array of specialty baking pans, all Made in the USA. Perhaps someone was listening or perhaps it was coincidence, but my bake-aholic daughter got this cute Nordic Ware bug baking pan for Christmas.  We just had a chance to try it out and as you can see, the results were delightful.

Product Review: Nordic Ware Specialty Baking Pans

Knowing that the kids were excited to make the bug cakes and that they would eat pretty much anything shaped like a butterfly (did you notice the butterfly is already missing from the photo?), I took the opportunity to get out a healthy low-sugar multi-grain blueberry muffin recipe.  My intuition was correct, because the grainy, low sugar cakes barely lasted long enough to take this photo. Here's how the project went…

My daughter mixed up the ingredients while I helped by generously spraying the pan with baking spray (even though it is  non-stick. With baking, I didn't want to take any chances.).  The pan was heavy and steady as we filled each well two-thirds with batter.  I wondered when I saw the pan whether we would have to tediously bake several batches, washing in between, but the bugs are larger than typical  muffin tins, with a volume closer in size to the giant bakery muffins. As a result, one batch of muffin batter perfectly filled the five wells without any extra leftover. We baked them according to directions, pulled them out, let them rest for 10 minutes and then easily turned the bugs out of the pan – perfect.  The muffin cakes were large and well-defined.  We shaved a flat surface from the bugs' undersides so they would lie flat on the plate then ate the trimmings, nom, nom, nom.  After a dusting of powdered sugar, the cakes were as pretty as a picture, though I am sure a more creative person could have a lot of fun with decorating icing.

Next time, we'll be trying this trick with brownie batter.  Or, what about mini meatloaves!? Jello?  Of course, now I will have to store this specialty pan, probably on my overflow pantry rack in the basement, but the quality of the pan and ease of use had me fantasizing about having a whole collection of different designs for different occasions. They are so sturdy, I honestly could imagine my daughter keeping this pan to use with her own kids or grandkids, carrying with her the memories of many delicious bug-shaped baked goods.

Do you have any of the Nordic Ware specialty pans? What shape? Did you use it for a special occasion? Do tell in the comments below.