PNC (yeah you know me!)January 9, 2008 at 8:14 PM | Posted in cupcakes | 17 Comments
Tags: Party nut cups
One of my favorite cupcake blogs, Cupcake Bakeshop, doesn’t use the typical cupcake liners that you can buy at any grocery store for her cupcakes and I just love how sleek they look in all her photos. Ever since then I’ve been asking anyone who would listen where I can find them. Hopefully she believes in the “imitation is the highest form of flatter” mentality. ;)
I must admit its a little hard to ask when I didn’t even know what they were called! Most of the time I stumbled with long winded inquiries…
“Do you know where I can find those plain small white paper cup things that kinda look like the cups you get at the dentist’s office to rinse and spit?”
Needless to say I didn’t get many helpful replies. LOL. Finally I realized I should just go to the source and took several hours perusing her blog to find out what she calls “them”. It actually makes sense when you realize what they are typically used for: Party nut cups- little cups you fill with nuts for parties. Go figure! Now the hardest part would be finding them. I finally got my answer from my local grocery store employee. She even whispered it, “Smart & Final has them”. Not sure who she thought might be listening… the cupcake liner fairies? But it was still cool to feel like I was asking something dangerous. haha.
Off to my local Smart and Final in search of party nut cups. I’ve never been to Smart and Final. Its not far but its far enough that I wouldn’t go there without a particular reason. It reminds me of a mini costco. And just like Costco, I can never go in without buying more than what I came in for. ;) Though I did get my party nut cups – 250 for $5. SCORE!
Upon quick observation, party nut cups (PNCs) are stiffer than cupcake liners so you don’t need a cupcake pan – just a regular ol cookie sheet. This is great to be able to bake more than 12 cupcakes at a time esp with my small oven! Also they fill a smaller volume b/c they don’t quite have the elasticity for expansion like regular cupcake liners. This leaves me at a slight dilemma. How much batter do I fill a party nut cup?
I think its the science girl in me that loves experiments.
In my “how to fill a party nut cup” experiment, I marked 3 party nut cups at different batter depth levels – 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 and filled them with a basic chocolate cupcake batter.
And here are the results…
The 1/3-fill isn’t enough; you can barely get a bite of cupcake. The 2/3-fill is… well I think its obvious from the picture. haha. And that leaves 1/2-fill as the winner. Actually I could even stand to maybe fill 5/8 so the batter bakes out the top a little.
I have to admit PNCs aren’t the easiest things to peel off though. But here’s how I do it:
1. Set the cupcake down on a firm surface and grip with both hands.
2. Grasp the edge of the PNC with your thumb and index finger and pull in an outward motion.
3. Repeat around the edge of the PNC until cupcake is released.
(Or you can do my husband’s tried and true method… just rip it!)
It takes a little practice but its worth it to reach the yummy cuppycake center!
Now don’t get me wrong! I still love the quirky colorful designs of cupcake liners but there’s just something about PNCs that appeals to me for everyday baking. And… its cheaper! LOL.
Hope this helps any other party nut cupcake converts!
PS. Hopefully Kristi gets my subject line. LOL.
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