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Lunch » Tags » Bakeware » Reviews » Reynolds Fun Shapes Baking Cups and Cake Pans » User review

Reynolds Fun Shapes - Add some fun to your brownies, and jiggle to your Jell-o

  • May 10, 2006
  • by
Pros: Fun shapes, easy-to-use, hold up under heat

Cons: possibly change baking times, fragile if you need to handle them a lot.

The Bottom Line: The Reynolds Fun Shapes Baking Cups are a fun, easy-to-use product that will impress the kids.

I'm not a baker. I'm a good cook who knows how to make good pasta sauce and the best chili in town. But when it comes to baking, I prefer to pick out a box mix, preferably whatever is on sale. So when i got my Reynolds Fun Shapes Baking Cups, I wasn't sure how well I'd be able to test them. Did they make "fun shapes"? Did the kids like them? Were they easy to use?

Read on, dear reader...

•• What it is ••
The Reynolds Fun Shapes Baking Cups are a set of 24 aluminum foil cups in the shape of stars and hearts.
"Princess" hearts as my daughter insists.

•• Features and Commentary ••
The first thing to notice out of the box is that the tin foil cups are simply regular thin foil, pressed into shapes. They can easily be unfolded into regular pieces of foil. This is not important at the outset, but does play into the usage later on.

I tried the Reynolds Fun Shapes Baking Cups with 2 distinctly different projects: Pilsbury brownies and Jell-o Jigglers.

The Jell-o jigglers didn't work out so well the first time, but part of that was due to user error. I didn't follow the box that says to only fill the cups half full. I didn't do this because the picture on the side goes directly against those directions and shows the cups completely full. The pressure of the liquid filling the cups, distorted the shape. It would be nice if the picture on the side matched the instructions.

After spraying the second test batch with non-stick spray, I poured Black Cherry Jell-o into the cups, this time only filling them half way. I put them in the fridge to set and 4 hours later I had jell-o. But they still didn't work very well because the stupid jell-o wouldn't come out of the cups. The kids liked the shapes, but they want jigglers. And to fascinate a 3 year old, Jell-o needs more jiggle than a Hooters girl.. I don't know why the jell-o didn't come out, but it clearly stuck to the sides and flopped out onto the plate in a star shape missing a few points of light.

The brownie test was far better. After mixing the package per the directions, I sprayed the cups and spooned the batter in half way. So far so good. But the problems came when I added the next ingredient. These brownies are not normal brownies. They are peanut butter swirl brownies which require the user to squirt some peanut butter on top and then swirl it in. I dolloped a bit of peanut butter on each cup, took a knife and tried to swirl. Basically it worked OK, but the swirling action required me to swirl with one hand and hold the cups with the other. This revealed the fragility of the foil. After holding them for a few seconds to swirl in the peanut butter, they quickly became misshapen. The heart looked more like a spleen by the time I was done with it.

Once baked and semi-cooled, the brownies came out fine, nice and clean. The didn't quite slide out of the foil, but the cups were thin enough that I could just unpeel them. The cups
seemed to keep their shape perfectly and when I was done I had a nice mix of hearts, stars and spleen shaped brownies with peanut butter swirls.

One minor gripe I had was that they don't give you any guidance for baking times. The recipe I used for the brownies said that if I used a 9x9 pan, to bake them for 28 minutes. If I used an 8x8 pan, then bake for 31 minutes. Since I wasn't using either one, I set the timer for 30 minutes and the brownies came out slightly overdone. It would have been nice if the cup packaging said to use the shortest recommended cooking time.

Needless to say, the kids loved the shapes almost as much as they loved the brownies and jell-o. Now if only I could get them to eat some sort of vegetable product in the special shapes, then I'd be set....

•• Conclusion ••
The Reynolds Fun Shapes Baking Cups are a fun, easy-to-use product that will impress the kids.

I received these shapely cups at no charge courtesy of Dave Binkowski of Hass MS&L for a completely unbiased, jiggle-free review.


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About the reviewer
Jeffrey Kafer ()
Ranked #731
Voice over artist specializing in audiobook narration. Hear more at http://audiobook-voice-over.com/ and http://JeffreyKafer.com
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