Multiple Uses for Baking Cups at Your Baby Shower

Food rules at baby showers and individualized portions are now becoming more and more popular with the hostesses. This is made even easier with the employment of baking cups to hold these portions.

And you don't have to stick to the usual white or dark brown these days, either. There are now special prints made especially for baby showers that would fit any theme that you could be planning. And aside from the usual parchment or waxed paper, you could opt for those brightly colored, reusable silicon baking cups, or even steal from the chocolatier and use those shiny, jewel-like, heavy-duty aluminum cups.

These can hold anything from the usual cupcake to a serving of molten chocolate cake, quiche, flan, or even pate. And don't overlook them as serving helps for fiddly food like peanuts or mixed nuts, party mix, anything with dip, or tiny skewers of barbecue. You name it, they can be served in these cups.

Though with the green way of thinking nowadays, people are opting for better containers, ones that can be re-used. And while the silicon baking cups fit the bill perfectly, others would prefer to leave no trace at all. This is where edible baking cups come in handy.

Cups like these don't need to be solely for sweets, either. Plus, they can be as simple or complicated as you like. Savory food would do well in cups make of sliced bread, phyllo, egg roll wrappers, or even Parmesan cheese. Fresh bread slices are simply pressed into muffin tins, brushed with melted butter, and toasted until golden brown. A more complicated version is made from a cube of bread which is hollowed out, brushed with butter, and toasted.

Phyllo sheets and egg roll wrappers work basically the same way. Each sheet is brushed with butter and layered into muffin pans. Three layers are enough, four should be used for heavier fillings. Again, these are baked until golden and crispy.

An unusual type of cup that can hold leafy salads would be Parmesan cups. Grated Parmesan cheese is melted over low heat in a non-stick pan. Aim for a radius of about three inches for a decent-sized cup. When the cheese looks lacy, remove it from the pan immediately and drape over upturned muffin tins. Allow these to cool and harden.

Sweet fillings have a lot of different edible baking cup choices, as well. One simple variation is using sugar cookie dough to line muffin tins. These are just baked at the same temperature until crisp. Other cooks like to use the outside, cutting the rolled-out dough into rounds and draping them over the underside of the tins. These are baked, still upside-down, until done.

The favorite cups have to be made of chocolate. Tempered, melted chocolate is poured into muffin tin wells, swirled around, and then poured out. The process is repeated two more times, the top of the muffin tin is scraped of excess chocolate, and allowed to harden. They pop out automatically once they are cold.

Fill these with fresh fruits, custards, or even ice cream. It's a wonderful way to end a meal at a baby shower.