With my return to baking I took an inventory of my baking tools. Almost all were bought forty years ago -- really -- and purchased from Woolworth's. When I moved to New York in 1975 I was living on a $150.00/week -- not a fortune even then -- and lived in a studio apartment. By the time I graduated to a bigger apartment and more disposable income I'd pretty much stopped baking. Miraculously my Woolworth's cookie sheet and cooling rack have held up well, but I decided it was time to step up my baking game and took a trip to several stores looking at muffin tins and new baking sheets.
I started my shopping stuck in 1975. I was looking for metal muffin tins and paper liners, which was all that I knew. Feeling like Rip Van Winkle waking up after a long nap I was quickly catapulted into the present -- silicone. I found both silicone cupcake/muffin liners and silicone muffin and loaf pans.
muffin liners and...
silicone muffin cups.
To buy, or not to buy, that is the question...
With apologies to Mr. Shakespeare, that is my dilemma. Should I stick with the tried and true metal or move to silicone. My first thought was to put the question out on Facebook, and then decided to open it to my blog buddies, some of whom are known to be outstanding bakers. I also turned to my friend, Nancy, a terrific cook and baker, who I expected had some familiarity with using silicone products. She used silicone ice cube molds for freezing coffee and the coffee aroma stayed, no matter how many times the molds went through the dishwasher.
I then turned to Google -- of course! -- and opinions were mixed, very much so. My concern about not being able to get the liners clean -- cake stuck in the little folds -- seemed to be a common complaint and there were a number of concerns about fillers in the silicone. I read over fifty comments and blog posts and there was no clear decision. I'm leaning to buying a good muffin tin and using paper liners, just as my mother did fifty years ago.
Dear baking blog friends, any recommendations? Paper or plastic, as they ask at the grocery? I'd also appreciate any advice about brands of either silicone or metal that you like. I'm looking for something sturdy, but it doesn't have to be top-of-the-line. I'm actually quite impressed with how long lasting my Woolworth's purchases have been, and I still have my first Pyrex measuring cup, bought in Nashville in 1972, also at Woolworth's. I do miss that store!
It's still nippy in New York, but after rain yesterday we had a sunny autumn day. Thankfully we've escaped the hurricane, but my heart and prayers are with everyone in South Carolina affected by the flooding.
I'm happy to join my friends at Pink Saturday tonight. I'm also happy, as ever, for your visits and comments. Wishes for a sweet autumn week!