Mini Paper Cups

Mini Paper Cups

You know how sometimes, you’ll be reading a cookbook or a cooking magazine, and a recipe will call for a specific piece of equipment? And all of a sudden you just have to have that thing, right that minute? Even though this is the first recipe you’ve ever laid eyes on that mentioned it? Because you can just feel, deep inside of you, that it will make your life better?

Well, this is exactly the story of my mini paper cups.

In no way can I be held responsible, of course. The culprit, in this instance, was Pierre Hermé, by way of his cookbook Mes Desserts Préférés. Among all the gorgeous tempting if-I-had-three-days-to-devote-to-it-I’d-definitely-make-this recipes, he offers a simple recipe for Moelleux aux Amandes. These are bite-size almond cakes, on which he encourages you to plop anything you fancy, a pinenut or a piece of pineapple for instance, and he instructs you to bake them in caissettes en papier. “Mini paper cups?”, thought I, “But I don’t have mini paper cups! I can’t go on living like this!”

Just a few days later, I happened to be in the vicinity of Mora, my best source for baking paraphernalia. I walked in, in search of my new Holy Grail, and was happy (but not at all surprised) to discover that not only did they sell my coveted caissettes en papier, but they actually offered a dozen varieties, in different types of paper, shapes and sizes, all taped to a pink little frame up on the wall for you to make your choice. Ah. Choices. Difficult, painful, agonizing choices.

Pierre didn’t specify the size of his mini paper cups, so I just picked the one-inch based ones, which seemed small enough to be cute, but large enough to actually hold something. I inquired about the price, and the salesman said the box cost 6 euros. He then looked at me with worry in the eye and said, “We sell them by the thousand, you know!” What, did I not look like someone who would bake one thousand mini-cakes and petits fours? Besides, how often can you get a thousand of something, anything, for just 6 euros?

So now, I am at peace. The itch has been scratched, and I can sleep at night, comforted by the thought that up there in my kitchen cabinet, I have a little cardboard box filled to the brim with 1,000 mini paper cups, biding their time. Correction : 999 mini paper cups. When I got home I showed them to Maxence, and handed him one. He looked at it, smiled, fiddled a bit with it, said “that’s cute!” and… tore it up! Right in front of me! To test the resistance of the paper, he said! So I have, in fact, 999 of them. I’m sure that’ll do.

  • Can’t wait to see a picture of 999 mignon cupcakes, Clotilde!
    Hang on – is a thin paper cup like those tough enough to hold cake batter in it?

  • boreal

    You realize that you’re now obligated to create the most delicious and gourmet ‘reeses’ mini peanut butter cups ever known to man….? I have no idea how you’ll manage this, but you simply MUST now that you have 1000 paper cups!

  • In Paris, they sold something that is in an inch across? Not measured in centimeters? Didn’t France adopt the metric system more than 200 years ago? Or are you just translating for the benefit of pauvres Américains that can’t remember that 2.54cm is one inch?

    -alain, who finds non-metric systems fascinating, but wishes the US would become more metric.

  • Given your creativity, I’m thinking some sort of savory is destined for a few of those cups. Maybe a mini-quiche or a bunch of bite sized micro-terrines?

  • Angela

    Oddly enough, I have a little container of never-used mini paper cups as well. Mine are pastel. :)

  • in sweden at christmas time we make this kind of a toffee called ‘knäck’ which is a soft chewy (some times if over cooked it turns a little hard) toffee with bits of almonds in it. knäck is usually made in candy cups (the tiny paper cups you write about) that in sweden come as either white or coloured (pink, yellow and green) or white with dot patterns (in red, green and yellow).

  • Caroline

    Clotilde, thank you for so beautifully articulating that sense of “I must have this obscure kitchen gadget/tool now” urgency, followed by that “itch is scratched” satisfaction. Glad to know that I am not the only one with such a maniacal obsession. :-) I always enjoy your writing, and this one was particularly hilarious!

  • Jennifer

    Clotilde — Max sounds like my live-in mini cup crumpler. Just like him, in fact. I laughed out loud when I read that last paragraph, having nodded all the way through the entry with complete understanding (I have them — in a box, as yet unused as well). I re-read it out loud to S. when he asked me what was so funny. Upon finishing he looked at me and said “Mini paper cups? Why would you need those?”. I think I’ll have to make something in them soon just to show him.

  • Maryanne

    Guilty, guilty, guilty! Past instances are a truffle shaver, a mini kitchen torch, and just this week, the brand new attachment for kitchen aid stand mixers to make homemade ice cream! I am so glad to know I am not alone!

  • Patrick

    This is funny… I would have done exactly the same thing as Maxence did! I guess you have uncovered here yet another of those fundamental, quintessential differences between men and women…

  • And now, Clotilde, you can make your own peanut butter cups (and you know the paper is strong enough to hold up to the power of a peanut butter cup, thanks to Maxence)!

  • Teresa

    I love your blog! You make me hungry even when I think I’m not!

  • I’m laughing because I myself recently went In Search of Mini Cups myself, inspired by Deb’s (In my kitchen) luscious chocolate mini cupcakes and an article in “Fine Cooking”. I already had not one but two mini-cupcake pans, which I never thought of as mini-cupcake pans since I only have used them for making my mom’s famous Reese’s peanut butter cup cookies (no liner). When I found the cups, I realized I already had a supply – I use them to serve truffles in when I get fancy. But now I know which grocery store has them (no need to go to baker’s supply) and have both hearts (which should look stunning with the chocolate) and an excellent supply of gold swirls (the ginger cupcakes from FC, and the chocolate as well).

    I still can’t find a smaller loaf pan that’s not “mini” though – might explore kitchen supply places since the paper ones seem to come in just the size I want.

  • Hi Clotilde,
    Your post is so funny.
    Do you have a mini muffin tray in order to use your cups and bake some mini-muffins ? Have a good week end.

  • oh i totally feel ya. i sometimes simply freak out whenever i cannot find one or any of the equipments or ingredients mentioned in recipes. and i feel soooooo uncomfy for days not until i can finally get that missing piece from somewhere.

  • Julie

    Oh, Clotilde, how I know that feeling. It does pass, if you don’t give into it. Recently I had a slight obssession with madeleine pans. I wanted both the standard size and the miniature version, despite the fact that I had no imminent plan to make any madeleines. The urge did pass, however, although it was reawakened by yesterday’s trip to an amazing housewares shop here in NYC. I resisted the madeleine pans, and came home with the standard size rectangular baking pan which I actually need, and which was the purported reason I’d gone into the store in the first place.

    However, I couldn’t resist the cleverest, most cunning little set of small cheesecloth bags with drawstrings. You can use them for bouquet garni! You can make Indian food with whole spices, and not chomp down on the cloves and cardamoms! I showed them excitedly to my BF, and he looked at me with that indulgent smile that he reserves for my moments of culinary mania…

  • hmmm… those petit paper cups are the perfect size for a little treat for anyone who is small and terrycloth. don’t you think?

  • during festive seasons, i see a lot of those small paper cups in used. :) and yes, the almond cookies are great.

    think i have a few pictures around on the blog from Chinese New Year. tomorrow is the harvest festival so am thinking of taking some pictures. will keep an eye for those little cookies in paper cups! :)

  • Chika – I’m think they would hold a thick batter. For thinner batters, I would need the appropriate mini-muffin molds! Okay, let me write this on my list! :)

    Boreal and Mariko – Excellent idea, these would indeed work great for Reese’s PB Cups!

    Alan – Yes the measurement was in centimeters (millimeters, more accurately), but as it happens, they are 26 mm across, and “one-inch” sounded much more straight-forward in my sentence!

    Barrett – I laughed with delight at your suggestion of bite-size micro-terrines — I promise you I’ll consider it very seriously!

    Angela – Okay, I need the pastel ones too, now! :)

    Izan – Knäck sounds like it would be a great food gift indeed, I’ll keep a bookmark on those recipes, thanks a lot!

    Caroline – I’m delighted you enjoyed that post, thanks for the kind words.

    Jennifer and Julie – I’m sure all of our boyfriends would benefit from creating a support group to help them deal with our obsessive behavior patterns, don’t you think? :)

    Maryanne – I have the kitchen torch too! It is great for crèmes brûlées! Have you seen my recipes in the “sugar high” category?

    Papa – Oh indeed, I can certainly picture you crumpling my paper cups too!

    Charlotte – The hearts paper cups sound so neat! And would your mom share her famous PB Cup recipe by any chance?

    Pascale – Nope, no mini-muffin tray as of yet! :)

    Monkey – You are absolutely right! I’ll talk to your cousin the terrycloth rabbit about it, he’ll be thrilled!

    Wena – Oh I’d love more recipes of things to make in these cups, so if you find any, I’m all ears, thanks!

  • Andi

    Just read about your mini cups……..OH CLOTILDE,you are the best!!!!
    You make me laugh,smile giggle like a child..and inspire me to enjoy the day……..wish you lived next door…….
    I am so glad I found my way to Chocolate & Zucchi…
    Thanks again for sharing…….
    Andi In Las Vegas

  • Ricardo

    Has anybody looked at

    They seem to have what you were looking for

  • Ricardo
  • These are the cutest little things! No doubt perfect for your chocolate chili bites.

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