Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Nordicware Baking Sheet Review, Mostaccioli Cookies, & Giveaway

I've been wanting to get new baking pans for some time now. So when the nice people at CSNstores asked me to review one of their products I thought what a perfect opportunity.

I'm not a huge fan of online shopping but the nice thing about CSN is that they carry a wide variety of brands at reasonable prices. So instead of going from store to store with CSN it's one stop shopping.
That being said the amount of products they have to offer can be somewhat overwhelming. In baking sheets alone there were almost 100. After much deliberation I decided on the Nordicware Natural Commercial Baker's Half Sheet.
The pans arrived late last week and although I see many possible uses for them; I've only had the chance to bake cookies (see recipe below). I do think they will be perfect for roasting large amounts of vegetables and for making sheet cakes.

I can attest that they are great for cookies. They are durable and distribute heat evenly; which means no burnt edges. They are all aluminum and very easy to clean. The quality seems to be top notch and I can see these pans lasting me a long time.

One of the cookies I made  were Mostaccioli from Dolce Italiano by Gina DePalma.  These are a very interesting cookie; cake like and fragrant.  I couldn't find Vincotto so I substituted Marsala.  I also left out the currants and dried citron.

Mostaccioli(Makes about 3 dozen cookies)
recipe courtesy of Gina DePalma

For the Cookies

1 heaping cup whole blanched almonds
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 cup (1 stick/4 ounces) unsalted butter
1 heaping cup whole blanched almonds
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup (1 stick/4 ounces) unsalted butter
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups cake flour
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup whole milk
4 large eggs
1/2 cup vincotto
3/4 cup finely chopped candied citron, candied orange peel, or dried currants

For the Icing

1 cup confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons whole milk
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract

To make the cookies: Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Spread the almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast them until they are light golden brown and fragrant, 14 to 16 minutes. Remove the almonds from the oven and turn off the oven until you are ready to form the cookies. Allow the almonds to cool completely, then chop them into medium-sized pieces with a sharp knife.

Melt the chocolate and butter together in a medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water, whisking to combine them. Set the mixture aside in a warm spot.

In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the all-purpose flour, cake flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, spices, and cocoa powder on low speed for 10 seconds to mix thoroughly.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the honey, milk, eggs, and vincotto. Add the wet ingredients to the mixer and beat on medium speed until the two mixtures are thoroughly combined, about 1 minute. Add the melted chocolate and butter mixture and beat well on low speed. Add the almonds and the candied fruit and beat just to incorporate them into the dough. Remove the bowl from the mixer, cover it with plastic wrap, and chill the dough for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray or butter or line them with parchment.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator. To shape each cookie, roll a heaping teaspoonful of the dough into a ball with floured fingers and place it on the baking sheet, flattening it slightly with your fingers. Repeat with the remaining dough, spacing the cookies 1/2 inch apart. Bake the cookies for 13 to 15 minutes, or until they are puffed and cracking, rotating the sheets 180 degrees halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking. Allow the cookies to cool for 1 or 2 minutes on the baking sheets, then use a spatula to transfer them gently onto a rack to cool completely.

While the cookies are cooling, make the icing: In a medium bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar with the milk and whisk until the mixture is smooth and free of lumps. Whisk in the almond extract.

Keep the icing covered with plastic wrap until you are ready to use it.
To decorate the cookies, drizzle a small amount of icing in a zigzag pattern over the top of each cookie, or glaze the top of each cookie with a pastry brush.

The cookies can be stored in an airtight container between sheets of parchment paper for up to 1 week.

Now for the giveaway: 

CSN has agreed to give one lucky reader a Nordicware 9x9  Natural Commercial Square Cake pan.
The deadline to enter is Monday,  May 31st, 2010, at 11:59 p.m. EST.

How to enter (each option will give you an extra chance):

1. Leave a comment on this post.
2. Follow me on Twitter, or Tweet this giveaway. Make sure you come back here and let me know.
3. Subscribe to my blog using email or your favorite RSS. Then leave a comment letting me know you did.
4. Post about this giveaway on your own site with a link to this post. Also let me know.
5. Share this on Facebook, and leave me a comment letting me know.


  1. Awesome giveaway! CSN is one of my favorite online companies. Those cookies look delicious! I've never heard of them before but they are going on my to-try list!

  2. What a great giveaway! Your site always has such interesting new stuff. I'll have to check out the CSN website now, I've been looking for some new cooking utensils. Thanks!

  3. Commented, followed on Twitter & subscribed to RSS.
    Always looking for quality baking sheets so this would be great!
    Thanks for the yummy recipe to try too!

  4. With all those spices, I swear I can smell them from here. ;) They look lovely!

  5. Those cookies look great! And I really could use a new cake pan :)

  6. Pick me! Pick me! :) I need something other than Pyrex to bake with...

  7. The cookies look really good! They have so many delicious flavors in them. Great giveaway!

  8. I don't have any square cake pans, so I would love an opportunity to win this. Thank you for offering this nice giveaway.

  9. wow i would love this pan !
    Purple_lover_04 at msn dot com

  10. i tweeted

    Purple_lover_04 at msn dot com

  11. Neat! Does the giveaway apply to us poor Canadians too?

  12. I'm a follower + I tweeted:

  13. Pick me! I follow you already ;)

  14. Beautiful job with those cookies.

    I love Nordicware.

  15. I retweeted your giveaway on Sweetsav1

  16. I printed out all these recipes and I'll need another cookie pan to make them! I've shared on Facebook as well! Thanks for all the great recipes!