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Gadgets

Add a fall touch to your baking

If you've been looking for a way to add a little more fall to your dinner table, consider the Acorn Cakelet Pan. You can bake miniature cakes and muffins shaped just like acorns.

The Acorn Cakelet Pan Williams-Sonoma

I start my fall baking fall with Halloween treats and then I'm onto Thanksgiving festivities. While it's easy to find Halloween cookie cutters and Christmas cake pans, though, it's surprisingly difficult to find baking gear with a simple fall theme. The Acorn Cakelet Pan is one of the best I've found; whatever batter you bake in it turns into an acorn-shaped treat, complete with details like stems.

Williams-Sonoma offers this high-quality pan, specially made for the company by Nordic Ware. It's cast aluminum with a nonstick finish--an absolute necessity if you want to get your acorns out of the pan intact. You can only wash it by hand, however. The makers recommend using it for cornbread muffins or sweet dessert cakes, but I think it's perfect for gingerbread. Just about any recipe you might use for muffins or cupcakes will work with the pan; however it needs to be a batter that can conform to the pan's shape while it bakes. The acorns are 2.25 inches long. They just offer a small taste, so you may need to make more than one batch of 18.

The Acorn Cakelet Pan is priced at $36.