If you saw the movie “Honey, I Blew up the Kid,” you may have noticed a similar trend in bakeware lately. In fact, if bakeware were a movie, it might be called “Honey, I Blew up the Dessert.” Take a quick look at the recent Bed Bath and Beyond catalogue and you’ll discover a new trend in novelty bakeware products-silicone molds for baking giant cupcakes, donuts and cookies.
Fast-food “restaurants” have long been super-sizing their food items, partly to make more money off of each customer (obviously, you can sell jumbo fries for more money than small). But profit motive does not explain why bakeware companies are making over-sized baking products for home bakers to create their own larger-than-life desserts at home. Although we can’t be sure why people are shelling out $20 to buy new bakeware to make cookies or cupcakes when they have perfectly good baking pans already, we figured there had to be some psychological reasons behind the trend.
Here are a few possibilities:
Saying “no” to downsizing: With the loss of jobs and reduction of work hours, many people are forced to cope with smaller household incomes and budgets. In some cases, people are compelled to move into smaller homes or trade in their oversized SUVs for smaller cars that cost less to operate. With all of the downsizing going on, it could be dessert is one way people can still live large.
Rebelling against the food police: Now that many people have quit smoking and wine is practically considered a superfood, overeating has become the new health crime. The phrase “portion control” is repeated like a mantra by everyone from Dr. Oz to Dr. Phil. Food manufacturers even pre-package cookies and other snack foods into 100-calorie portions. It’s possible people are rebelling against the portion police by creating their own giant baked goods that allow them to decide for themselves how little–or how much–they want to eat.
Cuteness factor: For some people, the appeal of bakeware that makes giant desserts could be just the enjoyment of creating an adorable novelty food that is a caricature of a more familiar food. Not long ago, mini-muffins were considered cute versions of normal-sized muffins. Now, giant cupcakes are cute versions of their normal-sized cupcake cousins. Instead of a birthday cake, a little girl can have a giant birthday cupcake that is divided among her guests, making her the talk of the second grade. Giant desserts are also more fun to decorate; the bakeware kit to make giant cookies includes two molds that allow you to add a filling, ala Oreos, as well as a scribbling pen to decorate the cookie layers.
What’s Next in Super-sizing Food?
With fast food, soft drinks (think Big Gulps), and now cookies and other desserts super-sized, we wondered what food items might be next.
Here are some elephantine edibles we’d like to see:
Whopping waffles: Why eat wimpy waffles when you can wolf down a waffle the size of your dinner plate?
Enormous eggs: Scientists may have to assist with getting chickens to lay oversized eggs, perhaps by mating normal chickens with larger species of poultry (or, maybe, just cloning Big Bird). Picture a three-egg melet made out of only one egg-or a deluxe and daunting deviled egg.
Bigger bacon: With bacon such a popular sandwich add-in these days, why do people still settle for measly strips? Bigger bacon, the size of a large slice of cheese, would at least cover most of the bread.