I’ve been in the kitchen a lot lately. That is, A LOT more than usual because of all the holiday cookie baking going on over here! Since my kitchen tools are working overtime, I thought this might be a good time to give them the spot light that they so well deserve. Plus, I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite things with you.
Measuring cups and spoons. A few years ago my husband bought these measuring spoons from the King Arthur Flour store. In the beginning, he used them exclusively, while I continued to use my old familiar ones. Somewhere along the way I decided to give them a try because I was tired of squinting at the worn off writing on my old ones. The new measuring spoons are great, nice and sturdy and easy to dunk into spice jars. A couple of years ago I decided to splurge on the matching measuring cups and I adore them just as much.
Whisk. I used to think that all whisks are created equal, but they are not. Is the handle comfortable? Are the wires too close together that I won’t be able to wash it clean? Will it mix the ingredients well? I know what you may be thinking… It’s just a whisk, T. I know I might take these purchases too seriously. The Oxo Good Grips Whisk was my answer. (Re-used footage! That’s what my husband would say since I’ve already shared this photo with you.)
Cookie scoops. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so when I proportion out the cookies in a batch a regular utensil (or my hands) simply won’t do. A cookie scoop takes all the guess work out of dividing the batter. I don’t know what I’d do without my OXO Good Grips Cookie Scoop. I have the medium and small sizes and they give me perfectly uniform cookies.
Kitchen scale. Speaking of perfectionism… I use this handy dandy Ozeri kitchen scale often. I weigh cake layers like in my Pumpkin Coffee Cake (even though it’s not strictly necessary, at least for those who are more carefree than me). I weigh flour in baked good recipes. I’m sure there are other ways I use it, but I can only think of cookies and desserts at the moment because that’s what I got on the brain. My mixing bowls are heavy so it is important to me that the scale handle a high maximum weight, which this one does (17.6 lbs!).
Spatula. When my spatula broke a few years ago, I must have bought 10 news ones before finding this Tovolo one. It’s comfortable to hold and the silicon is flexible so it does a great job of scraping things out of the bowl. I just noticed that they have a mini sized version! I so need to buy that one too!
Cookie pan. This one is my husband’s doing. He insisted on non-coated aluminum half sheet pans and bought them. He loves them because they don’t bend, warp, pop out of shape when they get hot, rust, or otherwise deposit some weird toxic chemical coating into your food. The Nordic Ware shown here is a winner.
In fact his love of all aluminum bakeware extends into a rather vast collection of loaf pans, pie plates, brownie pans and other random shapes. All aluminum and all as awesome as the day we bought them. Our favorite brand is Fat Daddio’s because they have an unreal selection and their prices are fantastic. Since I’ve started using them, I literally threw away all my other cookie sheets and, in fact, most of my other bakeware.
Silicone Mat. I’ve been baking for many, many years and I was determined that silicone mats were a waste of money. After all, why buy a sheet of silicone that costs more than most pans do? As it turns out, I couldn’t have been more wrong. I’d been going without or using parchment paper for too long. Literally nothing sticks to these things. If you’ve never used one you have no idea how great it is to bake cookies and to simply know that you won’t mangle them trying to detach them from the pan. Even better, these Real Simple Professional Silicone Baking Mats are not that expensive (especially when you use that handy 20% off coupon). I can’t believe it took me so long to figure this out.
Hand Mixer. This is one of those things where you get what you pay for. One year I went through two hand mixers. I kid you not. They both broke and not because I threw them across the kitchen (even if I wanted to because they were pieces of crap). Actually I’m pretty sure I nearly blew up my kitchen with one of them while I was trying to make a particularly tenacious batch of peanut butter cookies.
My husband bought me this KitchenAid 9-Speed Hand Mixer about seven years ago (and it still works like the day I got it!) and I’ve loved it from the moment I tried it. I love that it has 9 speeds to choose from and that actually means 9 speeds. Let me clarify… Speed 1 on this thing is actually slow. Have you ever had a hand mixer where the lowest speed still sent your ingredients flying out of the bowl? That should not be legal.
Speaking of KitchenAid, even though it’s not photographed in this post, it’s worth noting that we own and love the KitchenAid Professional 600 Series 6 Quart Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer. I don’t tend to use it often because I prefer to use a hand mixer. However, my husband uses it all the time. That’s where all the bread making magic happens.
With the holidays right around the corner, perhaps I’ve given you some ideas for someone who loves to be in the kitchen, including yourself. After all, a gift from me to me is totally acceptable. What’s on your holiday wish list?
Or more importantly, what are your favorite kitchen tools? I’d love to know.
Note: Not a paid advertisement for any of the brands mentioned in this post. I’m just sharing my opinions about things I actually use all the time and love to use.