Simplify my baking
December 11, 2020 2:03 AM   Subscribe

What utensils can I buy that'll make beginner level baking (more) easy and fun?

My kids love baking. I hate the fuss of it. I think part of it is also that I'm working with random stuff my mom (who also hated baking) just half assed bought somewhere and then made me take with me when I moved out!

I have metal baking tins (both stick and non-stick), a heavy wooden rolling pin, a brush that melted when I tried to brush oil onto something too hot, and if I want to roll out the dough, I have to do it straight on the counter. (I do have a good mixer.)

But recently I've been seeing silicone mats in bright colours and things that make baking look almost fun...

Can you recommend a set of utensils for making christmas cookies and basic cakes? Like, if you were to gift a baking newb her first stuff, what would you buy?

Thank you!
posted by Omnomnom to Grab Bag (44 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite - most of the stuff on this website are naff and barely useful. However, the supoon and mini supoon are revolutionary. We have one big one and several mini supoons. Amazing scrapers. The sit off the bench feature is nice (though not clumsy proof). My go to tool.
posted by freethefeet at 2:16 AM on December 11, 2020 [4 favorites]

This may sound ridiculous, but baking parchment pre-cut to useful sizes (cake tin liners, paper sheets to lay on top of baking sheets) was a game-changer for me. No faffing with greasing anything; nothing ever sticks to the tin; with cookies, you often find the baking sheet stays completely clean under the paper; and because it's pre-cut and pre-shaped, you never have the annoyance of having torn off not quite enough, or paper that remembers it was on a roll and just wants to curl. I get mine from Lakeland; if you're not in the UK, this (sheets) and this (cake tin liners) might be more useful links.

If some of the Christmas cookies you'd like to make are drop cookies rather than the kind you use cookie-cutters for, a cookie scoop is much more fun than a tablespoon. They come in two varieties: silicone ones that you pop inside-out with your thumb to get the dough out, and metal ones like mini ice-cream scoops, where you squeeze the handle to eject the dough. Incidentally, ice-cream scoops are the perfect size if you happen to be making muffins.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 3:01 AM on December 11, 2020 [14 favorites]

Pretty much any of those big thin silicone mats for pastry will be a big help. I dislike baking (I really like cooking, baking is too fussy) but I do make pies and a few other things and we have this rolling mat from King Arthur flour. I don’t think I’d bake anything if I didn’t have it. I’ve used similar ones at family gatherings that aren’t branded, we just really like King Arthur and picked one up years ago. It’s great for making a big clean surface really quick, washes up no problem and I really like the circle measurements for pie crust. Rolls up into a little tube I can tuck behind other things, lightweight.

I think also some measuring implements that you find easy to use and clean, so probably stainless steel or glass you can pop in the dishwasher, will make the fuss of baking a bit easier to endure. We have this spoon set that I really like. They’re double ended so I can use one for dry and one for wet without washing it in between, they magnet together and nest nicely so I can actually fit them in the drawer and see if one is missing, and the size is clearly readable.

Parchment paper is fantastic and people should use it way more. I do agree with ManyLeggedCreature that precut sheets to fit into baking trays can be really nice - one time I accidentally bought a roll of them and it did make things simpler for baking. I keep the whole rolls around though because I like to use it for cooking purposes and little things but you might feel otherwise.

I think an offset spatula is probably the most beloved tool in any cake decorating video I’ve watched. I don’t really do cake decorating (I want to watch other people do it!) but if I did that would be the first thing I’d buy.
posted by Mizu at 3:31 AM on December 11, 2020 [3 favorites]

Get a cookie press! When I was a kid I was apeshit for making cookies in all kinds of shapes with the cookie press. And then decorating them with sprinkles and icing and stuff! Dooo iiiittttt
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:28 AM on December 11, 2020

Definitely parchment, though I just get a roll of it and cut it to whatever form I need. I find that's far more convenient.

A bench scraper is nice to have, especially for clean-up. I repurposed a large spackle knife as a scraper, myself. Works great, though a for-real bench scraper will often have measurements along the business end, which might come in handy.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:31 AM on December 11, 2020 [1 favorite]

For me, the most difficult part of baking bread was to know when it was done. Hurrah, in the last year or two, I've learned that you can test bread products with an instant read thermometer just as you would a roast.

I've also gone to kneading some yeast doughs in the food processor in multiple small batches. It's very quick, 45 sec to a minute. No longer, the dough gets hot very quickly.

I have measuring scoops that live permanently in my flour and sugar canisters which is very convenient. It's a good spot for one of the measuring devices that adjusts to different amounts.
posted by SemiSalt at 4:50 AM on December 11, 2020 [2 favorites]

A kitchen scale! Makes measuring dry ingredients easier and faster with fewer utensils to wash afterwards. You can find a lot of by-weight recipes out there, or just multiply your cups of flour by 120 grams each.
posted by tybstar at 4:55 AM on December 11, 2020 [30 favorites]

A really nice, heavy duty set of measuring cups and spoons will make your baking life SO much more enjoyable!

A strong spatula or two that can scrape batters of all thickness.

A good set of mixing bowls.

If you make a lot of cupcakes, I find a pancake batter dispenser makes filling the cups much easier.
posted by orange and yellow at 5:28 AM on December 11, 2020 [5 favorites]

A bench scrapper is cheap and will have other uses. (Transferring a pile of chopped vegies to a pan?)

You mentioned a melting brush. Get a silicone brush. Not as precise as a nylon or bristle brush but it doesn't melt at cooking temperatures. Like to baste your chicken? Just dip the brush into the hot fat/juices and pull them over the bird.
posted by tmdonahue at 5:31 AM on December 11, 2020 [6 favorites]

The thing that really revolutionized baking for me was, as tybstar says, getting a kitchen scale. It really cuts down on the work of measuring, and it means that you have fewer measuring cups to clean up afterwards. (And I don't have a dishwasher, so that's a thing.) You put your bowl on the scale and spoon things right out of the package into the bowl and stop when you reach the right weight. Kitchen scales have a reset button, so you then set the weight back to zero and spoon the next ingredient in until you reach the right weight. It's magic.

The other thing I would recommend is baking spray to grease pans. It's not a big deal, but it's easier. (I also have some sensory issues that make me not like getting a lot of grease on my hands, but I suspect that's less of an issue for other people.)
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:33 AM on December 11, 2020 [3 favorites]

I ditched my wooden rolling pin a while ago for a silicone rolling pin and it really cut down on the amount of flour I had to apply (and reapply and reapply) to the pin to roll out dough.

Also, some rolling pin rings/bands to put on either side of your pin helps you to roll the dough to a consistent thickness which makes it much easier to bake because your cookies will all bake at the same rate.

And a metal offset spatula (also called an icing knife) is good for lifting cookies off of a tray, leveling off the flour/sugar in measuring cups, AND frosting cakes.
posted by kimberussell at 5:33 AM on December 11, 2020

I'd DIE WITHOUT MY DOUGH WHISK. It's just a big coiled wire at the end of a stick - for making ANY dough - it's a godsend.
posted by Dressed to Kill at 5:34 AM on December 11, 2020 [1 favorite]

A rolling pin with a ladder cut pattern for making beautiful cookies and pies. You can get cheaper ones on eBay or Amazon
posted by theora55 at 5:34 AM on December 11, 2020 [1 favorite]

I second the recommendation for a digital kitchen scale. Most of my cookbooks don't include gram weight of ingredients, though I've started penciling in the weights when I make stuff. That way, the next time I make that particular recipe, I hardly need to dirty any measuring tools because I'm just adding ingredients by weight to a bowl sitting on the scale.
posted by pingzing at 5:49 AM on December 11, 2020 [2 favorites]

You know what's a pain? Getting everything out before you start, rooting around in cabinets, getting the big heavy bowl out from under the other only-slightly-less-awkward bowls, digging the measuring spoons out from wherever they are under the other things you barely use.

The thing that has made everything better is having the _stuff_ just out where I can reach for it and it's _there_. I have a specific small hook for each size of measuring spoon. I have _four_ magnetic bars on the walls/side of the refrigerator for knives, yes, but also metal measuring spoons, the metal whisk, the grater, metal spatulas (hello pancakes!), kitchen scissors, etc.

I have some small shelves out where I put small plates that I use every day -- why was I putting those in cabinets? They never get dusty; I use them all the time! -- but also the mixing bowls I use all the time.

The time savings over putting one thing away and getting it out again is very small, but for _all the things_ _every day_ it makes a big difference. Plus, I _know_ where stuff is! Everything frickin' _has a place_ and everything is in that place.

Oh, and also, I now own ~4 glass 2-cup measuring cups and two complete sets of measuring spoons. That's so handy.
posted by amtho at 5:57 AM on December 11, 2020 [8 favorites]

Stainless steel measuring spoons that are shaped to fit in spice jars and measuring cups that can stand on the counter without falling over. Take them off of any rings that connect them and throw the measuring spoons in a mug or jam jar so they're separated and you only have to wash the ones you use. With stainless steel, the measurements never wear off of the spoons/cups.

Four matching half sheet stainless steel baking sheets so that you have enough sheets to hold 2 full ovens worth of cookies. I bought mine from restaurant supply stores where they're quite cheap.

One or two pyrex 2 cup measuring cups for liquid measurements (and they can go in the microwave to heat liquid if you're making anything yeasted).

Enough spatulas that you never need to stop in the middle of baking to wash one.

A set of microwave-safe mixing bowls with lids, so you can throw cookie dough in the fridge for an hour or two without getting more things dirty. Costco usually has a good deal on them.

I roll out my dough on the counter, but make that process easier by having enough dish towels that it's easy to wipe it down before/after and a dough scraper to get the dough bits off the counter afterwards. Also a good restaurant supply purchase.

Gel food coloring for really fun, bright icing colors.
posted by A Blue Moon at 6:15 AM on December 11, 2020 [1 favorite]

The mess of getting flour out of the bag is one of the big hassles of baking, so one of my best baking purchases was a large wide-mouthed canister that I use for flour.

Other than that, I'll add one more recommendation for a kitchen scale.
posted by Jeanne at 6:23 AM on December 11, 2020 [2 favorites]

Seconding parchment paper, Pyrex glass measuring cups, and a kitchen scale. Adding a Pyrex 4 cup measuring cup was life-changing once I started baking a lot of recipes that required more than 2 cups of flour.
posted by mostly vowels at 6:25 AM on December 11, 2020

Digital kitchen scale and measure all ingredients by weight. So much easier than scooping and produces better baked goods.

Bench scraper for moving and dividing dough. Very cheap and so so worth it. You can also get a plastic, curved one for cleaning out bowls.

Wide mouthed glass containers for flour, sugar, etc. I try not to keep those things in the original packaging. Helps me know when I running low and much less messy when combined with a digital kitchen scale. I picked some up from IKEA.
posted by brainsoup at 6:27 AM on December 11, 2020 [2 favorites]

I'm here to also recommend the scale. It makes baking work better PLUS it's less messy than measuring cups - win-win. I don't know why they're not more ubiquitous in all kitchens - it's not like they're even particularly expensive, a perfectly great one will still be under $15.

I use two types of scrapers regularly - a bench scraper like this for cutting and transferring small things like chopped vegetables (I use it more often when cooking than baking, but I do use it for both), and a small plastic scraper like this for bread-making, cleaning stuck-on stuff, and other miscellaneous tasks.

I also recommend looking for more easily cleaned versions of anything you use regularly. For example, you may have a spatula already, but a one-piece version like this is effortless to clean since it has no crevices or difficult areas (bonus: endless fun colors available). I do have silicone mats for baking, and they work great, but I personally hate cleaning such floppy items so I admit I'll use disposable parchment when I'm short on patience or doing a lot of batches. I have both a roll of parchment for cookie-type uses and precut rounds to put under difficult cakes, and I think it's good to have both. Silicone coated whisks are way easier to clean than metal. In general, I'm just a much happier baker if I plan for cleanup when considering what I'm going to make and how.

No particular endorsement of any of the brands above - they're all pretty generic items you could buy at a variety of price points from a variety of places. I see that you're in Europe, but I imagine any store that has a good selection of kitchen implements should have items like the linked ones.
posted by mosst at 7:10 AM on December 11, 2020

+1 to spray grease and especially to flour+grease spray (Baker's Joy is one) for bundt cakes. Since I figured this out, my bundt cakes have always come out of the pan perfectly, and bundt cakes look fancy but are actually kind of easy.
posted by needs more cowbell at 7:11 AM on December 11, 2020 [1 favorite]

Two things:

1) Get this OXO Good Grips 2 Cup Adjustable Measuring Cup and never worry about how to measure out a cup of peanut butter again. You put in what you need, and then push it out -- no waste! Seriously it's amazing.

2) Fourthing, fifthing, sixthing the recs for a digital scale for baking. I moved from the US to the EU and realized that this difference between volumes and weights was fundamental in changing how I thought about baking. It's just so much easier to put a bowl on the scale, pour flour directly in, reset to zero, pour in whatever else... repeat...

I also worried because I thought about all the recipes I loved and had learned in the US which were volume-centric. But what I learned is that every time I wanted to make a recipe I had in volume, I just did it with a digital scale the first time, and then wrote in the grams weight of the ingredients next to the volume measurements in the cookbook (sorry, Grandma Z, I've annotated your Joy of Cooking!) Then every subsequent time you just use the weights. Also it's not that difficult to look up standard weights of specific volumes of things, for example here's how you get from a cup of yogurt to the equivalent volume.

Additional possibly irrelevant note but important for using EU recipes in the US and vice versa: butter in the US has a lower fat content and thus if you use a US recipe with EU butter and you don't reduce the amount you might end up with e.g. a puddle of rugelach in your oven. Ask me how I know.
posted by tractorfeed at 7:20 AM on December 11, 2020 [3 favorites]

If you have to put icing or frosting on anything, an offset spatula cannot be beat.
posted by phunniemee at 8:06 AM on December 11, 2020

If you are into making drop cookies, the little cookies scoops (like an ice cream scoop with a release button, but smaller) for uniform sizing and releasing the dough are actually really helpful. I resisted for years thinking it was unnecessary and now I treasure the dumb thing. I also love silicone baking mats - so great for even cooking and avoiding sticking to the baking surface.

Also helpful to have good reusable, airtight containers for sugar, flour, etc - just such a pain to clip bags closed and futz with boxes.
posted by amycup at 8:21 AM on December 11, 2020 [2 favorites]

I bake a lot and one thing that feels fussy and messy to me is using an electric mixer. I like just mixing things with a sturdy wooden spoon and a deep mixing bowl with fairly straight sides. Just throwing that out in case it sounds like something you might want to try. And if you don't already keep your flour and sugar in canisters, you definitely want to start doing that. For me an AirBake cookie sheet is crucial. If you like your baked goods on the well-browned and crispy side, you might prefer something different, but if you feel like you're always struggling not to burn things, AirBake is a godsend.
posted by Redstart at 8:21 AM on December 11, 2020

The right sized whisk for beating eggs can feel like a life changer.

The right sized bakeware. Someone has stolen or mislaid one of my nine-inch round cake pans and whoever you are you are not getting any cake until it shows up again. Sometimes you need a small loaf pan and the medium sized one will not do.

Shallow enough spice jars to get the spices out with the measuring spoons or long enough handled measuring spoons to get them out of the jars.

Mini cookie cutters such as are sold with children's play baking sets, if you like rolling out dough. They create cookies that are too small for most things but make adorable outcuts - make decent size round cookies with the teeny little bear or train or star missing from the centre. Make sandwich cookies with the filling visible through the cut out. Cookie cutters of any size make pies with interesting pastry vents in them. The star shaped cookie cutter makes Christmas cookies and blueberry pie vents for July the Fourth. Make tarts with one vent in the middle shaped like a heart (cherry filling) or a Christmas tree (mince). If the pies are full sized make a ring of shapes in the pastry lid instead.

A cookie cutter shaped like a cat to make traditional ginger cat cookies. Why would you make round ginger cookies if you can make them cat shaped?

Decent paste food colouring so that you can actually get true colours for your icings.

Tea tray, and china tea service to bring out with the most special of all once a year cookies or tarts or scones.

Real vanilla, which is reserved for the things that have to actually taste like vanilla, so used in creme brulé and not used for chocolate chip cookies.
posted by Jane the Brown at 8:36 AM on December 11, 2020 [3 favorites]

Silicone pastry brushes. I bought mine at the dollar store. They don't melt and work very nicely for brushing more basting liquid on a molten bird too.
posted by Jane the Brown at 8:38 AM on December 11, 2020

digital scale is the main answer. Really. No more baking mistakes ever! If you're using a properly tested and written recipe, it will come out right. Every time. And it's so much easier and faster than measuring.

That said, sadly there are still many many recipes that go by volume, so you need:

*a Pyrex measuring liquid measuring cup (I like having more than one, in sizes of 1 cup, 2 cups, and 4 cups; the bigger ones turn out to not be that practical);

*a reliable set of measuring cups for scooping;

*and a reliable set of measuring spoons, preferably the skinny OXO ones that easily slide into and out of little openings like on a box of baking soda.

*And BIG mixing bowls. At least one big one and one medium one. I like ones that are fairly deep, so you can use a hand mixer without splashing [ETA I see you have a standing mixer, which is excellent and more important. But occasionally you might want to whip a small amt of cream or eggs or whatever.)
posted by fingersandtoes at 9:12 AM on December 11, 2020

for more advanced:

* silicone pastry brush with little holes in the... fronds or whatever you call them. These have made the nasty hair ones obsolete.

* a good metal loaf pan with sharp edges for quickbreads. Chicago Metallic is reliable.

* a springform pan. 9" is a good size. this is for cheesecakes.

* rounds are tricky; seems like whatever you get, the recipes will be for something else. I like having three 8" rounds (professional, with straight, not angled edges); two 9"; and several 6". Again these are useless if the edges are not straight up and down. I got my 6" ones from

* a digital thermometer

* a candy thermometer if your digital isn't made for candy temperatures

* a really good cupcake/muffin tin. This one. Sorry I know $25 is an insane amount to spend, but you'll thank me. See those very wide sides? That means your big silicone oven mitts won't touch and tear them. And they come out even, never too brown. It's a dream.

* the state of the art in cupcake wrappers is fantastic. Truly it is a golden age. Look on etsy.

* a good airtight canister with a wide lid for flour

* Plenty of gallon size ziplocs to stick that bag of brown sugar into to keep it from getting dry and going everywhere

* good silicone oven mitts. A godsend.

* good thick cookie sheets. Don't worry about nonstick, you'll be lining them with parchment paper anyway. Light and dark metals conduct heat differently. I like having both.
posted by fingersandtoes at 9:24 AM on December 11, 2020 [2 favorites]

Scale scale scale. Mine does pounds/ounces, grams and mL though I haven't tried the mL thing.
Parchment paper. I think the roll of Renoyld's I have says it's compostable if you do that.
I have a set of measuring cups that have 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, 3/4 and 1 cup cups. So much easier to do 1-- 2/3 cup than 2 -- 1/3 cups. Sort of obsolete now that I'm moving to weighing ingredients.
Instant read thermometer. It takes the guess work out of muffins/quick breads. I bake mine to 210ish and they're always perfect.
Cookie scoop in the ice cream scoop style. Also, you can buy cupcake/muffin scoops that do mini, regular and jumbo.
Someone above mentioned spray oil (like Pam) and Baker's Joy (also Pam baking). I used to grease/flour my pans. Never again with that mess.

Mise en place. Get everything together before you bake. I use a piece of shelf the cabinet company gave us over my sink to increase counter space. I have all my commonly used ingredients in one pull out cabinet. I bake so much, we get flour/sugar/brown sugar/chocolate chips/some spices/vanilla at Sam's or Costco. The dry ingredients live in their bags inside of jumbo ziploc bags with a scoop. Less commonly used stuff (nuts, other chips, dried fruit, wheat flour) all get their own section in the pantry downstairs.
posted by kathrynm at 10:59 AM on December 11, 2020

I do like to use a scale whenever possible (the OXO one is great because you can pull out the display if your bowl is big), but also having colorful measuring cups is great for recipes that don't have weights. You know you grabbed 1/2 C because it's blue, you don't have to squint at the writing. I also find it's helpful to have several sets of measuring spoons, because I always manage to chuck one in the sink and then realize I need it again.
posted by radioamy at 11:17 AM on December 11, 2020

Hi, I'm an unfancy but frequent baker, and here's what I like:

I have silpats, but they're hard to clean and do affect baking times a little, I'll probably switch to parchment paper when they finally die.

Baking sheets sturdy enough not to warp when you pick them up one-handed, I have NordicWare, I think. Don't get non-stick.

Plastic measuring spoons and cups are horrible (too chunky, hard to clean, melt, scratch...). Get metal versions and a 1-cup Pyrex for melting butter in the microwave, beating eggs then adding milk using the lines, etc.

8-cup Pyrex with a lid is a kitchen workhorse, and the spout + handle is nice for batters.

Silicone spatulas, a big one and a tiny one for getting sticky things out of measuring cups and such.

French-style tapered rolling pin is easier to clean than the handled kind and I like the extra control when flattening out dough. Condition with oil for best results (mineral oil is good, neutral cooking oil is acceptable).

I have an OXO oven mitt with a silicone layer just in the pincher area - I find that only silicone doesn't insulate enough, and only fabric will do you dirty if it gets wet or just gets a thin spot.

Ramekins are nice for small amounts of leftover batter (make sure you get oven safe) as well as making individual portions and mise en place. I've also never had a problem just using the size of cake pan I have and monitoring baking time (use toothpicks or a paring knife - I don't consider an instant-read thermometer a must-have for baking).

I like two spoons better than cookie scoops, I feel like I get better control shaping/sizing cookies and I have a smallish kitchen. I also don't own a whisk or grease spray.

Candy-making is dark sorcery with a high potential for burns and you should avoid your children learning that people do it at home.
posted by momus_window at 11:23 AM on December 11, 2020 [1 favorite]

If you do get parchment paper in roll format, it's much easier to get it to lie flat if you first crumple it up and then smooth it out. If you roll and cut it out straight from the dispenser it does have a strong tendency to want to curl.
posted by andrewesque at 11:36 AM on December 11, 2020

Silicone dough rolling bag, I have one by Oxo. It's a flat zippered bag that you pop the dough in and then roll it out - even easier than parchment paper or silicone mats. Easy to wash up.
posted by HaveYouTriedRebooting at 11:57 AM on December 11, 2020 [2 favorites]

Definitely cookie scoop. Spoonula! (Just saying it is fun! I am Count Spoonula!”) I prefer parchment to silicone mats. Heavy cookie sheets; they heat more evenly. Stacking cooling racks; they take up less counter space. Stand mixer! I used to have a vintage Oster Kitchen Center that was the bee’s knees, elbows, and distal phalanges.

If you progress to pastry, a good pastry blender is a must. I was taught to blend pastry with two knives, but it’s so much easier with the blender.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 12:37 PM on December 11, 2020 [1 favorite]

Also count me in as a lover of the kitchen scale. Might be a sly way to get your kids to learn some math too.

I have the Ozeri, which is the budget pick on the Wirecutter but it will sometimes turn off at an inconvenient time, so if I did it again, I might spend a little more. My mom actually swears by an analog one she got long ago.

Also count me in as a lover of cookie scoops, I especially like them for mini muffins/cupcakes. My mom gave me the Jennaluca set, which is expensive, but they are great.
posted by vunder at 1:18 PM on December 11, 2020

Parchment paper and kitchen scale.

And also: baking calculators!

King Arthurs Chart of Flour Weights

Non-wheat flour conversions
posted by Jesse the K at 2:33 PM on December 11, 2020 [1 favorite]

King Arthurs Chart of Flour Weights

I recently labeled our flour containers with the appropriate sifted and unsifted weight/cup measurements, and it’s been very handy.
posted by zamboni at 2:48 PM on December 11, 2020

My comment above should read A rolling pin with a laser cut pattern. I shouldn't comment from my phone.
posted by theora55 at 3:15 PM on December 11, 2020

My gear list for someone who wants to bake cookies, bars, quick breads, muffins, pies, cupcakes, and basic rectangular cake with minimal frustration:
  • pyrex measuring cups: 2 of the one cup size, a two cup size, and an eight cup size
  • at least 2 sets of metal measuring spoons. I like these narrow and deep ones from World Market . Take them off the ring.
  • 4 tablespoon mini measuring cup
  • adjustable measuring cup . Nice to have a 2 tablespoon one as well.
  • basic mixer. Doesn't have to be full on Kitchenaid, I've been using the same handheld sunbeam mixer that snaps on to a plastic stand for over 20 years and it creams butter & sugar just fine.
  • glass bowl sized for the mixer
  • larger stainless steel mixing bowl
  • wooden or bamboo mixing spoon
  • sturdy silicone spatula sized for scraping bowls
  • narrow silicone spatula to get into smaller containers
  • silicone mat for rolling out dough
  • rolling pin
  • 2 Nordicware or other sturdy aluminum half sheet pans (not non-stick)
  • 1 Nordicware quarter sheet pan (not non-stick)
  • precut half sheet size parchment paper
  • at least 1 cooling rack for cookies
  • a trivet for hot pans
  • 2 good oven mitts that cover your forearms
  • 8 inch square pyrex baking pan
  • pyrex loaf pan
  • pyrex pie plate
  • muffin tins
  • cupcake liners
  • 9 x 13 metal pan (planning to upgrade to the Wirecutter pick when my no-name cheapies get too beat up)
  • offset spatula for icing
  • metal turner/spatula for taking cookies off sheets
  • mini server/"brownie" spatula
  • cookie cutters that are fun, but not too complicated/detailed

posted by superna at 4:03 PM on December 11, 2020 [4 favorites]

a few more
  • airtight bins for flour, sugar, powdered sugar. Less mess than scooping directly out of a bag and they'll keep better.
  • airtight container to hold a bag of brown sugar
  • a set of measuring cups for dry ingredients. I prefer long-ish handles for easy scooping.
  • pastry blender. Way easier than using 2 butter knives held together.
  • 2 dishers, one sized for cookie dough and one for filling muffin tins

posted by superna at 4:53 PM on December 11, 2020 [1 favorite]

Y'all are playing merry hell with my wishlist on Amazon...

I'm trying to think of the most irreplaceable baking tool I have: it's probably my array of stainless steel bowls and my mixer.

But after that: a pastry blender and rolling pin. With a pastry blender, you can make sables, pie crust, biscuits, guacamole, and egg salad. And you can use a rolling pin to bash nuts in a plastic bag if you don't want to bother chopping them or getting your food processor dirty.
posted by suelac at 5:28 PM on December 11, 2020 [1 favorite]

Anything that would make cleanup easier; a pretty broom and dustpan hung close by, a bench scraper you can use on your countertop, enough dishcloths that it doesn’t matter how many you gum up with flour each time you bake.
posted by clew at 6:44 PM on December 11, 2020 [2 favorites]

I just want to thank everyone who opened my eyes to the magic of the dough whisk. I got one as part of my birthday, and it really is amazing at mixing batter!
posted by batter_my_heart at 9:42 AM on December 24, 2020

« Older When is the morally right time to disclose an...   |   Divided by a common tongue Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments