living a well tended life... at any age

a baker’s dozen, part two

Here’s part two of my baking must–haves!  I got so much great feedback from the first post, and I especially enjoyed reading about your favorites – many of which, I’m happy to say, are right here!
baking equipment

metal bowls/pyrex measuring cups/cooling racks/parchment paper/cookie spatula/mini loaf pans

Metal mixing bowls: I have a range of metal bowls, from  6″ all the way up to  15″ across. These get pulled out all the time for various baking tasks. I’ve had mine for years, but if I were ever to replace them I’d get these – I love the no-slip bottoms.

Pyrex measuring cups:  A must for measuring liquids. But they have other great uses too – from melting butter to mixing salad dressings and pancake batter. And I can personally attest to the fact that they are virtually unbreakable.

Cooling racks: If you bake, you need a cooling rack – or in my case, 3 or 4. And I use them for more than just cooling cookies and cakes. I place them over baking sheets for draining breaded chicken cutlets – this ensures that they don’t get soggy underneath. And I use the same cooling rack/baking sheet set-up for making oven-fried chicken (like Bev’s). They’re also great for dipped, glazed or frosted cookies, cakes and candies – again, just place the rack over a baking sheet to catch any drips.

Parchment paper: I’ve gone on at length about how much I love all manner of parchment paper – rolls, sheets and even rounds for my cake pans. It is non-stick, makes for easy clean-up and is essential during the holidays when I’m staging large batches of cookies. And remember the paper cones? Through my friend Sara I discovered Surfas for bulk quantities of parchment at a significant savings – check them out.

Cookie spatula: If you’ve ever struggled to fit your large spatula between warm cookies to lift them off your baking sheet, you will love this. It’s wide enough to support larger, heavier cookies, and very thin to slide easily underneath. A small change that makes a big difference.

Mini loaf pans: Though not for everyone, these are a must-have for me – and one of my very favorites. I discovered, years ago, that one large tea cake or quick bread divides beautifully, and makes for a lovely little gift. So in the same time it takes to make one loaf, I can get two or three. A 9 x 5 x 3 bread or cake yields three “minis”; an 8 x 4 x 2 will make two. My friends tease me for always having  a stash of cakes in my freezer , but they are a life saver when I’m in a pinch – like when my friends are over, teasing me about having a stash of cakes in my freezer.

So how am I doing? Do you think I’ve covered it all? Is there anything you’d add (or take away) from this list?

4 Comments

  1. Sandra on December 19, 2012 at 8:15 am

    I have a set of nesting pyrex mixing bowls that go from teeny tiny (two or three tbsp perhaps) to large. I think Williams Sonoma has them. Great for mixing, storing and mise en place.

    Also, pyrex 1l rectangular storage containers. I cook in bulk when I am organized and then freeze in these.

    And finally, for “gadgets” like can openers, etc, I really like Oxo. They fit well in the hand and last.

    • sherisilver on December 19, 2012 at 8:36 am

      Can you send me the link for those storage containers? And Oxo has been a life-saver for me since my arthritis has worsened – those guys have it going on, right?

  2. Sheri Guyse on December 19, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    I have a 2 tablespoon scoop (Pampered Chef) and a 1/2 cup scoop (restaurant supply) that I would be lost without. They make muffin production and pancake batter portioning go very quickly. Both are spring loaded and dishwasher safe.

    I also love my digital thermometer (for making candy) and offset spatula (for spreading icings).

    • sherisilver on December 19, 2012 at 10:10 pm

      I never thought to use a scoop for muffin batter – genius!

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