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!
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?