Friday, February 13, 2015

Friday Favorites

It's Friday!  Each week I'm going to post some of my favorites.  The categories will vary, but the format will be pretty much the same.  Since earlier this week I posted a recipe for the most delicious and not to mention beautiful Spritz Cookies, I thought I should show you some of my favorite baking tools.

1.  Kitchen Aid Artisan Mixer - Now this is the top of line, as far as home stand mixers go.  I was lucky enough to have been gifted mine.  They are a bit pricey, but completely worth the investment for the avid baker and it will last forever.  

2.  Silpat Baking Mats - I never bake a batch of cookies without them.  The cookies release easy from the tray without cooking spray.  Other companies make similar baking mats that work fine, but I like Silpat the best.

3.  Cookie Scoops -  The best tool when you are making any kind of drop cookie and they all come out the same size.  I use the smaller (about 1"- 1 1/2" diameter) scoop for chocolate chip and oatmeal cookies.  They look like they came from the bakery.

4.  Cooling rack -  These are pretty standard, but I like to use a rack instead of having cookies cool on the counter.  They also work well when you want to speed up the cooling of a cake while it's still in the pan.

5. Silicone Spatula and Spoonula - There are two reasons I love these particular spatulas: 1. They're silicone, so you can use them in a pan on the stove and they will not melt.  2.  The spatula and the handle are one piece.  How many times have you lost the rubber part of your scrapper in the bowl while it was attached to the mixer?  I have and once they break, that's it.  So I was trilled when these showed up in my Christmas stocking a few years back.  My husband can take a hint :)

6. Quilted Cookie Sheet - It is almost impossible to burn cookies when they are baked on a quilted cookie sheet.  Sometimes they need to stay in the over a few more minutes than directed (you'll have to test them out in your particular oven), but the results are an evenly baked cookie.  Air Bake is the brand I use.  Get two.

7.  Cookie Press Cookie Press - This is the more updated version of the cookie press that I use and it works great.  You can buy cheaper, as well as more expensive versions, but I think something right in the middle (around $20 - $25) is a good choice.  

8.  Turner - I have always referred to these as a spatula, as well, but when I was researching tools I found they are called a "turner".  Either way, they are the best way to remove cookies from a baking sheet.  The key here is to make sure it is slightly larger than the cookies themselves.  Do you like to make large cookies?  Get a large turner.  Again, silicone is the way go.

So there you have it.  Eight great ways to use all of those Bed Bath and Beyond coupons that are stacking up.  (FYI - They even take expired ones.)  Or should I say, some of my tried and true baking tools.  What baking tools do you like to use?  Share them with me.  I'd love to hear about them.

Have a great weekend!

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