Monday, December 05, 2011

My Kitchen Essentials... A Great Shopping List for any Baker!

With all the edible gifts I have been making, I thought I would also put together a list of my Top 10 Kitchen Essentials that would make great gifts for any Baker on your shopping list!  Or maybe just for yourself!  

I love Christmas shopping because I love getting and giving gifts to the important people in my life!  But sometimes you have to slip something for yourself in there too!  I mean come on... you deserve it!  My mom and sister happen to love baking and cooking like I do, so my Christmas shopping most likely involves getting something kitchen and baking related.  

My Top 10 Must Have Kitchen Essentials:

1. Viking 5 Qt. Stand Mixer- Yes, I know... this is a pricey item.  And most likely, you will not be buying one of these for anyone for Christmas.  And if you do... they will be very lucky!  But honestly, if you love to bake, it is totally worth the investment!  With its 800 watt motor, it is sure to be able to handle even the toughest doughs!  Before I went to Culinary School, I didn't mind using a hand mixer.  But when you go from a stand mixer back to a hand mixer, you notice the difference!!!  Great investment!

Viking Professional 5 -quart Stand Mixer
photo courtesy of Amazon

2. Silpat-  These non stick baking mats are amazing!  No need to grease the pan because nothing sticks to them!  They are oven (up to 480 degrees), freezer, and microwave safe.  Although, I have to be honest, I cannot think of one reason to use one of these in the microwave!  So much nicer than parchment paper, and they are reusable and last a very long time!  

photo courtesy of Amazon

3. Half Sheet Pans- I buy these at Wal Mart.  They are a bit bigger than the normal cookie sheet.  Its 13"x18"x1" and a heavy weight.  Thin pans will result in uneven baking and can burn your baked goods.  The Silpats also fit very nicely on these pans!  

Nordic Ware Bakers Half Sheet, 13 by 18 by 1 Inch
photo courtesy of Amazon

4. Digital Scale-  Probably 99% of the things I made in Culinary School was made using a scale.  In the beginning, they taught us how to use a weight and balance scale.  Now, that was pretty annoying! Haha But then they let us use digital scales, which was so much easier.  If you are using measuring cups, you will have a different amount of the ingredient everytime.  With a scale, it is much more accurate.  At least for baking, it is very crucial that you have the exact amount of each item otherwise it can ruin the finished product.  Most of the recipes I put on this blog are in cups because most people do not weigh out ingredients, but it really is more accurate! 

Escali Primo Digital Scale, Yellow
photo courtesy of Amazon

5. Good Knives-  Invest in good knives.  I got these knives as part of my "tool kit" in Culinary school 4 years ago and I LOVE them!  

Messermeister Meridian Elite Chef's and Paring Knife Set
photo courtesy of Amazon
6. Spatulas-  A must have for any baker!

Messermeister High Heat Spatula
photo courtesy of Amazon

7. Microplane- I have a zest grater, and then a finer one for spices.  Love these!

Microplane 40016 Classic Black Spice Grater
photo courtesy of Amazon

8. Stacking Cooling Racks- When space is at a premium, nothing is better than being able to have 3 cooling racks in the place of just one!  These are another thing that I get at Wal Mart!
Wilton 2105-459 Excelle Elite 3-Tier Cooling Rack
photo courtesy of Amazon
9. Digital Candy Thermometer-  You can use these for a ton of different dishes!  From making caramel to cooking a roast to frying chicken wings!  It is so easy to use.  Simply place the probe into the pot or inside of a roast and set the temperature and once it has reached that temperature, the buzzer goes off!  No more babysitting the classic candy thermometer that clip on the side of a pot.  The digital version is obviously more accurate as well, so you won't burn that caramel!  

Component Design Digital Candy Thermometer, Timer and Clock
photo courtesy of Amazon

10. Fun pans- I have a ton of different baking pans in all different sizes!  These are some of my favorite!
 HIC Brands that Cook Essentials Silicone 12-Cup Muffin Pan
photo courtesy of Amazon
Bite-Size Cheesecake Pan
photo courtesy of King Arthur Flour
photo courtesy of King Arthur Flour
    • Bake and Give Pans - I used these disposable pans to make individual cakes for favors at my sister's bridal shower!
    Bake and Give Square Pans & Lids - Set of 8
    photo courtesy of King Arthur Flour

      And there you have it... My Top 10 Kitchen Essentials!  I could have gone on and on.  There are so many good kicthen tools out there!  I hope my list was helpful to you, and you found some things that you could get the baker in your life, or just for yourself!!!  

      Happy Baking & Shopping!

      Tell me what YOUR kitchen essentials are!  I love to hear from you!  Go ahead... leave me a comment :-)

      1 comment:

      1. Stainless steel mixing bowls. Lightweight, unbreakable, easy to stack - I love them. Also everything else you mentioned!