My Favorite Things

Need a cherry pitter? I’m your gal. A corn husker? Yep. Garlic slicer? Of course. I just love me some gadgets.

But when it comes to baking, I pretty much stick to the basics. I’m attached to my Bosch mixer, wooden rolling pin, and  collection of rubber spatulas and wooden spoons. One thing I never have enough of is measuring spoons and cups. That is because when I bake, I bake with abandon. I don’t stop to think “Hmm. If I measure the sugar first and the oil next, I could use the same cup.” That would mess with my style…which is “use and fling”.

There is one measuring cup I like to use for liquid ingredients because it keeps me from having to bend over and eyeball the side of a measuring glass, trying to remember Biology class, and the way liquid measurements are hard to read because the meniscus makes the surface concave. See? I was listening, Mr. Folsom! This cup is read from the top. At last, someone was really thinking! This is an OXO Good Grips brand, but there may be others.

I think I’ve tried every cookie sheet ever made. I detest non-stick surfaces and can’t imagine wanting to eat a cookie that has baked on one. (Don’t get me started!) Dark sheets just don’t reflect well, and my cookies get dark on the bottom. Cheap ones rust quickly and warp like crazy. I wholeheartedly recommend Doughmaster cookie sheets. I’ve had mine for years and even though they are a little dark around the edges (someone needs to invent a self-cleaning cookie sheet,) they work like a dream. Here’s a picture of a nice, new one:

The other thing I couldn’t bake without is a cookie scoop. Okay…I actually own four cookie scoops. They save so much time! I use mine for other things, too. I use the little one to measure out meatballs, the medium-large one to put cake batter into cupcake liners, and the large one for pancakes. Most of them have a handle that you squeeze to release the dough, but if you can find one with a thumb trigger, snap it up! You’ll have more control with that kind, especially if your hands are wet.

There is one other item I use excessively: big, white, crisp, flour-sack dishtowels. Not just for washing dishes as I cook, (hahaha) but for covering rising bread dough, rolling up jelly rolls in powdered sugar, and swatting anyone who comes near the kitchen, trying to filch dough. I’d give you a picture, but I’m sure you all know what they look like. Find great big thick ones, and cherish them.

I’m sure I’ll add more to this list as I’m baking, or as new gadgets appear on the market. Stay tuned!