Beyond mixing bowls and measuring cups, here are some of my favorite and most essential baking tools.
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5 Quart KitchenAid – I’ve had my KitchenAid 5 quart mixer for almost 30 years and have really put it through it’s paces, making everything from meringues to bread dough to rolled fondant. I don’t even own a hand mixer because I either mix in my kitchen aid or with a wooden spoon, spatula or whisk. I recommend getting one spare bowl.
Half (and quarter) Sheet Pans – The workhorses of both my professional and home kitchens. I use them for everything from cookies to roasted vegetables to sheet cakes.
Parchment paper not only keeps cookies and biscuits from sticking to sheet pans, I also cut circles for lining cake pans. I almost never butter and flour a cake pan, just use a parchment circle. You can also use parchment paper to make piping bags for writing on cakes and decorating cookies.
A propane torch, believe it or not, is an absolutely essential tool in my kitchen. Forget those frou-frou “culinary” or “creme brulee” torches, once you have one of these babies in your kitchen you’ll find a million ways to use it beyond creme brulee (unmolding cheesecakes, warming up meringue buttercream, etc)
Scoops of various sizes are essential for perfectly portioned cookies, cupcakes, muffins and truffles.
Small Offset Spatulas are great for smoothing cake batter and tart filling. Medium size spatulas are perfect for icing cakes.
Cooling racks are not only essential for cooling baked goods, but also for perfectly glazed cakes and pastries.
Pyrex pie plate is my choice because the clear glass not only uses both radiant and conduction heat to bake the crust, but you can see if the bottom of the pie is browned.
Pastry bags are useful for decorating, filling pastries and piping cookies and candies. Disposable pastry bags are great to keep on hand and there’s no washing up, which is always a good thing.
Pastry Tips – Round tips are great for piping cookies and candies. Star tips are great for icing cupcakes and piping eclairs and cream puffs.
Clean hands are your best tool. Don’t be afraid to get in there.