Tuesday, September 11, 2012

My favorite baking utensils

The importance of my baking utensils can be compared to that of my husband's cycling and automotive tools.  They all have their special place, and they ALL serve a purpose.  Granted my utensils 'special' place is one gigantic kitchen drawer, but hey, I know where everything is ;).  And like my husband's tools, they are very near and dear to my heart.

My favorite ones, and I do have my favorites, are as follows and are in no particular order:
The Scooper: a handy little device that 'scoops' batter.  I have 3 different sized scoopers: the smallest I use to make tiny cookie dough balls for my chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream (non-baked, put into ice cream as is); the next is used to scoop cookie batter into balls to be baked; the largest is used to to dish out batter into cupcake and muffin pans.

The Zester:  I saw the difference zest makes in cookie and scone recipes, and, ever since, have become a HUGE fan of the zester.  Super simple to use and boy does it 'zest' lemons and oranges quickly! Sidenote: i'm a huge fan of the brand zyliss.

Rubber Spatulas (in a variety of sizes/shapes):  Probably the single most important utensil in baking after measuring cups and spoons.  I really don't know what I'd do without my rubber spatulas.  I'm pretty certain I use at least one every time I bake anything.  They are particularly useful in scraping the sides and bottoms of mixing bowls.  Not to mention gathering the remains left in the mixing bowl.  A true gem.

Pastry Brush:  Perhaps not used incredibly often, but a very handy item that I find myself constantly in search of when I cook in someone else's kitchen (and rarely find).  I bake scones very frequently and use this item to brush the tops and sides of my scones with a buttermilk/cinnamon sugar mixture.  When I don't have a pastry brush handy, I pour the topping over the scones and massage into the scones with my hands, but the excess pours out all along the scone dough and just makes clean up that much more exciting. 

The Whisk:  What recipe doesn't require a whisk?  Most things I bake I use the whisk to mix together the dry ingredients.  Any recipe requiring an egg I almost always whisk it before adding it to the other ingredients (unless i'm using my mixer).  And then any liquids that need to be mixed together, get, you guessed it, whisked together.  The Whisk really is a baker's best friend.

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