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On this week’s episode of Parenting Bytes our main topic was about an emergency plan to help get kids out of bad situations, called an X-Plan. We’d read about it in a viral blog post and loved the idea. If you haven’t read it you should. It could help your child extricate herself from a situation where she doesn’t want to lose face with her friends. And you can listen to the episode at the bottom of this post.
But during our Bytes of the Week segment we took an unexpected turn into one of my favorite topics, baking tools! I love to bake, and love gadgets and tools even more. And while the list from the owners of Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Shop that we talked about on the show is good, it’s not the list I would have made (except maybe for the pastry blender – I have a different brand than they do, but very similar).
Here’s my list, in no particular order. I’ve purchased every one of these baking tools and have been testing them for years. And as you’ll see, I have a particular fondness for one brand.
This is the number one thing you should have in your kitchen if you’re serious about baking. Nothing is more accurate than weighing ingredients. Plus, you’ll have far fewer dishes to wash – no measuring cups or spoons for most recipes!
But why is the Oxo Good Grips Food Scale my favorite?
- It can weigh up to 11 pounds
- It has a “tare” function, allowing you to zero out the display even if something is on the scale (for example, if you put a bowl on the scale and then want to measure something into it, starting from zero)
- It uses AAA batteries, not some weird, hard-to-find battery. And the batteries last a really long time!
- The display can be pulled away from the scale, so that if you need to put a cookie sheet or a large pot on the scale you can still see the display
- The top of the scale comes off easily for cleaning
I’ve had this very scale for eight years, I use it multiple times every day, and it’s still going strong. Worth every penny.
Non-Slip Mixing Bowls
These Oxo Good Grips Mixing Bowls are so well designed you’ll look at all other mixing bowls like they’re disappointing you by existing. The bottoms are a non-slip rubber, they have wide non-slip handles for gripping, and they have a pour spout.These baking tools are durable, easy to clean, and don't cost a fortune! Click To Tweet
If you work with any kind of dough, a bench scraper will come in very handy. It’s great for dividing dough for rolls, shaping softer doughs, and of course, scraping your work surface clean. I used it for just that today when I was making some pie dough.
But what sets the Oxo Good Grips Scraper & Chopper apart? It’s exactly six-inches long, and has a ruler on the bottom. Very handy when you’re trying to make things a uniform size – you don’t have to run and get a ruler!
Long Rolling Pin and Dough Spacer Rings
Some of my serious baker friends mock me for using these rubber rings, but I don’t know how I’d make cut-out cookies without them. I can’t roll dough evenly to save my life. But with these rings on, I can get the perfect thickness for cutout cookies, pie crust, and anything else that needs to be a uniform thickness.
You want to put them on a very long rolling pin so that they can straddle the dough.
Silicone Pastry Brushes
No matter what you’re brushing onto what, the last thing you want is a piece of the brush getting into the food (it happened to me a long time ago with a regular pastry brush: a guest found a bristle in my spanakopita).
These Oxo Good Grips Pastry Brushes, which come in small and large, are very well designed and extremely durable. And they’re dishwasher safe, which is a must for something that’s likely to be covered in butter.
Stackable Cooling Racks
Cooling racks can take up a lot of space, and if you’re making a giant batch of Christmas cookies or some other big project, the answer is to go taller. I have two sets of these Wilton 3-Tier Cooling Racks, and they’re brilliant. You can use one at a time, or stack them and save space. They’re very stable, and the legs don’t take up too much of the surface area. And they’re dishwasher safe!
Chocolate Melting Pot
Whether you’re making cake balls, truffles, dipping strawberries, or drizzling chocolate onto cookies with a fork, the inexpensive Wilton Chocolate Melting Pot is so much easier than microwaving chocolate or using a double boiler. With a higher setting for melting the chocolate and a lower setting for keeping the chocolate warm, you’ll never have to worry about your chocolate seizing.
Please note that the model that I own two of doesn’t seem to be available anymore, but this newer model that I’ve linked to actually looks very similar, just a brighter, more streamlined design.
Pie Crust Shields
If you’ve ever tried to put strips of aluminum foil onto a hot pie crust to keep the edges from getting too dark, you’ve probably burned your fingers as badly as I have. These Talisman Adjustable Silicone Pie Shields can be placed gently on top of your crust partway through the bake to protect the edges, no burned fingers and no burned crust!
This was just a tiny sample of the baking tools I have in my kitchen, but they’re some of the most used, and if you’re looking for quality products, you can trust these.