Holiday Gift Guide: The Baker
With Thanksgiving behind us, we can officially start chatting about Christmas. Have I mentioned that I really, really love this time of year? For the first time, I’ve compiled my favorite, most-used, best-loved cooking and baking tools (as well as a few personal wish-list items) to inspire your holiday shopping, and find something special for everyone on your list.
First up, gift ideas for the baking obsessed. These bakers are never far from the oven, and love nothing more than being elbow deep in frosting and dusted with flour as they whip up perfect cakes, cookies and pies.
Be sure to scroll down for the second set of gifts, and check back soon for more ideas for savory cooks, foodies and all the other loves on your list. Now go forth and holiday shop!
1. The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book – Hands down my most flipped-through, smudged baking book, despite its singular focus. An inspiring cookbook for beginners and experienced pie bakers alike.
2. Holiday Striped Potholder – As much as I love baking, I have a semi-irrational fear of burning myself when pulling goodies out of the oven. LOVE the thick and sturdy potholders and oven mitts from Williams-Sonoma. I have these in half a dozen colors, but this red and white stripe is super fun and festive for the holidays.
3. Silicone Cookie Spatula – Specially designed for cookie lifting and pancake flipping, this silicone spatula is thin and wide, ideal for delicate baked goods and protecting nonstick baking pans.
4. Bloom Pie Pan – A stamped stoneware pie pan that reveals its design as the pie is served. So pretty!
5. Baking Conversion Magnets – Why didn’t I discover these mini baking cheat sheets earlier?? A convenient baking measurement conversion chart that sticks to the fridge (so you don’t have to Google the conversion from tablespoons to ounces to cups… Every. Time.) These are on my Christmas list!
6. Customizable Cookie Stamp – Bake up personalized cookies and treats! Unlike most cookie stamps, you can customize the lettering, to change things up for the season or occasion.
7. Teak Measuring Spoons – These hand carved, sustainably-sourced teak measuring spoons are a step up from regular old plastic or metal versions. For your stylish, green kitchen.
8. KitchenAid Artisan Stand Up Mixer – The workhorse of any baker’s kitchen. A little bit pricey, but a mixer is an investment piece – my Mom’s KitchenAid is still going strong after 30 years. Mine was a college graduation present, and I still love, love, love it. They come in so many fun colors now!
9. Nielson-Massey Pure Vanilla Extract – The good stuff. I don’t use Nielsen-Massey in every recipe (it’s hard to beat the bulk price of Costco’s organic vanilla), but any baker will love receiving a bottle of two of this super premium extract. You can’t go wrong with vanilla, but almond, lemon, peppermint, or anise are great, too.
10. Silicone Spatula Set – I’m a messy baker, and often guilty of using a ton of tools and utensils while making a recipe. So it’s nearly impossible to have too many spatulas. Love this all-silicone set that scoops and mixes fabulously and can be popped in the dishwasher.
11. Wooden Pie Box – For the seriously pie-obsessed. Transport your pies safely, and store in style. There’s a cake version too!
13. Emile Henry Ruffled Pie Dish – For perfect crimped edges, every time. I love Emile Henry baking dishes; they bake evenly and consistently, and are pretty enough to serve at the table.
14. Baker’s Twine – A fun stocking stuffer! For wrapping up all of your lovely baking concoctions, especially great for edible gifts around the holidays.
1. French Macaron Ornaments – Decorate your Christmas tree with pretty French confections!
2. Maldon Flake Sea Salt – A staple in our pantry. The finishing salt for all your salted caramel, salted dark chocolate, really, salted anything needs!
3. Dough Rolling Mat – This handy dough rolling mat keeps your counters clean and is printed with several different crust sizes so you can be confident your pie crust will fit the pan, perfectly.
4. Marble Pastry Slab – A must have for rolling out pastry – marble keeps the butter in dough cold, so you’ll have beautifully flaky pie crusts and pastries, every time.
5. Recipe Box – In the era of food blogs and online recipes, there’s still a place for written recipes. One of my bridesmaids gifted me this lovely recipe box filled with heirloom recipes from all the women in our family at my bridal shower. A sweet way to store the recipes for all of your very favorite dishes.
6. Jadeite Nesting Mixing Bowls – I have a million glass mixing bowls, which are invaluable for melting chocolate, sifting dry ingredients, and mixing fillings and batters, but none as pretty as this vintage-inspired, classic green jadeite set of nesting bowls.
7. Cupcake Stand – To display the most beautiful of cupcakes and miniature creations, of course! This is the sort of thing I might not buy for myself, but would be a fun gift to receive.
8. Cookie Scoop – Cookie scoops are great not just for scooping uniform cookies onto baking sheets, but for portioning out muffins and cupcake batter, and even scooping ice cream. I have these sturdy stainless steel scoops in several different sizes.
9. Handcarved Walnut Cake Stand – A hand carved, heirloom-quality walnut cake stand worthy of displaying your most beautiful cakes, tarts and pastries. Seriously lusting after this beauty…
10. Wood Dough Scraper – It might sounds weird, but my dough scraper is one of my favorite baking tools. When it comes to pastries especially, a good, metal bench scraper is invaluable for cutting dough, transferring pie pastry or simply cleaning a floury work surface.
11. Cuisinart Food Processor – One of my most-used kitchen tools for both savory cooking and baking, food processors are great for quickly pulsing together butter and flour for pie pastry, crushing graham crackers or gingersnaps for crusts, blending up fillings… I could go on and on.
12. Copper Measuring Cups – On long recipe-testing days, I love having multiple sets of measuring cups and spoons. These copper beauties are almost too pretty to use. Almost.
13. Scharffen-Berger Baking Chocolate – My pantry is never, ever without several pounds of good baking chocolate. I reach for high-quality Scharffen-Berger again and again.
14. French Rolling Pin – I prefer the feel and handling of tapered French-style rolling pins over traditional two-handled rolling pins, and this dark walnut version is stunning.
15. Silpat Baking Mat – Line your baking sheets with Silpats for beautifully golden cookies and confections that won’t stick. These are a little pricey (though they last forever), and I’ve been thrilled to receive a few of these in different sizes over the years.
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