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Merry Holidays! Baking while listening to holiday music really soothes me. If you can believe it, baking relieves my stress and anxiety. During the holidays, I bake A LOT! In fact, I usually average 13 different varieties and anywhere from 1 to 6 batches of each (more on that later)! Why? I like to bring them to the employees of the companies I work with, family events, I sent cookies to friends and family out of town and last but not least make a large tray for my sisters, niece and mom to bring to their events. It has been my tradition ever since I moved out on my own and I try to make a new cookie each year and swap old one of my least favorites. In order to be able to continue this awesome tradition and make it as painless and seamless as possible, I cannot be without my favorite gadgets. Let me explain….
Kitchen Aid Mixer – Baking Gadget #1
The most expensive ‘baking’ gadget I own, my Kitchen Aid mixer has been at it for 16 years! I don’t know what I would do without it? Mine is a 6-quart (similar to the blue one above) and I can make 2 batches of almost every cookie at the same time. This mixer gets the most use during the holidays. My favorite feature? The stir setting because you do not have to mix in nuts/baking chips/etc. by hand, therefore, eliminating hand cramps – OUCH! Easy Cleanup as well! Love my mixer. I can’t highly recommend this enough! While they are expensive, they are so worth it and last and last and last!
Hand Mixer – Baking Gadget #2
Some recipes aren’t made for a large mixer so there are some I do with the hand mixer. My Surfer Squares are done by melting butter, sugar and butterscotch chips first and then mixing eggs and dry ingredients afterward, so the hand mixer works best. Also, that recipe has to be made one at a time (for my best results with my old oven 😉) so the hand mixer works best for this one. I have had several hand mixers so I can’t recommend any specific one. The above pictures are priced well and have very great ratings on Amazon.
TINY/MINI Spatulas – Baking Gadgets #3
Spatulas are a must when baking. Several years ago, I came across spatulas that were 1 inch long and thought they were so cute, so I bought them. I never realized how much I love these little things! They make it easy to scrape jars, get the dough off the beaters, and they are easy to clean as well! I must have these tiny spatulas when I make my Peanut Butter Blossoms and Raspberry Almond Squares to scrape the jars. You just cannot have enough spatulas in the household!
Oxo Cookie Scoops – Baking Gadgets #4
Two words: perfectionist and clean. I do not like getting my hands dirty when baking. When I watch chefs on tv and they dive into the mixture with their bare or gloved hands, I just think it’s gross. When I hunkered down several years ago and bought one of these scoops, I fell in love! They also help make the cookies look professional (my opinion but check out these Snickerdoodles and see for yourself)! You can buy these lovelies on Amazon – I would suggest the OXO ones because they are spring-loaded, have soft grips (for the hard doughs) and come in 3 different sizes! I have both the OXO #60 (2 tsp) and #40 (1 ½ T) size. I use #40 the most because I make a lot of cookie trays and the smaller the cookie, the most I can make, tray, and display!
Cookie Press – Baking Gadget #5
I make 2 different kinds of cookies with my grandmothers’ old stainless-steel cookie press. One of my favorites is the Butter Spritz Cookie. I blend red, green and regular dough to create artful cookies!
It is very difficult to find anything similar to what I use today. To me, the plastic ones just don’t work as well and they definitely don’t clean well. I would recommend stainless steel. The pictures show some highly rated presses on Amazon.
These are my top 5 baking gadget must-have’s during the holidays! I always have these while I am baking cookies and really can’t bake without them! Let me know what are some of your baking gadget must-haves?
All the best… *judean*
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Every year, after baking a complete batch (remember 1 to 6 of each) of cookies, I like to post my cookies on both Instagram and Pinterest so here is my 2019 list below. Once I am done with making a specific cookie, I’ll update the list below with links so you can see!