Baking can be as simple or as complicated as you’d like, depending on the mood you’re in and how big of a challenge you’re up for, but there are a few essential tools that will make a world of difference when you’re creating your sweet masterpieces. Here are a few suggestions from The Daily Meal and Sarabeth of Sarabeth’s Kitchen in New York City.
- Ice Cream Scoopers — Sarabeth calls them portion scoopers in her interview with The Daily Meal, but the more commonly known term for them are plain old ice cream scoopers. Sarabeth likes using these to portion out treats such as cookies because they ensure even size and even baking.
- Mixing Bowls — If you’re an avid baker, we suggest investing in a set of mixing bowls, which will help you get organized and prep your dry and wet ingredients.
- Microplane Zester — A zester is a baker’s best friend, explains Sarabeth, because it makes it easy to infuse powerful citrus and spice flavors into baking. Why use mass-produced nutmeg when you can grate fresh nutmeg using a zester?
- Icing Spatula — Ever wonder how the icing on a cake from a fancy bakery looks so smooth and perfect? It doesn’t take hours of dedication that you might think it does — it just takes an icing spatula. The flat and long metal gadget is designed to give you the perfect angle when icing, whether it be smoothing out the top layer of a cake or icing a cupcake.
- Half-moon Spatula — Sarabeth explains that the most common mistake in baking is not properly scraping down the bowl of your stand mixer, because it leads to the ingredients not being mixed well enough. She suggests buying a half-moon spatula, which gives the right amount of angle and pressure to make it easy and efficient to scrape away at the concave surface of a bowl.
- Tapered French Rolling Pin — A rolling pin is a must when baking things such as pies and tarts, and Sarabeth suggests getting a tapered French one, which allows you to roll out circular pie and tart crusts with ease because of its thinner edges.
- Rubber Spatula — Along with Sarabeth’s half-moon spatula, we couldn’t imagine baking without a rubber spatula, which comes in handy when you’re mixing something by hand or transferring batter from the bowl to another container such as a piping bag.
- Pastry Brush — This one was new to us, but once Sarabeth explained that this long brush allows you to easily wipe away flour on your dough, we realized that some of our pies in the past have had a bitter and uncooked flavor from leaving excess behind.
Anne Dolce is the Cook Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @anniecdolce
This post was originally published on August 27, 2012.