10 Essential Tools for Holiday Baking
The kitchen is a place where holiday memories are made. Decorating sugar cookies with the kids, trying to master mom’s secret fruitcake recipe, sipping eggnog in the evenings – all hold a special place in our hearts this time of the year. Stock up and get your kitchen ready for a festive season of baking adventures with these essential baking tools for the holidays.
This list of holiday baking tools will help you put together your bakeware “must-haves” – cookie cutters, non-stick cookie sheets, cookie scoops, Bundt pans – for the holiday season and all year long. You’ll have everything you need for your family recipes.
Holiday baking requires the same basic tools – mixing bowls, measuring cups, spatulas – as everyday baking, but there are some tools that are a little bit handier to have during the holidays. Making sure those tools are in your kitchen will help put your holiday baking efforts on the right track.
Holiday Baking tool Checklist
1. Bundt PanThere is just something about the look of a Bundt pan, a classic and elegant pan that belongs in every kitchen. And here’s a tip: after your Bundt cake is done baking, consider drizzling a glaze over it and watch the drips set to perfection. The cake will taste and look absolutely amazing.
2. Rolling Pin
While a classic drop cookie might be fine for the rest of the year, you’ll find yourself rolling out dough for gingerbread men and sugar cookies during the holidays. So you’ll need a rolling pin, which by flattening dough ensures that cookies bake evenly. The pins are also an essential kitchen tool for pies, tarts, homemade pasta, and more.
3. Gingerbread Cookie Cutters
Gingerbread men are cookies that generally only make an appearance during the holidays. They’re fun to make and decorate, and of course they’re delicious to eat. A set of gingerbread cookie cutters let you bake a whole “family” of gingerbread people, and your real family can have fun decorating them. We all know kids love decorating holiday cookies.
4. Cookie Scoops
Also known as an ice cream spoon or an ice cream scoop tool, cookie scoops are not just used to make perfectly shaped cookies; they also work wonders with cupcake and muffin batter.
I have one cookie scoop at home in each available size, and I use the large one for muffins, cupcakes, and ice cream. I use the medium scoop mostly to make cookies and pancakes. The smallest size I reserve for truffles and tiny cookies. Cookie scoops are infinitely handy.
5. Colorful Sprinkles
Colorful holiday sprinkles are a great way to add some flair to cookies, especially the traditional-but-plain butter cookies that make an appearance on many a holiday cookie plate.
When you want to “dress up” cookies, sprinkles will give you a time-saving alternative to icing them.
They’re also kid friendly, and even the youngest kids can join in the cookie-decorating process. I know sprinkles were one of my favorite baking decorations when I was a kid.
6. Parchment Paper
Non-stick parchment will keep any cookie from sticking to the pan. Parchment paper comes in a variety of roll sizes, with the bigger sizes giving you great value for money.
7. Pie Plate
I start baking pies before Thanksgiving and keep going right through New Year’s. From chocolate cream to apple, there is a pie flavor out there to suit all tastes. Buy a pie plate (also known as a pie dish) for your holiday baking. A ceramic pie plate in particular will bake pies evenly, and with its nice decorative look it will give your pie a little “wow” factor when you bring it to a potluck gathering.
8. Piping Bags
A piping bag is typically used for fine frosting or “piping.” I recommend disposable piping bags for convenience and ease of use.
For general frosting, you don’t need to put a tip on the end of the bag, but for things like cookie and cupcake decorating (especially small details) you might want one.
For use without a piping tip, cut a small hole in the tip of the bag for fine piping, such as decorating gingerbread men, or a large hole for frosting your cupcakes.
9. Hand mixer or stand mixer
Whether you’re preparing something to bake, or whipping up a fluffy frosting, owning a mixer will come in handy.
For beginning bakers, a hand mixer is perfect. When working with an enormous amount of dough or batter, or preparing something that requires several minutes of mixing (old-fashioned fudge, marshmallows, meringue, etc.) a stand mixer is a good idea.
If you can afford both, then definitely buy both a hand and stand mixer.
10. Multi-Tier Cooking Rack
The first cooling rack I ever received was a gift, and it was a lifesaver for me. When you’re doing a lot of baking, you tend to run out of counter space quickly, no matter how big your kitchen is.
During the holidays, when you might have multiple batches of cookies going at once, a cooling rack (especially a multi-tiered rack) will come to the rescue.
Beginning bakers and seasoned pros alike all need basic baking tools, and the above list of tools will help you get the job done easily and effectively.
And it’s not just baking. Having the most essential everyday tools in your kitchen will also make your cooking life so much easier. To help you know exactly what tools to start with, we created a list of the most useful kitchen utensils for beginners.
Since you’re probably in the mood for a fresh-baked cookie right about now, check out one of my all-time favorite cookie recipes.
Baking is all about having fun in the kitchen, especially during the holidays. Host a cookie swap this year or give homemade treats to your family and friends. I’m sure they will love it.
Happy Holidays and happy baking!