Somehow, I never got the memo that baking wasn’t easy. I grew up watching my mother baking literally dozens of different types of cookies each holiday, and quickly after college implemented the rule of no sweets in the house–if I want it, I gotta make it. I advanced from beginning baker skills in no time. Moreover, while many of these baking tools are very basic, there’s no doubt they can take you from making a basic three-ingredient no-bake to the French macaron.
1. Thin Metal Spatula
The thinner the spatula, the better. If you’re trying to move cookies right after baking, it’s important that it is very thin so it doesn’t deform the sweets. And removing the cookies off the sheet immediately is integral as they can continue cooking, which brings us to our next item…
2. The Wire Cookie Rack
By cooling the cookies immediately after they’re out of the oven on a wire rack, you’re preventing the cookies from a brown bottom or becoming overcooked.
3. A Disgustingly Old Cookie Pan
This may sound counter-intuitive, but I’ve found the older the cookie pans, the more effective for them to be. Buy them from a garage sale, or accept the hand me down from a family member–they don’t need to know what they’re losing. Maybe it’s the same concept as a cast iron pan?
4. Cookie Scoop
Ice cream scoops will also work in a pinch. While these seem super lame and unnecessary, they actually save a ton of time. I should know, I still don’t have one (and that’s why we do lots of baking at mom’s).
5. Quality Vanilla Extract
Not so much as a utensil as an ingredient, it’s too integral not to list. Quality vanilla can make any baked sweet richer; it brightens up brownies (as does espresso), and I often add it to boxed cake mixes.
6. Electric Hand-Mixer
Trust me on this, just get one. They’ll last you forever, and I’ve been told (although never actually tried) that you can make other things with them, too. Mashed potatoes, anyone?