Saturday, December 4, 2010

Christmas Cookie Tool Roundup

It's about time to get started on some Christmas cookies!  Before I get to baking, I thought I'd share some of my favorite cookie-making tools.  Sure you could make cookies without them, but after using them you'll never want to go back!

Let's start with the first step, mixing, and my first favorite tool - the mixer!
If you don't have a mixer, get one!  I don't care if it's a hand held mixer, you won't regret it.  I started out with a handheld mixer, and was SOOO glad when I got it.  Before that, I did everything by hand, including whipped cream and whipped chocolate ganache icing.  Um yeah, ganache takes FOREVER to whip!  Sure, there's some satisfaction and bragging rights with saying "Look at me! I hand whipped this chocolate for hours!", but you will be so tired that you won't even have the energy to lift your yummy creation to your mouth to eat it.  Your arm will be jello for days afterward! So get a mixer, dad-gummit!
I am now the lucky owner of a KitchenAid mixer thanks to my wedding registry.  :)  They are expensive (around $300 buckaroos), but they should last a lifetime.   They were first introduced in 1919, that's almost 100 years of a proven track record.  I love their retro appearance too.  Here's my little baby.  I've had her for almost a year and she's gotten a TON of use already...including cookies.


My next cookie tool is a cookie scoop
This is basically a miniaturized ice cream scoop with a mechanical "cookie dough-getter-offer" feature.  No more using a spoon and trying to get the dough off with your sticky, doughy fingers.  Plus, this helps you to make round, equally sized cookies every time.  So purdy!

Moving on, we have the thin spatula
These guys glide under your finished cookies with ease, and with minimal damage.  If you use a spatula that is too thick, your cookie shape will be distorted as you are trying to lift it off of the pan.  Go with one of these thin spatulas to ensure that your cookies stay looking pretty as a picture.

Take it from someone who has a small apartment kitchen - these things are awesome!  The racks stack on top of each other and take up minimal counter space. In addition any crumbs that fall from the cookies will fall onto a smaller area instead of all over your entire counter space. I use these for cooling and storing un-iced cakes too.  Love Love Love!!!

Now that I've got all of my supplies, I'm ready to get to baking.  First Christmas cookie will be some Jam Thumbprints for our Bible study group this Friday.  I'll share the recipe soon!

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