December is one of the biggest baking months of the year, as the holidays inspire just about everyone to do a little bit of baking. Holiday baking requires the same basic tools as everyday baking, such as mixing bowls, measuring cups and spatulas, but there are some tools that are a little bit handier during the holidays than they are any other time of the year and ensuring that those tools are in your kitchen will help put your holiday baking on the right track.
- Gingerbread Cookie Cutters - Gingerbread men are cookies that only make an appearance during the holidays. They’re fun to make and decorate – not to mention that they are delicious to eat! A set of Gingerbread Cookie Cutters will allow you to make a whole family of gingerbread people and your family can have fun decorating them.
- Sprinkles – Colorful Holiday Sprinkles are a great way to add some flair to cookies, especially if those cookies happen to be the traditional butter cookies that make appearances on almost every holiday cookie plate. They’ll give you a time-saving alternative to icing cookies when you want to dress them up and they’re easy to use so even the smallest children can join in the cookie-decorating process. I know sprinkles were one of my favorite “tools” when I first started decorating cookies many Christmases ago!
- Parchment Paper – It doesn’t matter if you have nonstick pans or are using the pans that have been in your grandmother’s kitchen since the 1960s as long as you have a roll of parchment paper handy. Nonstock parchment will keep any cookie recipe from sticking to the pan. Kirkland Signature Parchment Paper is available online and at Costco stores and comes in a much larger roll size than most brands, giving you a great value as well as a useful tool.
- Ceramic Pie Plate – I start baking pies before Thanksgiving and keep going right through the new year. From chocolate cream to apple, there is a pie flavor out there to suit everyone. Get a Colorful Ceramic Pie Plate for your holiday baking. Not only does ceramic bake pies evenly, but a colorful plate will help your pie have a little extra “wow” factor when you go to serve it.
- Piping Bags – If you only decorate cookies one week of the year, the odds are good that that week us in December. While you can use a variety of tips with piping bags if you are frosting a cake, for general frosting, you don’t need a tip. Simply 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. I recommend Disposable Piping Bags for convenience and ease of use.
- Kitchen Timer – A good kitchen timer will help prevent you from accidentally burning a batch of cookies when you get caught up in a tear-jerking holiday movie. The kitchen timers that are built into ovens are good, but aren’t always loud enough to get your attention when you’re entertaining or busy with other household projects. A loud, accurate Kitchen Timer is the most effective way to keep your baking on schedule.
- Adjustable Rolling Pin – While classic chocolate chip cookies might cut it the rest of the year, you’ll find yourself rolling out dough for gingerbread men and sugar cookies during the holidays. The Joseph Joseph Rolling Pin has rings that allow you to precisely roll out your cookie dough to a uniform thickness without needing to estimate from batch to batch, saving time and helping to ensure your cookies bake evenly.
- Multi-Tier Cooling Rack – 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 multi-tiered rack like the Linden Sweden 4-Tier Cooling Rack can be a life-saver. This sturdy rack can hold hold pans and cooling racks, allowing you to condense your cookies and make room for another batch.