Category Archives: Gear and Gadgets

ToasTites

toastite sandwich

Before there were panini, there were ToasTites – at least, that’s the way it happened in my house. A ToasTite (also “toas tite,”as two words or with a hyphen) is a grilled sandwich maker. To the best of my knowledge, they originated in the 1930s and 1940s and were made to cook sandwiches over a hot, open flame. The earliest models have round toasting plates ... Read More »

What is a cake heating core?

No one likes an undercooked cake and the bigger a cake pan you’re using, the more difficult it can be to achieve even baking without over-browning the top and sides of the cake. Heat radiates through the cake from the sides of the baking pan and, while not a problem for smaller cakes, larger pans will easily be overdone on the sides before they are ... Read More »

Equal Measure Measuring Cup

Equal Measure Measuring Cup

I’m a bit of a science geek. Maybe that’s why I enjoy baking so much: the proportions, the measurements, the reactions that turn a pile of ingredients into a cake or cookie. It’s definitely why I own this S’mores Tee that gives the dimensions of the components and the PSI needed to put them together to create the perfect s’more (not something most of us ... Read More »

SpiceShot Spice Dispenser

SpiceShot Spice Dispenser

Baking is often described as a science, a type of cooking that rewards precision. This is true in general, but not every single element of baking needs. Spices are an excellent example because, while they can make or break the flavor of a dish, they’re not (or only very, very rarely) essential to the chemistry of a baked good. I don’t always measure out my ... Read More »

Circus Animal Cookie Cutters

Circus Animal Cookie Cutters

Barnum’s Animal Crackers, small animal-shaped cookies that come in a distinctive circus car-shaped box, have been around for over a century. They were first introduced in 1902 when they were known simply as “Barnum’s Animal” and were sold in bulk, the boxes sold as optional extras. Now, they’re made by Nabisco and have a lot – to say the least – of nostalgic value since ... Read More »

Plastic bags vs. pastry bags for piping

piping bag with cupcakes

I’m a big fan of tricks that make my life easier in the kitchen and one that I use often is substituting a plastic bag for a pastry bag. A pastry bag is little more than a conical plastic bag that is open at the wide end and sealed at the bottom. To use one, you just need to snip off the closed tip after ... Read More »

Choosing a revolving cake stand

revolving cake stands

The advantage of having a revolving cake stand is that it gives you easy access to all sides of the cake for frosting. It’s not an absolutely necessary kitchen tool, even if you’re a baker, however. When you only frost a cake once in a blue moon and it’s for your own personal enjoyment, it’s not critical to have a showpiece-like cake and you can ... Read More »

Gourmet Impressions

You can pick the flavor, the filling and any of a variety of other options to customize your favorite foods – especially when you’re making them at home. But a custom cookie isn’t quite the same as a personalized one and Gourmet Impressions knows this. The company was started in 2002 and makes “food embossers” that allow you to put your name, your brand or ... Read More »

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