When I’m mixing up a recipe in my kitchen, one of the tools that I use the most is a spatula. I use it to scrape the sides of bowls, fold together ingredients and scrape batters into waiting pans. Since I also use a whisk or a mixer, I often need to set my spatula down when I’m not using it. Most spatulas are flat, so anything on them – such as sticky batter or meringue - will end up on your counter if you need to set your spatula down unless you can find something to lean it against. This set of Elevate Spatulas are designed to avoid this problem and each has a small stand built into the handle that keeps the spatula head elevated and off the counter. It’s a small addition to the traditional design of a spatula, but it is one that makes so much sense! The spatulas otherwise work like traditional spatulas, with flexible silicone heads that are heat resistant up to 650F. They are sold as a set that includes three different sizes: small, large and spoon.
When you were a kid, you probably got a kick out of popping all the little bubbles on a sheet of bubble wrap. The popping paper is almost too much fun for a kid to resist – but the popularity of bubble wrap apps for iPhones and other mobile devices indicate that popping those bubbles isn’t something that only kids enjoy. This Poppin’ Hot Oven Mitt is inspired by bubble wrap, although you won’t be able to pop the silicone bubbles that give it its cool look. The mitt is made of translucent, heavy duty silicone that can stand up to any temperatures that you might need to handle while pulling pans and baking sheets out of your oven while looking convincingly like real bubble wrap! It measures 8.4 inches wide and 11.75 inches long, which gives you plenty of coverage whether you have bit mitts or small ones. And it is definitely a conversation starter because your friends may not believe that you’re using a potholder and not a real sheet of bubble wrap. You may, however, want to keep this mitt out of the reach of kids because the urge to try a pop bubbles of bubble wrap is hard to resist and, while it would be extremely difficult to deflate these silicone bubbles, you probably don’t want to risk the integrity of the mitt in the process.
A lot of people don’t like to roll out dough, whether they’re making a yeast dough for bread, a pastry dough for pie or a cookie dough for cookies. Rolling out dough usually means that you need to get your countertop a little dirty (which isn’t fun if your counter isn’t a smooth-surface) and that you are going to need to do some guesswork do estimate how big and how thin your dough is getting while you work with it. Trying to get your dough into a large circle is just one more obstacle.
This nifty Pizzacraft Dough Rolling Mat should make things a lot easier, whether you’re a dough-rolling novice or are already an expert. The large mat is measures 20×20-inches square, giving you plenty of room to roll out everything from pizza dough to cookie dough. It has circles on the surface that range from 6-inches to 16-inches (and you can go up to 18 if you use the square around the premeasured circles) that allow you to easily identify how big your piece of pastry is getting as you work. Keeping with the pizza theme, there is a recipe for basic pizza dough and directions that tell you how to bake it written right on the mat. This makes the mat a handy reference, as well as a good work surface.
The mat is made of nonstick silicone that is easy to work on and just sticky enough that it won’t move around the counter as you work on it. It is easy to clean and rolls up for easy storage, so you can fit it just about anywhere. If you haven’t used silicone mats before, you will still need to give them a dusting of flour, but you will need much less flour than you would if you were working on a regular countertop.
I’m not sure exactly what moment mustaches became a trend, but I’ve seen mustache wine markers, hats and even lamps at this point, so it seems clear that mustaches are here to stay a while. The one mustache-related thing that I haven’t seen yet is a Mustache Baking Mold. This silicone mold allows you to make a 16-inch long mustache to add a little style (or humor) to your next party. The mold isn’t deep, just 1.5-inches, but it is perfect for a wide variety of party projects. You can use it to bake a batch of brownies, mold a cheese log or make a giant ice cream sandwich. You can make gelatin molds in it, too, if you’re ok with having a multi-colored mustache. And if you have a big punch bowl, you can even use it to make a mustache-shaped ice cube, since the pan is microwave, oven and freezer-safe.
This mold clearly isn’t going to replace any of your regular baking equipment, but it does make a very funny gift for friends sporting mustaches and it can be a great party gag. It is sure to generate a lot of talk if you bring it out at just about any gathering – since you really can’t take it too seriously!
When I make ice cream cakes at home, I layer baked and cooled cake with slightly softened ice cream in the pan that I used to bake the cakes. Assembling the cake inside of a pan with straight sides gives my cake a good shape and stability, although I typically have to line the pan with plastic wrap to help me remove it from the baking dish. Williams Sonoma has a new summertime pan that promises to streamline the ice cream cake process a little more: the Silicone Springform Ice Cream Cake Pan. The unusual pan has removable silicone sides that peel away from the sides of a cake – no force needed, and no need to invert the cake to try to pop it out of the pan – after removing a pin that holds them together. The base of the pan is ceramic and doubles as a serving dish once the sides of the pan are removed. The pan measures 5 3/4″ x 10 1/2″ x 3″ high and is both freezer and oven safe, so you can use it to bake your cake layers, and once they have cooled, you can use it to assemble and freeze your cake easily. It definitely speeds up the ice cream cake process, and makes for a neat visual on top of that!
Now, you may not prepare too many ice cream cakes at home (although this pan certainly makes it easy), so it is worth noting that this pan can be used for a variety of other things. It can be used as regular bakeware and is sturdy enough – thanks to that ceramic base – to support cakes, quick breads and other baked goods. It can also be used as a mold for other types of cakes and desserts. Mousses, or mousse cakes, can be assembled in this pan, as can cheescakes, tortes and molded semifreddos.