Thanksgiving is just two days away! As we celebrate a day filled with family and friends, we count our blessings for yet another wonderful year. Turkey and pumpkin desserts will flow and the holiday season will be underway! Chances are, Thanksgiving is only the first of many gatherings on your social calendar for the next month. It’s the craziest, busiest, but most wonderful time of the year! It’s the time to put on some festive music, cuddle up with a warm mug of cocoa and start clicking around looking for the best Black Friday deals. Ah, the glorious time for shopping at home, in pajamas. Wait — what?! Oh, that’s just me? No, certainly I’m not the only one that puts their Amazon Prime into overdrive this time of year.
This Thanksgiving will be a little different for my family as we’re moving from Virginia to Austin, TX this week. Instead of loading a plate with turkey and stuffing, I’ll be up to my eyeballs in packing boxes. Nevertheless, it’s something I’m tremedously grateful for as we’ll be much closer to family back in Texas. And hello… tacos!! I have big 2018 #goals of trying every worthy taco in Austin. Torchy’s breakfast tacos became a staple during our house hunting trip back in September. If you’re in the Austin area or are familiar with any taco spots we need to try, leave me some suggestions below. I’ll add them to my taco bucket list!
I might be alone in my 2018 taco goals, but I bet that we ALL have baking goals for the new year. Whether you just want to bake more for family and friends or are a professional baker looking to take your career to new places — the right tools can really make a difference. I have to admit that I’m beyond frugal when it comes to purchasing equipment, almost to the point of my own detriment. I’ll use an inferior tool for years before I break down and spend the extra to get a quality tool. Then kick myself for not doing it sooner once I see the difference the right equipment can really make. Case in point, item #3 below. For 14 years, I used the cheapest plastic turntable out there and would get frustrated how it locked up with heavier cakes. Finally this summer I broke down and purchased this revolving stand and I seriously can’t love it more! Why did I wait so long? This stand is what Instagram videos are made of!
So if you’re in need of new equipment and hesitant to take the plunge, or simply just in need of some gift ideas — I’ve rounded up some of my favorite tools to help build your baking toolkit. Together we’ll be ready for whatever 2018 has in store. Here’s 20 Holiday Gift Ideas for Bakers!
1. A stand mixer like none other. This KitchenAid 6-Qt. Professional 600 mixer is powerful enough for nearly any task or recipe. It’s sturdy stainless steel bowl is large enough to whip up 13 dozen cookies at once. Now that’s our kind of mixer! Find it HERE.
2. Super tall cake? No problem! Tackle that frosting with a decorating comb big enough for the job, like this 10″ bench scraper! There’s even a 12″ version. Hooray for clean, straight frosting lines! Find it HERE.
3. The tool I wish I had purchased 10+ years ago! Ditch the plastic turntable and upgrade to this smooth spinning, easy gliding, Ateco 612 Revolving Cake Decorating Stand. How have I lived all these years without it? Find it HERE.
4. An instant read thermometer like this Thermapen® Mk4 is definitely a splurge, but your batches of Swiss meringue buttercream will always be spot on temperature wise – as will your candy making, chocolate tempering, and grilling too! Splash proof, digital readings in just three seconds and super accurate! Find it HERE.
5. A Baker’s Kitchen Scale brings absolute precision to baking. This model lets you measure in pounds, ounces or convert to metric and the ‘bakers math’ feature allows you to easily resize recipes based on percentage. Find it HERE.
6. This oval Measuring Spoon Set is perfect for measuring spices as the slender profile lets you scoop and measure directly from the spice jar! Find it HERE. And find the matching measuring cups HERE.
7. While we love a good Marble Pastry Board for food photography, you’ll love it for rolling out pie dough, cutting cookies and more. It’s cool surface helps keep dough from sticking which means you won’t have to use a lot of extra flour, making the final product more tender. Find it HERE.
8. Gourmet chocolate takes every recipe up a notch, making this 11 pound Callebaut Milk Chocolate Block a real treat. Or find the semisweet chocolate HERE or the dark chocolate HERE. Pair a block with this Chocolate Chipper which breaks baking-size chocolate bars into perfect-size chunks (and fits perfectly into a stocking). Find it HERE.
9. Creme brûlée just isn’t the same without a Culinary Torch to melt the sugar into a sweet, crunchy crust. How else would you brown the swirls of meringue on that s’mores cake?! Plus it can melt cheese, toast bread crumbs and make incredible glazes. Find it HERE.
Happy early Thanksgiving – whether you stay close to home or travel to be with family or share a meal with friends or decide to hit the malls for the chaos of Black Friday – I hope you have so much fun and I hope your next few days are filled with gratitude and love.
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