By Alicia McElhaney / McClatchy-Tribune
Baking is done best with the right tools. From bowls and measuring spoons to newer gadgets such as cupcake corers and pastry makers, the baking-goods industry is full of sweet treats that are fun to use.
These bakery wares combine whimsy with function for a tasty recipe.
Step 1: Find a great recipe
Joy the Baker, a blogger and baking maven, has a great set of recipes in her cookbook, “Joy the Baker Cookbook” ($14 at booksellers). The book contains 100 comforting and rich recipe, such as Chocolate Bourbon Banana Bread and Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting.
Step 2: Grab your basics
The Modcloth Roy G. Baker Food Prep Set ($50 at modcloth.com) is a rainbow-colored stackable set that includes one large bowl, a colander, a strainer, a small bowl, a liquid measuring cup and a set of standard measuring cups. The colorful set is easy to store and incredibly functional.
The Mushroom Measuring Spoons ($20 at Anthropologie) are an adorable and functional addition to any kitchen. The red mushroom-shaped spoons have a hand-painted feel and are perfect for scooping up baking soda or sprinkling a little cinnamon into your batter.
Step 3: Make it mini
While normal-sized pies are great, the My Lil’ Pie Maker Baking Set ($11 at Bed Bath and Beyond) allows for personalization. Make miniature pies with this set which includes a silicone mold that holds four pies, a bottom cutter and a double-sided top cutter.
Step 4: Make more pastries
What could be more fun than homemade Pop-Tarts? The Toaster Pastry Press (on sale for $4 at Williams-Sonoma) can help you make homemade pastries in any flavor you choose. A recipe is included with the press in case you need a place to start, and it is dishwasher safe.
Step 5: Make a better cupcake
Take your cupcakes to a professional level with the Cuisipro Cupcake Corer ($5 at Sur La Table). The corer removes the cupcakes’ middle, leaving an easy-to fill center.
And don’t forget to wrap your cupcakes in pretty liners before baking them. Bake It Pretty Damask Cupcake Liners ($3.50 at bakeitpretty.com) keep pans clean and add a little elegance to any batch. The sets of 75 liners come in light pink, dark pink, black and blue.
Step 6: Beware of burns
Avoid burning yourself when you take your baked goods out of the oven by using a Built Sizzler Oven Mitt ($18–$20 at builtny.com). The mitts feature a textured neoprene material — which can withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees — and come in pretty patterns and colors.
Step 7: Store your treats
After a long day of baking, store all of the goodies you made so they last. The Airscape Coffee Canister ($27 at Crate & Barrel) has a sleek industrial look and a tight-sealing lid so your baked goods won’t go stale.