Photo: Taste of Home
When it comes to giving to our BFFs, moms, sisters and all around favorite people, it’s always fun to tap into their hobbies to create the perfect gift (even though gift cards are way easier!). Of course, being Taste of Home foodies, we all know a few bakers in our lives. Next holiday or birthday, why not create the perfect gift basket chock full of fun kitchen gizmos, tasty ingredients and useful gear. Here’s how you can assemble one quick and easy.
Step 1: Gather your gear
As cooks and bakers, we know what our baking gal pals want (and need). Fill your baking gift basket with a few useful gadgets—you, know the kind you can never have enough of—like hot pads, dish towels, spatulas and cookbooks. Then sprinkle in a few novel gifties. We love the idea of adding in a favorite ingredient, like your go-to shortcut cake mix or a fancy bottle of vanilla extract (pssst… you can learn how to make this pricey extract last longer here).
Here’s what we filled our dream gift basket with:
- Taste of Home Cookies, Bars & More
- Floral pattern mitt and potholder (KitchenKaboodle)
- Wood-handled whisk (Williams Sonoma)
- Gingham striped tea towel (Designed / Tenjin)
- Gold-colored measuring spoons (Target / Threshold)
- Vanilla cake mix (Trader Joe’s)
- Colorful cookie cutters
And if you’re in need of a few ideas for “why didn’t I think of that?” gifts, we’ve got you covered below!
Measuring flower sifter
Sifting flour can be a messy business. And measuring that flour after it's sifted can be a real task, too (you don't want to compact what you just aerated!). This handy gadget ($8) allows you to sift flour mess-free while measuring as you go.
Adjustable rolling pin
When a pie recipe instructs you to roll out the dough to a quarter inch thick, how often do you actually measure the crust? With this handy adjustable rolling pin ($16), you can set up guides that help you achieve that perfect thickness for your next pie (or cutout cookie!).
Marble pastry board
When it comes to rolling out pastry dough or even sugar cookies, it's crucial to keep your dough nice and cool. However, unless you know some fancy trick, it's impossible to get your countertop to stay chilled. Instead, pop a marble board like this one ($22) into the fridge to make sure your pastry keeps cold while you work.
If you're a fan of shortbread (seriously, who isn't?), these cookie stamps ($20) just might become your new best friend. Use them to press a design into your favorite shortbread recipes to create professional-looking results.
Pie crust cutter
Whoever coined the phrase "easy as pie," certainly never made one! Between getting the right crust, rolling it perfectly thin and then fitting it to size, baking pies can be a tough job. Luckily, this handy tool ($10) measures and cuts your crust to the perfect size for your pie pan. No more patching!
Tablet and cookbook stand
Keep your recipes close at hand with this adorable handmade stand ($40). Whether you're using a recipe card, your tablet or even your phone, this stand keeps your recipes nearby and easy to read.
Purchase (and personalize) here.
Hand pie press
If you're looking to make hand-held pies, empanadas or even pierogi, you're going to want one of these nifty pie molds ($9 for three). These presses cut out the perfect circle of dough with one side, then flip to stuff and seal. This cuts down on so much work cutting and crimping.
If you've ever blind baked a pie crust or pastry before, chances are you've relied on a handful of pie weights (or even some dried beans) to keep your dough from bubbling up. Don't risk spilling the beans (or the pie weights for that matter), and opt for a pie chain ($14) where the weights are all connected for easy use, cleanup and storage.
Adjustable measuring cup
When it comes to measuring ingredients like peanut butter and honey, it can seem almost impossible to get the right amount when so much sticks to the inside of the measuring cup. This handy gizmo ($12), though, lets you adjust the volume while also scraping the sides of the container, so you can be sure you get every smidgen of peanut butter for your cream pie.
Available in one-cup and two-cup sizes.
Russian piping tips
These tips might not look like much, but their complex cutouts help create stunning and realistic icing flowers. These tools ($9) are a step up from basic cake decorating and simple cupcake decor but are easy to use if you're familiar with basic piping.
Step 2: Find the right container
While this is of course a gift basket of sorts, don’t limit yourself to packing all these gifts up in a typical basket. Why not find a pretty mixing bowl, canister or cookie jar to hold all those goodies? We chose a pastel mixing bowl from Mason Cash. (Find it here.) Though its patterned exterior makes it pretty enough to display on the counter, it’s durable enough to be put to work in one of our favorite cake recipes.
Step 3: Make it personal
If you’ve got a favorite recipe that your bestie just loves or find one you is right up her alley, why not include a handwritten recipe card? Along with a thoughtful note, this gift basket is sure to be something she’ll treasure.