Whenever my family or friends ask what I want for Christmas, there’s always the unspoken assumption, “What don’t you already have?” Do I need another whisk? Another cookbook for my over-extended shelves? The newest ice cream maker model? Well, the answer would be yes to all of those (sidenote: my daughter Isabelle has discovered the joys of the word “and.” When queried about her Christmas list, her response goes along the lines of, “I want this AND this AND this” – smart girl!) In the spirit of making things easier for everyone, though, here are some of my favorite discoveries of the last few months, things I think anyone who bakes would love to see under their tree (and I’ll be good and won’t pull an Isabelle and say I’d like ALL of them…)
Heath Classic Red Hot Chocolate Set -I have yet to meet a blogger/baker/person who hasn’t wished they could fill their kitchen with Heath Ceramic’s entire collection. Beautiful dinnerware, serving pieces, and home goods in a constantly updated palette of hues. I love this set of tall cups paired with Askinosie’s drinking chocolate – truly a refined way to enjoy a cup of hot cocoa.
Rosle Kitchen Torch – A kitchen torch is one of those tools that seems like a luxury, but once you have one it turns out to be so fun and useful you wonder why you waited so long. I’ve used mine for caramelizing sugar on crème brûlée, toasting marshmallows, browning meringues, and a myriad of other uses.
Dualit 4 Slice Classic Toaster, Chilly Pink – Ok, I can toast bread in my toaster oven, but how chic and stylish is this toaster? I love the candy pink, but it comes in a variety of other hues to coordinate with your kitchen. In my dream kitchen, everything would be functional AND stylish; this toaster is a nice start.
Revel Malo Tart Dish – Love Revel porcelain bakeware, and I love this tart dish – the fluted edges are so pretty. I have several perfectly serviceable plain tart tins, but it doesn’t stop me from coveting this one. It would be an eye-catcher hanging on the wall of your kitchen or on the table – I almost wouldn’t want to unmold my tart so I could show this dish off!
Michael Recchiuti Twas the Night Before Christmas Box – It’s not true that just because I bake means I don’t want food gifts. Especially in San Francisco, where there are so many amazing bakeries and confectioneries that I could happily stop baking and just get my sweet fix from all of them. Michael Recchiuti remains an evergreen favorite for me; he always makes gorgeous themed chocolates for every holiday, like this Twas the Night Before Christmas box with ornaments and stockings printed on his signature burnt caramel chocolates.
Star Wars Silicone Ice Tray Set – We all know there’s a really big movie coming out in a couple of weeks, so if you think you’ll want to create some Stars Wars-themed food in the future, these molds look super sweet. You can use them to make ice cubes, jello, or chocolates with them, and the manufacturer suggests you can even use them as crayon or soap molds. Perfect for the cook/Star Wars fan (and I am both!)
3 Piece Smidgen Measuring Spoon Set – For a cute stocking stuffer, here’s a set of measuring spoons marked with “dash”, “pinch”, and “smidgen”. Yes, these are true measurements – a dash is traditionally 1/8 teaspoon, a pinch is 1/16 of a teaspoon, and a smidgen is 1/32 of a teaspoon. Now you know – and now you can measure them out accurately!
Macaron Mat – When you’re striving for macaron perfection, a pre-drawn guide can help you keep your macarons uniformly sized. I’ve seen laminated guides you can slide under parchment, but here’s a silicone baking mat with the circles printed right on. I like using silicone baking mats when I make macarons, so this is pure genius to me.
Pierre Hermé Macarons: The Ultimate Recipes from the Master Pâtissier – And if you need some beautiful images of food to inspire your baking, there’s no one better than Pierre Herme. His newest book features tons of gorgeous photos of his iconic macarons, and recipes to get you going. Definitely any baker on your list will be thrilled to get this book.
Happy shopping! I’ll have a cookbook-centric roundup of my favorite baking books of the season next week, along with some holiday recipes!