Visit any cookware shop and you will see an amazing variety of pastry and cookie tools. Baking is perhaps the one area of cooking that spawns the most kitchen gadgets. Some of these kitchen gadgets are so useful you may wonder how you ever lived without them. Some, on the other hand, are redundant, unnecessary, and will gather dust in your pastry and cookie tools cabinet.
You should only buy the pastry and cookie tools you really need and will use. Make sure you buy the best quality pastry and cookie tools you can afford, and they will provide you with years of service. Well-made equipment tends to last longer, so you might even save money on your pastry and cookie tools in the long run by buying good quality equipment.
You will need a variety of pastry pans, pie pans, cake pans and cookie sheets to satisfy your baking needs. The size, shape and construction of the pan you use can make the difference between success and failure. When choosing which pans to add to your pastry and cookie tools, favor heavy aluminum or tin-plated steel.
Choose an assortment of different sizes of pastry pans and cookie sheets when assembling your collection of pastry and cookie tools. Depending on what you like to bake, you will want to have cake pans, loaf pans, muffin pans, pie pans, cookie sheets and jelly roll pans.
Utensils are an important part of any selection of pastry and cookie tools. A collection of inexpensive wooden spoons is ideal for mixing dough or batter. They will not scratch your bowls or nonstick cooking surfaces as the metal ones may do, and they are among the more economic pastry and cookie tools. Make sure you have a flat-ended spoon. You will need this to scrape the bottoms of pans.
Spatulas are the utensils of choice for removing hot cookies and biscuits from cookie sheets. Narrow spatulas are ideal utensils for loosening cakes and exports from pans, as well as spreading glazes and frosting. Rubber spatulas are a good choice for mixing batter and scraping bowls clean without damaging surfaces.
Lastly, you will want a selection of whisks in your pastry and cookie tools for mixing flight batters and sauces, beating egg whites, and whipping cream. The whisk is an inexpensive but essential utensil.
You will need to have a set of measuring cups for liquids and a set for dry ingredients as part of your collection of pastry and cookie tools. Transparent cups are easier to use as they enable you to see through the side to reasonably gauge and measure quantities. Buy dry measuring cups in sets, as you will need the whole range of sizes. Lastly, you will need measuring spoons for measuring small quantities of ingredients. You may want to have more than one set.
One gadget you will certainly need your pastry and cookie tools is a reliable timer. Do not 'count on your ability to watch the clock. Let a timer remind you and avoid turning your cookies and pastries into charred little cinders. You will also want to have a pair of kitchen scissors amongst your gadgets, as they're handy for trimming pie dough, cutting paper to line pans and snipping pieces of dried fruit.
Vegetable peelers and apple cores come in handy, especially if you're inclining toward baking pies or fruit tarts. As odd as it may seem to the inexperienced baker, a ruler is a gadget you'll need your pastry and pie tools. You will use it for measuring pan sizes and pastry shapes, but also as a straight edge when cutting pastries and dough.
A big, thick dough scraper is something you'll need, too. Get the widest one you can, you'll use it to cut, lift and turn sticky dough and scrape work surfaces clean. Of course you'll also need cookie cutters. Let your imagination run wild. A pastry bag is an essential gadget; you will want one with an assortment of decorating tubes. In addition to decorating, you will use it to pipe meringue mixture and fillings into pastries. Lastly, you'll need cooling racks for the last step before your cookies and pastries are ready to eat.