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Gift Ideas: Tools For The Dedicated Baker

Dec 10, 2009 (All Things Considered)

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In time for the holidays, cookbook author Dorie Greenspan offers ideas for what to get the people on your list who love to spend time making pies, cookies, souffles and more.

To start, the author of Baking: From My Home To Yours says one of her favorite tools is a rolling pin made of nylon that looks like a light saber. It's "perfectly smooth," Greenspan tells NPR's Michele Norris.

For cookie dough that doesn't need rolling, Greenspan suggests a cookie scoop.

"You can use this for just about any cookie dough," she says. "It means that you scoop and drop, and all of your cookies are the same size. It's not a question of being perfect — it's a question of having them bake perfectly because they'll all be the same size."

Norris suggests another spoon — one Greenspan says she loves — that has a long handle and a fine mesh base. It's used, for example, to sprinkle powdered sugar on cupcakes or individual squares of gingerbread.

The next suggestion is the BeaterBlade Plus, a paddle that attaches to a mixer. Silicon wings on the edge of the paddle sweep the edge of the bowl as you're beating, Greenspan says. "So you end up not stopping the mixing as often to scrape down."

Norris has a few more suggestions to add, as well. She says one of her favorite things is a spoon clip that can be affixed to a bowl or a pan while making sauce or soup on the stove. And she is also "fanatical" about her jade-green Fire-King glass bowl with a handle and a spout — in part, she says, because she remembers her mother using a similar bowl when she was 4 or 5 years old.

Finally, Greenspan suggests a cake plate. The one she loves is a raised platter that stands on legs shaped like old-fashioned, button-up shoes.

"It's a whimsical thing," she says. "But ... nothing makes your sweet look better than to lift it up off the counter and give it a nice little home."

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