Studio 5 Party, Holiday and Ideas Contributor Alisa Bangerter shares her top ten favorite decorations and tools for holiday baking.
Silpat Baking Mat
I love this baking mat! It is one of my favorite and essential items to use out when baking. Nothing sticks to it and it eliminates the need for greasing a baking sheet or using parchment paper. It is perfect to use for baking cookies, biscuits, puff pastry, etc. and works great as a nonstick surface for pouring hard or sticky candy onto. Silpat Mats come in several sizes. Available at most stores that sell kitchen items or at www.surlatable.com
Flour Duster Wand
This is a unique kitchen gadget that easily and evenly dusts your surface with flour for rolling out cookies or dough. To use, simply squeeze the handle and dip in the flour to trap and then gently squeeze and wave over area to dust with flour. Another use is for dusting powdered sugar or cocoa. I purchased my flour duster wand for $4.99 from an Amazon store through www.superiorkitchengadgets.com Another option would be to “Google” flour dusting wands to access many links to purchase this item.
Rolling Pin Rings
Rolling Pin Rings are rubber type bands in various widths that slip on the ends (barrel) of a rolling pin to roll cookie dough to the exact thickness desired. These allow cookies to be even and uniform, helping to ensure even browning. (These are also great when rolling out pie dough, pastry dough or biscuits.) Rolling Pin Rings are available in several brands and at many stores that sell kitchen items including www.kitchenkrafts.com
3-D Cookie Cutters
These are very cool Cookies Cubed 3-D cookie cutters that when put together after baking, stand up and are three dimensional. Cookies can be plain or elaborately decorated. The assembled cookies would make a nice centerpiece, gift or favor. My favorites for Christmas are the reindeer, sleigh and Christmas tree. Available from Fancy Flours: www.fancyflours.com
Wafer Paper is one of my very most favorite items for decorating cookies. (Wafer Paper is an edible starch based – sugar free paper made of potato starch, water and vegetable oil. It has been printed with food safe ink.) Wafer Paper comes in many images including patterns. Perfect for decorating cookies that could be used as gifts for friends, neighbors or co-workers or for party favors. Some of my favorite images are the set of Christmas vintage postcards or the complete nativity. Many choices available from Fancy Flours: www.fancyflours.com
Message in a Cookie – Holiday Cookie Cutters
These cookie cutters are a new product from Williams-Sonoma. They come three to a set (gingerbread man, ornament, snowflake) and come with insertable letters and words to create personalized messages on each cookie. The message actually imprints itself into dough before baking. Very fun and unique. Cost is $19.99 and available at Williams -Sonoma retail stores or at www.williams-sonoma.com These would make a nice gift for someone who loves to bake.
Cookie Cutter Texture Set
This is a unique Autumn Carpenter cookie cutter set that comes with 5 snowflakes of varying sizes. Included with the set are two texture mats with 10 embossed images that coordinate in size with the cutters. Simply press the texture mats into fondant or buttercream icing to give a raised or recessed impression. Decorate impression with food markers, luster dust, icing, etc. if desired. Available at specialty stores including Orson Gygi. To find purchasing information go to www.autumncarpenter.com
Luster Dust (Sparkle Dust, Petal Dust) is an edible shimmery powder that can be brushed onto baked items or icing. Adhere with a food safe brush or mix with extract before applying. Comes in many colors and is available at baking supply stores such as Orson Gygi or online at places such as www.sugarcraft.com or www.fancyflours.com
Wilton also has a similar product now available called Pearl Dust which is readily available at stores who carry Wilton products or online at www.wilton.com
Edible Sugar Pearls
Sugar Pearls are tiny candy balls that shine and look like pearls. They come in several sizes and colors and are completely edible (unlike metallic dragees). Sugar Pearls are perfect to embellish holiday cookies. Available at www.fancyflours.com or www.wilton.com or at stores that sell cake decorating/baking supplies.
These tweezers are great for adding tiny candies to cookies. They have a tiny cupped rubber tip perfect for picking up sugar pearls or dragee embellishments. These tweezers make placing tiny decorations much easier than using your fingers. Available at www.kitchenkrafts.com
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