Last year Doug Mathews, an All Recipes blogger, wrote that we should put more thanks back in Thanksgiving. We agree. Nan and I look to this holiday when family and
friends gather--many for the long weekend—as a way to create new bonds and memories. We jump-start for the busy December ahead with a Bake Friday group activity. Making cookies and breads together on Friday or through the weekend generates oodles of fun and
laughter. We make enough cookies so that everyone can divvy up some to take home. To ensure that the assembly-fashion event goes off without a hitch, we assemble all the ingredients and Tequipment needed ahead of time. What you don’t have, you can ask others
to bring with them. Here are 10 tools we love because they help make baking holiday cookies just that much easier.
1. Cookie sheets, at least 2 or 3. Shiny, durable pans without edges are best for even baking. A large classic (16x14 inch) aluminum pan by Nordic Ware, suggested
retail $12.50 (www.buynordicware.com), or a Regal Ware American Kitchen (12x15 inch) stainless steel cookie sheet,
suggested retail $18 @ biz.regalware.com will hold a dozen medium-sized cookies.
2. Silicone spatula: The joy of high-heat-resistant silicone is that it can be used for a variety of kitchen
tasks. Available in variety of sizes and shapes and whimsical designs. Williams Sonoma, $10 to $30 @
3. BeaterBlade: If you have a KitchenAid or Cuisinart stand mixer, replace your beater with this unique blade
that is made for all KitchenAid and Cuisinart models. The spatula-like edge on the beater helps scrape the bowl as it mixes. Retails for $25. Available at
4. Kuhn-Rikon Cookie and Cupcake Decorating Set: Five squeeze bottles, two tall and three small with 5 stainless
steel decorating tips plus frosting spatula are easy to fill and use to decorate all those holiday cookies. Dishwasher safe- upper level. Retails for $20 available at
5. Ice Cream Scoops, 2 or 3 sizes. For drop cookies, use a scoop that measures 1 tablespoon for speedily scooping
even-sized balls of dough onto cookie sheets. OXO ice cream and cookie scoops have ergonomic handles for easy squeezing. Retail for $20 each. Available at
6. Parchment Paper: Great nonstick solution for lining cookie sheets when baking delicate cookies, such as
lace cookies, or lining baking pans for cakes. Available in supermarkets. Reynolds parchment $3 to $4 a box.
7. CDN Touch Screen Timer and Clock (TSM2): Always good to have a a timer handy for keeping track of all the
cookie chilling and baking. The touch screen timer by CDN for those who embrace the touch screen technology counts 100 hours up or down. Retails for $15. Available at
8. Oxo Oven Thermometer: For perfectly browned cookies, be sure your oven temp is on target. A round glass
face on this thermometer lets light shine through for easy reading even in the back of the oven. It has large numbers with a non-slip silicone frame or ring for easy handling. It hangs or stands on the oven rack and is calibrated for both Fahrenheit and Celsius.
Retails for $15; available at oxo.com or
9. Microplane Classic Zester/Grater: For zesting citrus peel, grating fresh ginger or chocolate, this ultrasharp,
rasp-looking tool is the way to go. Retails for $13. Available at amazon.com
10. Cookie cutters: Wilton offers a large variety of shapes and sizes of cookie cutters. The comfort grip metal
cutters are ideal for young hands to help stamp out cookies in many of the iconic holiday shapes: snowflake, candy cane, gingerbread boy, star, snowman, tree to name some shapes. Retail for $3.20 each at
GADGETGALS HOLIDAY COOKIE FAVORITES WITH A TWIST
Cooking and kitchenware experts Nancy Byal and Jan Turner Hazard invite you to get in the holiday cookie baking spirit with
GadgetGals Holiday Cookie Cookbook. Their 20 clever new takes on favorite cookie recipes are easy to make and a joy to serve. Includes color photos of every recipe. To purchase for $4.95, simply download the e-book from
www.kitchegadgetgals.com and print out a copy instantly.