Today, Jenny -- this week's guest editor! -- is sharing her 5 essential baking tools, with plenty of bonus tidbits to go around. You'll want these to make all the recipes in her new book, Treat Yourself: 70 Classic Snacks You Loved as a Kid (and Still Love Today). Stock up, then go preheat your oven.
I don’t care what any recipe orders for baking -- greased sheets, ungreased sheets, flour-powdered pan, or whatnot -- I bake all things in pans lined with this incredibly versatile paper which almost always ensures an easy turn-out of your goods. Buy it in bulk sheets online or from your favorite cookshop rather than by the roll, which is hard to work with.
BONUS: You can reuse the sheets you have baked with as packing paper for cookies to be mailed or frozen.
More: Master working with parchment paper.
This may seem to be a tool that only those who frost cakes would need, but I can tell you that it is awesome for cutting dough as well, especially with the measurement marks along its side that guide you to your desired thickness. You can even scrape surfaces with it as well.
BONUS: It is a perfect object with which to threaten grown men who come trying to snag uncooled cookies.
BONUS: There is some anecdotal evidence that peppermint oil works to repel mosquitos.
More: Add peppermint oil to these Chocolate Fantasy Brownie Bites.
Yes, I love my KitchenAid only slightly less than my children, but there are certain jobs that a hand mixer simply performs better, especially whipping small amounts of egg whites, which tend to gather in the bottom of that big KitchenAid bowl.
BONUS: It's easier to clean.
Heavy-duty baking sheets
I have a zillion baking sheets, ranging from the kind you get at the grocery store to restaurant-quality big guys available in cooking stores, and the latter make a difference. You can put more cookies on them, which saves time, and they tend to prevent burning, unless you are the sort who leaves your ginger snaps in the oven and then goes and sits in front of a marathon of “Scandal” until you smell something scorching and then blame your oven timer, in which case I can’t help you.
BONUS: You can also use them to bake fish.
Tell us: What are your essential baking tools?