Here are eleven gift ideas for new bakers to help you find that perfect something special for the new baker in your life.
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My first year out on my own I lived 2,000 miles away from my family and to ease the homesickness I used to bake-first recipes that I knew and then soon I would seek new and different things to bake. It’s how I learned that bread really does need that second rise and that my soft sour cream cookies need a little bit of time to chill out in the fridge before baking.
Maybe you know someone just out on their own for the first time or someone who might like to dip their toes into some baking adventures, particularly with all the extra time inside we’ll have this winter. This is the gift guide for them.
Alton is funny and scientific. You’ll learn the how and the why. I’ve had this book for years and I still reference it. It’s easy to read and has plenty of explanations and room for note taking.
A beast of a book, but the people at King Arthur know what they’re talking about. Especially good for beginner bakers.
Really, the best recipes when you’re just starting out are those that are tried and true. So get your new baker a recipe book and fill it with your “no one can mess this up” brownie recipe or your “gotta bring this to every holiday” pie. My grandma did this for me a looong time ago and now she’s gone but I have the opportunity to remember her and see her handwriting every time I make her cherry dessert.
Tools of the Trade:
I think having a good jelly roll style cookie sheet is one of the best ways to get started as a baker. You can use it to make cookies, cakes, bar cookies and brownies. It’s kind of the jack of all trades pan. What to look for in a cookie sheet? Heavy, smooth bottom and rimmed sides. The heavier pan will help keep your cookies from burning.
A good mixer. It doesn’t have to be fancy (although by all means-if you have the budget to gift one of these-your recipient won’t be sad) it just has to mix. I didn’t have a stand mixer until I was an adult and I made many batches of cookies with a sturdy hand mixer (just don’t take it out of the bowl when it’s running…).
A set of mixing bowls. Preferably glass and preferably with lids. Why? Glass can be put in the microwave, it can be put in the dishwasher and it looks pretty to serve your food. And the lids make it so you can whip up a batch of cookie dough, stick a lid on it, and chill it in the fridge without dirtying a bunch of dishes or using plastic wrap.
A set of measuring cups and measuring spoons. Preferably metal. Why? They’ll last forever and the measurements are stamped on so they won’t get rubbed away in the dishwasher. My mom has the same set from when she got married over 40 years ago. In particular I like this set because the measuring spoons are elongated. I have a set and they fit into pretty much every spice jar I have, which is nicer than trying to pour the spice out.
A rubber spatula that is all one piece. I have had SO MANY SPATULAS fall apart when I’m stirring. I hate that. These are also heat resistant, which is nice when you’re cooking on the stove.
Maybe I’m just particularly inept, but I stink at using pot holders and oven mitts. I’m on team Ove Glove all the way, but these seem like an even better iteration. Because nobody will keep baking if they keep burning themselves.
Just for Fun:
A fun kitchen timer. Yeah, I know, we all have timers on our phones, but a cute and fun kitchen timer doubles as decoration and maybe ensures that you’ll use it.