Gift Ideas: Tools For The Dedicated Baker Dorie Greenspan, the author of Baking: From My Home To Yours, suggests — among other things — a rolling pin made of nylon, cookie scoops and a cake plate for your favorite baker to show off sweet creations.
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Gift Ideas: Tools For The Dedicated Baker

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Gift Ideas: Tools For The Dedicated Baker

Gift Ideas: Tools For The Dedicated Baker

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This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.


And I'm Michele Norris.

With just 15 days till Christmas, many of you may be in retail agony. You just can't think of what to get that special someone. Well, if that someone likes to cook, Dorie Greenspan can help.

Ms. DORIE GREENSPAN (Author, "Baking: From My Home to Yours"): This is my favorite rolling pin. It's perfectly smooth and made of nylon.

NORRIS: Actually, it looks like a light saber or something from "Star Wars," and it's a wonder she got it through airport security, but Dorie is persuasive. She's the author of "Baking: From My Home to Yours." And every year, she comes to my house for our holiday baking segment. This year, she brought tools.

(Soundbite of music)

NORRIS: And before we knew it, we were doing a tit-for-tat show and tell, starting with Dorie's favorite cookie scoops.

Ms. GREENSPAN: You can use this for just about any cookie dough, great for chocolate chip cookies, and it means that you just scoop and drop and all your cookies are the same size. And 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. These are great cookie scoops.

NORRIS: One of the things that I love, it's a little - I'm trying to think�

Ms. GREENSPAN: It's adorable.

NORRIS: It looks like a little spoon that you might find in a Chinese restaurant or something, but�

Ms. GREENSPAN: That's right. It's got that arch.

NORRIS: It has that sort of long, ladle-like look to it, but instead of a solid base, it has a fine mesh base. And you can use that to sprinkle powdered sugar on top of cupcakes, sort of you do, like(ph), individual squares of gingerbread or�

Ms. GREENSPAN: Right, or even cookies. It's just the right size. I love this.

NORRIS: Perfect for that.

Ms. GREENSPAN: Fill it with sugar and just give it a tap, tap. That's cool. Okay, well, this is - have you seen this yet?

NORRIS: It looks like a paddle that you would put in a mixer, yes?

Ms. GREENSPAN: Exactly. It's called BeaterBlade Plus. The company makes these for all kinds of mixers. I have a KitchenAid. So this fits my KitchenAid mixer, but see, it has these little silicon wings on the edge of the paddle, and so it wipes the edges of the bowl as you're beating. So it just - the silicon just extends the paddle just enough so that it sweeps the side of the bowl and cleans as it goes.

NORRIS: So it gets every last bit of the batter or the dough.

Ms. GREENSPAN: Right, so that you end up - that's right, you end up not stopping the mixing as often to scrape down because the BeaterBlade does it. I think it's very cool.

NORRIS: Well, speaking of stopping now, this is my next item. It is a spoon clip, and because it has the silicon in both the edging and the handle, you can clip it to a bowl if you're mixing up batter, but what I love about it is if you're making sauce or soup on the stove, you can just affix it right to the side of the pan.

Ms. GREENSPAN: Oh, that's cool.

NORRIS: One of my favorite things.

Ms. GREENSPAN: That's cool. Okay - well, this is one of my all-time favorite things, this cake plate. I love this plate. This one is a raised platter standing on a pair of shoes. It's so�

NORRIS: And not just any shoes. It's very kicky. They're�

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms. GREENSPAN: They're kind of high-buttoned and bowed shoes. It's really - it's such a whimsical thing. But a cake plate really - you know, even for plain chocolate chip cookies, nothing makes your sweet look better than to just lift it up off the counter and give it a nice little home.

NORRIS: Well, my last thing, Dorie, is a jade-green Fire-King Pyrex bowl with a handle and a spout.

Ms. GREENSPAN: I grew up with that.

NORRIS: Well, I realized I grew up with it also. When I found this, it was a close-out item at a store, and I just have this unexplained attachment. And recently, I was looking at home movies. It must have been my fourth or fifth birthday. I was very young. My mother had made a cake from scratch, and there on the table, I could see the exact same bowl. So this must be like my Rosebud or something like that.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms. GREENSPAN: Your greenbud(ph).

NORRIS: You know, I didn't realize why it spoke to me when I saw it and why I'm so fanatical about it, but now I understand.

Ms. GREENSPAN: Oh, it's just - it's the shape of it is so beautiful. And that is - that is what I grew up with.

NORRIS: Dorie, I don't think I've ever had so much fun with show and tell. It's show and tell and shop.

Ms. GREENSPAN: There we go.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms. GREENSPAN: Three great things all in one.

NORRIS: Dorie Greenspan is the author of "Baking: From My Home to Yours." She'll be back in the kitchen with me in a couple of weeks as we bake Gateau Basque. That's a cake from the Pays Basque region of France.

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