Last Minute Holiday Gifts For The Chef In Your Life
Buying gifts for someone who likes to cook? Rest easy - you have plenty of gift options that most-any "foodie" would love. As someone who likes to cook, allow me to suggest a few items that range in price from the "dollar-or-two" stocking-stuffer-status to a Kitchen Aid stand-mixer - which would be a good gift if you have an extra couple hundred dollars in your wallet.
In no particular order:
- Half Sheet Pans: The ultimate multi-tasker for any cook, half-sheet pans can be had for $5 or so a piece and are such a good gift, you might want to pick up four or five of them at a time. Half-sheet pans are what the pros use to bake cookies, cakes, and bars because they don't warp in the heat of your oven, They're also good for "staging" other cooking processes or as a roasting pan for vegetables or meats.
- Silpats / or silicone baking sheets: These are a good pair for those half-sheet pans. Silpats (a brand name made by the Demarle company) are like reusable parchment paper. Nothing sticks to them, which means your cookies will slide off the pan when they're done. Silicone baking sheets are also a must for candy-making. You can find the name-brand Silpat sheets in stores for around $30 a piece - or - look for generic silicone baking sheets for less.
- Cookie scoops: They look like ice cream scoops - but are available in much smaller sizes, which makes them perfect for scooping and forming your cookies. (Think: no more hand-forming your dough). Most cost around $5-$10 and are available at cooking stores.
- Batter bowls: Available in 2-quart, 4-quart, and 8-quart sizes, batter bowls are a must for any baker. Think glass bowl with measurements on the side, a handle, lip, and cover. Use your batter bowl to mix cookie dough, bread dough, or other batters. I would suggest the 4-quart for most standard use, but the 2-quart comes in handy for dips.
- Silicone baking forms: Much like the baking sheets, nothing sticks to these. The silicone loaf pans are well-worth the price. They also come in muffin shapes.
- Silicone spatulas: Once upon a day, all so-called "rubber spatulas" were made of - well, rubber. While rubber was flexible (a plus) it also melted in heat (not so good). A good silicone spatula or two will hold up to the heat of your frying pan and live to cook another day. Speaking as a "foodie", you can never have enough silicone spatulas. (My drawer has at least ten and counting)
- Measuring cups/spoons: Again, you can never have enough of these in your drawer. (Who wants to stop your cooking to wash your measuring utensil so that you can use it again for something else?) While I see plenty of plastic spoons and cups out there, I like the metal ones - as I think they're better quality and produce more-consistent measurements.
- Storage containers: I'm talking professional-quality ones like what you would find in a restaurant. They hold up better than those disposable ones you find in the store and they're most come with built-in handles, measurements on the side wall, and covers that won't come off. Plus, they're usually square-shaped which allows for a better use of space in your refrigerator or pantry - as opposed to round containers.
Still stuck? Like I mentioned in one of the items above - you can never have enough of a kitchen item. Who wouldn't want an extra spatula or measuring cup or batter bowl?