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Kitchen & Cooking

10 must-have kitchen items if you love baking

Time to whip out grandma's chocolate chip cookie recipe

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Admit it, we've all thought about quitting our jobs and running away to Paris to open up a bakery. While that sounds ideal, if everyone did it, there would be far, far too many gorgeous pastries gone to waste in the City of Lights. Place that dream on hold and focus on being a pro right in your own home. This means saying goodbye to bargain aisle baking tools and hello to what the professionals use.

To produce quality baked goods, you need to work with quality items. Gone are the days of Easy Bake Ovens, now we're working with top notch appliances and enough gizmo and gadget options to make your head spin. To create the perfect dessert that leaves you with that "oh my god this chocolate cake is heaven" feeling, here are the tools you need in your kitchen.

1. The ideal surface for your cookies

Our favorite cookie sheet to have in your kitchen.
Credit: Signature Tastes/Amazon

You'll be a hit at the next bake sale with your perfectly golden brown chocolate chip cookies.

This might seem like an obvious tool to have in your kitchen, but it’s all about having the proper baking sheet. If you want a quality cookie, you need to bake it on a quality surface. Our favorite baking sheet to work with is the AirBake nonstick cookie sheet, which is designed to make sure the bottoms of your recipes are perfectly crispy and avoid being scorched. With this mouth watering chocolate chip cookie recipe from Signature Taste, you’ll be sure to have folks flocking to your kitchen the second you open your oven.

Get the Airbake Nonstick Cookie Sheet for $17.09

2. A hand mixer to make everything as light and fluffy as possible

The best hand mixer for your kitchen.
Credit: Sallys Baking Addiction/Amazon

Don't worry, we won't judge you if you lick the frosting right off of our favorite hand mixer.

Let’s be honest, you’re a baking pro and the thought of frosting coming out of a can horrifies you. This is why you need the best hand mixer for your kitchen, so you can keep whipping up homemade icing that tastes way better than Betty Crocker’s. Plus, once the cake is frosted with this recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction, you’ll have enough remnants leftover to lick the bowl. Talk about a sweet deal.

Get the Cuisinart Power Advantage Plus for $70.98

3. A dish that you can use for literally any meal

The best dutch oven to have in your kitchen.
Credit: Eat It and Say Yum/Amazon

From soups to casseroles to desserts, is there anything you CAN'T make in a dutch oven?

When most people think of dutch ovens, they immediately think of thick stews and hearty casseroles. Savory, not sweet. However, your perfect dutch oven is not a one trick pony. It can be turned into the classy, adult version of an Easy Bake Oven if you have the proper ingredients. With this recipe from Eat It and Say Yum, you can have a hot apple crisp on the table in less time than it takes to run to the store and buy your own.

Get the Staub Round Cocotte Oven for $324.95

4. A scoop that gets the perfect amount of dough every time

This cookie scoop is the secret to making perfectly identical cookies.
Credit: Sally's Baking Addiction/Amazon

The best kept secret to having perfectly sized cookies—a cookie scoop!

The secret to perfect cookies in every batch? Making them the same size. Instead of dolloping out scoops with a spoon and eye balling the size (as batter sticks to everything in sight), invest in a cookie scoop. The uniform size of the batter will make for a more even bake, giving you more confidence to finally start that baking blog you’ve always dreamed of. (But if a blog is too much work, just check out this monster cookie recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction)

Get the Solula stainless steel medium cookie scoop for $13.75

5. A pie dish that will automatically win you a blue ribbon

The best pie dish to have in your kitchen.
Credit: Something Swanky/Amazon

Our favorite pie dish is perfect for all flavors, from crispy apple to decadent chocolate cream.

Much like a cookie sheet, when it comes to pies you need to have the proper tools. Grabbing a pie dish off your local grocery store shelf just won’t do it, so investing a few more dollars will really pay off. Our favorite pie dishes are deep enough to hold plenty of filling and made with edges to support that perfect, flaky crust you’re looking for. With this recipe for chocolate cream pie from Something Swanky, you’ll be sending your thanks that every last drop of chocolatey goodness makes it inside your pie dish (but don’t forget to sneak a few bites off the top when no one is looking).

Get the Emile Henry pie dish for $29.99

6. A kitchen countertop staple

The best stand mixer for your kitchen.
Credit: Creations by Kara/Amazon

The KitchenAid stand mixer is a countertop classic.

Would it even count as an article about kitchen gadgets if we didn’t include a KitchenAid stand mixer? These babies are iconic for a reason—they’re durable, multi functional, and look absolutely timeless sitting on your countertop. Plus, the attachments they come with means you can basically cook any recipe you could ever dream of. Seriously. They have an ICE CREAM maker attachment. Weeknight dessert will never be the same, especially with these strawberry cheesecake rolls from Creations by Kara.

Get the KitchenAid Stand Mixer for $273.01

7. The proper measuring tools

The best measuring cups for your kitchen.
Credit: She Well/Amazon

These measuring cups will make sure you're baking with scientific precision.

We all know, cooking is an art form but baking is a science. One wrong measurement and your soufflé can go from fabulous to flat in a matter of moments. With that being said, any baker knows that having the proper measuring tools are a must have. Our favorite measuring cups and spoons make sure you have an easy, accurate read. Any dessert you make will be an instant crowd pleaser, especially these chocolate glazed donuts from She Well.

Get the Bellemain stainless steel measuring cup set for $18.95

8. A place for your desserts to chill out

Let your desserts cool off on this top rated cooling rack.
Credit: Cooking Classy/Amazon

The worst part about baking? Burning your tongue on treats hot out of the oven—let them cool on this rack first.

How can something so basic be missing from so many people’s kitchens? If you’re baking big batches of treats, these are a must have. Use them to cool down your baked goods or as drying racks for cookies dipped in melting icing. That way, you won’t have any unnecessary sugar stuck to the plate. The best part about these? They’re lightweight and incredibly thin, making it easy to store underneath the stove and pile high with cookie dough bites from Cooking Classy.

Get the Ultra cuisine stainless steel cooling rack for $20.98

9. Mixing bowls that can really take a beating

The best mixing bowls for your kitchen.
Credit: Life Made Simple/Amazon

You can whip up practically anything in these mixing bowls, but priority #1 should always be brownies.

Take it from someone who used to solely use mixing bowls purchased from the dollar store, strong, sturdy bowls are key to a great recipe. You don’t want to be aggressively mixing batter together only have have your bowl crack in half. With this better than boxed brownies recipe from Life Made Simple, your mixing bowls will be put to the test. If they can’t stand the heat, well, they better get out of the kitchen.

Get the Cuisinart stainless steel mixing bowls for $25.99

10. A healthier option to the deep frier

The best air fryer for your kitchen.
Credit: Dana Vento/Amazon

Skip the deep frier at the carnival and make healthier treats at home instead!

I’ll be the first to admit it, deep fried things sound gross but always taste strangely amazing. If you’re craving that fresh from the carnival deep fryer taste, but don’t have a fairgrounds near you, you can always head for your countertop. With our favorite air fryer, you can still get your fix for tasty treats, but with half the calories. This air fried Oreo recipe from Dana Vento is the perfect example of having your cake and eating it too.

Get the Phillips Airfryer XXL for $299.95

Here's how to make fried oreos in an air fryer!