5 Top gifts for the baker in your life

storage

Storage

Even if your baker has all the right ingredients, they would be nothing without a place to store them! Storage for flour, sugar and spices doesn’t have to be boring either. Look for customizable containers, like ones with chalkboard or corkboard, so your baker can easily identify what he/she needs,  while still looking personalized.

serving tray

Serving trays and platters

Presentation is everything. A cake is more delicious on a beautiful serving tray, and cupcakes tastier when they’re arranged on the perfect platter, so make sure your baker has both! Whatever the baked goods, a classic serving tray will suit any occasion and will be a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. Look for time-tested colors, designs and materials so your baker can use these wares for many years to come.

timer

Timer

Any experienced baker or cook knows that keeping track of time while making three different things can be quite the task. Help your baker manage with a timer. Be it retro, classic or super-fancy, any timer will help your baker create their best work.

pastry set

Pastry set

Every baker knows that a good result starts with a good beginning. That’s why a pastry set, which normally includes a rolling pin and a rectangular working surface, is key. It will make the kneading, rolling and folding so much more enjoyable and will keep your baker happy!

Decorating tools

Every baker is also a perfectionist, so make their life a little easier by providing them with the right frosting and piping tools. It could be a simple frosting knife, an entire piping set or a revolving cake stand, but no matter what you choose, your baker will love using these tools to make their work even more beautiful.

More gift guides for cooks

Little gifts for big bakers
Top gadgets for the kitchen
Great cookbooks for chefs of all kinds

Decorating tools

Continue Reading

Great ovenware sets

stoneware set

Stoneware set

You can never go wrong with a classic, quality stoneware set. The best ones include pieces like a square baking dish, oval au gratin, rectangular casserole dish and mini cocottes. A set with an enamel glaze that’s chip-, scratch- and stain-resistant glaze can be used in the oven, broiler, microwave and freezer.

bakeware set

Bakeware set

From muffins to pies, breads to cookies, there’s nothing a complete bakeware set can’t handle. With a round cake pan, a cookie sheet, muffin pan, loaf pan and roasting pan, the baking possibilities are endless. Many sets on the market are made of FDA-approved nonstick carbon steel and can weather up to 450 degrees F in the oven.

cookie bakeware

Cookie bakeware set

For the cookie connoisseur, look for a cookie bakeware set complete with nonstick carbon steel cookie sheets, a cooling rack and a silicone baking mat. Commercial-grade pans come in handy for baking perfect cookies every time. Toss the set into the dishwasher for easy cleanup.

ceramic bakeware

Ceramic ovenware serving tray set

Live to serve? Consider a ceramic bakeware serving tray set that can go straight from the oven to the dinner table. Many of the baking dishes are nonporous and are safe in the oven, microwave, freezer, refrigerator and dishwasher.…

Continue Reading

Fun, educational puzzles for kids of all ages

Toddler: 1–3 years

puzzle

Chunky wooden puzzles

These simple, wooden puzzles come in themes ranging from farm animals to cars and trucks to basic shapes. The thick pieces are perfect for small hands and fit into matching spaces on fun, colorful boards. The pieces often are designed to stand upright for additional play. These fun games are perfect starter puzzles for toddlers.

puzzle

Progressive collage puzzles

Progressive puzzle sets include multiple puzzles with three, four, five and six pieces. When assembled, the puzzles form familiar objects such as fruits or veggies. As your toddler masters the three-piece puzzle she can move on to the more challenging four-piece and five-piece puzzles. The individual pieces are durable and large enough to be easily manipulated. Look for sets made with kid-safe materials such as vegetable-based inks or paints.

Preschooler: 4–6 years

puzzle

Cube puzzles

These fun and challenging puzzles are completed by arranging blocks to create recognizable images such as vehicles, sea animals, or pets. Each puzzle is six puzzles in one, with a different image for each side of the cubes.

game

Picture matching games

These games are excellent for vocabulary and beginner reading. By matching cards — one with an image of an object and a word, its mate with a scene containing the same object — kids learn to decipher words based on the associated pictures. With varying levels of difficulty, and whimsical pictures, picture matching games are fun and educational for beginners or more advanced players.

School-age: 6–13 years

puzzle

Classic jigsaw Puzzles

Once children have reached school age, they may be ready for more advanced interlocking puzzles with more pieces. Look for 50- or 60-piece puzzles that create pictures tuned to your child’s interests. Sports, fairy tales and cartoon characters are all popular themes.

puzzle

United States map puzzle

A fun way for kids to learn basic geography, map puzzles develop matching and fine motor skills, and, depending on the puzzle, can also develop vocabulary. Association is reinforced with pictures of popular landmarks or attributes for each state, such as the Golden Gate Bridge for California or a cowboy boot for Texas. For a more interactive experience, find a puzzle that will say aloud the names of the states and their capitals.…

Continue Reading

Hot gifts for the coffee addict on your list

Primula 1-liter carafe

Keep it hot

For those who nurse a cup of coffee all morning, keeping it perfectly warm is key. This classic Primula 1-liter carafe (Amazon, $20) will keep his pot of joe warm and ready for refills. This carafe pours easily with one hand and has a spill-proof top to keep messes to a minimum. Check your nearest Home Goods store for great coffee accessories.

20130618170826631 - Hot gifts for the coffee addict on your list

So tweet

Why not add a smile to her morning with a happy little coffee cup? The Threshold Early Bird mug (Target, $14/set of two) comes with a spoon that conveniently stores in the handle. Who says the early bird gets the worm? We say coffee is better. T.J.Maxx carries a wide selection of coffee mugs — from cute to classic — for everyone on your list.

Bonjour Hugo French coffee pres

So impressive

Serious coffee fans swear there is no better way to make a cup of coffee than with a French press. The Bonjour Hugo French coffee press (Kohl’s, $26) makes eight cups, is simple in design and easy to use. It features a silicone-rimmed press to prevent scratching of the carafe and a wide spout for easy pouring.

Gevalia French Vanilla ground coffee

Not the same old grind

Coffee lovers often have favorite blends — but they love trying something new. What about an amazing flavored coffee that will wake up his taste buds? Gevalia French Vanilla ground coffee (Amazon, $19/ three 8-ounce packages) has a wonderful aroma and the mild flavor of delicate vanilla. Check out your nearest Marshalls for a variety of flavored coffees.

cream and sugar servers

How do you take yours?

Does her perfect cup of coffee have a bit of cream and sugar? Even if your coffee addict prefers hers black, she will want to offer a choice when entertaining. These embossed cream and sugar servers (Crate & Barrel, $17) are styled like cartons for a fun look on her coffee table or buffet.

stacking mugs

Coffee for the crowd

One thing we know about coffee lovers — they tend to stick together. When the crowd comes to her house, they won’t be satisfied with wimpy portions. These stacking jumbo mugs (Cost Plus World Market, $18/set of six) are the perfect size for someone who really loves coffee — and doesn’t want to refill too often. Also available in red or chocolate brown.…

Continue Reading