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Essential Tools for Holiday Cooking and Baking

  • Michael Kraus

    Cake Decorating Tips and Bags

    To finish cookies, cakes, or bite-size treats with flair, invest in cake decorating tips and bags. Start with a basic kit, such as a 25-piece set that comes with tips, disposable bags, icing colors, and couplers. Check out for a variety of decorating kits, $8-$33.

  • Michael Kraus

    Baking Sheets

    Heavy-duty cookie sheets from Anolon ensure even heat and a sturdy flat surface for perfect cookies every time. Available at department stores, $17.

  • Michael Kraus

    Gravy Strainer

    When straining stock for soups or gravy, this handy fat separator from Cuisipro will leave you all the flavor while removing the layer of fat on top. Available at Bed Bath & Beyond, $15.

  • Michael Kraus

    Pie Dishes

    Ceramic pie dishes from Emile Henry come in a multitude of colors that stay beautiful as they travel from freezer to oven to table. Available at Sur la Table or Williams-Sonoma, 9 inches, $40-$44.

  • Michael Kraus

    Nonstick Silpat Mats

    Nonstick Silpat baking mats are woven baking sheets coated with silicone. They can withstand oven temperatures up to 482 degrees F., and baked goodies slide off mats with ease. Available at Sur la Table or visit, $15-$20.

    Originally published in the November 1, 2008, issue of Family Circle magazine.