Essential Tools for Holiday Cooking and Baking

Prepare for the mad rush of holiday baking and cooking by stocking up on these must-have kitchen tools.

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Cake Decorating Tips and Bags

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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 Wilton.com for a variety of decorating kits, $8-$33.


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Baking Sheets

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


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Gravy Strainer

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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.


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Pie Dishes

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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.


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Nonstick Silpat Mats

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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 Amazon.com, $15-$20.

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