A lot of baking equipment and references cost a bundle that you often end up not knowing what to give your baker friend that’s the “right” gift with the right balance of glam and usefulness, of course, at the right price. Here are a few suggestions on how to dazzle your friend without hurting your wallet (and maybe get a cake, too, courtesy of your present).
An all-in-one cookie press, pastry press and cake decorator may be the perfect gift. It’s an all-around essential for bakers, whether they’re putting the topping on their petit fours or icing cakes or making meringues and piped biscuits. These usually come as sets that include different decorative tips for piping out shells or intricate ribbons or stars. Williams Sonoma offers an excellent stainless steel set that doubles as a pastry press. It’s more durable and more practical for the home baker than the conventional cheesecloth pastry bags that professional bakers use. It’s sure to make the holiday cookie making ritual much easier with tons more fun and creative possibilities. The Williams Sonoma set is $29. A set of cookie cutters is of course, also a gift-giving staple, but if you want a more creative and memorable present, read on.
Copper molds have all the glam appeal you’ll ever want for a present. These are typically made in Europe and come in different shapes like hearts and oblongs with intricately designed bottoms that serve as fancy molds. They’re oven safe and they’re perfect for molding chocolate, bread, puddings, and gelatin! That aside, they also make for classic kitchen décor when hung on the walls. My favorites are the Copper Fleur-de-Lis Mold and the Birth Gramm Heart Copper Mold, both run at $29.95 at Sur La Table. If you have some extra cash to spare, you can creatively package your gift with some fresh Italian biscotti or Swiss chocolates and you have an elegant offering that’s sure to get some wild raves.
Serving pieces are as vital to the baker for increasing the visual appeal of food, and stands make perfect presents. Wilton’s Cupcakes ‘N’ More Dessert Stand that makes for a grand presentation. It’s a twisted steel frame, tiered and ready to hold up to 23 cupcakes in festive holiday cheer. At $29.95, it’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser and an invaluable addition to the baker’s arsenal. If your loved one isn’t into cupcakes, you might want to get a Steel Pie Stand instead. Sur La Table offers my favorite piece, a sturdy 3-tier stand that makes for a stunning presentation of up to three gigantic holiday pies ($29.95). For those who are looking for more festive, modernistic tableware, Chiasso offers two whimsical designs in its pop cake plate line. Dish the conventional glass cake pedestals and choose from a vertigo kaleidoscope design or oversized polka dots for that swinging, retro feel. Each elevated cake plate costs $28 and is sure to be a unique, lasting gift that adds even more festive holiday cheer.
A fondue set makes for a very satisfying and visually appealing dessert service that baking enthusiasts are sure to love. Crate and Barrel offers the Dessert Fondue set that includes a porcelain fondue bowl and four stainless fondue forks at an unbeatable $12.95. This means there’s more room for goodies, and rightly so! Throw in some good quality Dark Belgian Chocolate Fondue ($9.95 at Crate and Barrel) or your loved one’s favorite chocolates to complete the party! Another elegant gift solution at an astonishing $22.90!
Give the gift of chocolate and you’re sure to bring a smile to any baker. Throw in a good measure of Valrhona or Callebaut couverture chocolates, dark or extra dark-depending on your loved one’s preference-and watch the baker turn them into stunning chocolate creations. You can give any kinds of chocolate for baking of course, but these are the two brands preferred by more classical bakers, French bakers especially. When you go shopping for chocolates, make sure you know the preference of the person you’re giving them to, or you’re in for a dizzying experience. There are many types of chocolates, all varying in cocoa content. If you’re not sure what to give, a combination of different dark chocolate varieties would do the trick, and $30 is a lot of good chocolate! With chocolate, you can never go wrong.
There are bundles more gift options for bakers, especially if you have an unlimited budget. You can choose to give kitchen equipment like torches, or fancier cake platters and serving trays. There are also baking and cake decorating books, of course, but that would highly depend on the personal preference of your loved one. These are some of the best gift ideas that would be applicable for a wide range of bakers, and they’re sure to add some sparkle to their holiday culinary adventures.