Oh how I love shopping for Foodies! Happy Tuesday TKW Family! On this week’s edition of Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer, I’m going to be sharing with you what I deem the baking ingredient essentials every foodie needs. Today we’re focusing on the essential ingredients to make their holiday baking a breeze and DELICIOUS. So while you’re making out that list for your favorite foodie, let TKW’s Holiday Foodie Gift Guide: The Cooking Essentials help you out and stop you from racking your brain on what to get them.
So far I’ve already shared with you my Holiday Cooking Essentials and my Holiday Baking Essentials which, if you’re shopping for a foodie, you’re welcome *wink* Often I get asked “TKW, what do YOU use? What ingredients do you love and what is really the best stuff out there?” Well here ya go! I’ve put together a Top 10 list of baking ingredients must halves!
This edition today is all about baking ingredient essentials – extracts, cocoa, chocolate, gels, sprinkles and so forth. These are items that I use day in and day out and LOVE! Yes these items do lead to Amazon where it’s an affiliate link (the small commission I make off of that helps fund TKW so thank you for your purchases!). For those of you that know me, you know how incredibly critical I am about the items I use. If I don’t use them, I don’t promote them.. period! And while some of these items may be out of your budget I will list some alternatives that I have used and do love.
As you can see in my world the following are the basic ingredient essentials every foodie needs:
- Quality Baking Cocoa – trust me on this one. When it comes to adding cocoa powder to a recipe, you really want one that is of high quality. It’ll make a world of difference to your baked good.
- Vital Wheat Gluten – well okay, if you’re gluten intolerant you can skip this but for the best sweet rolls, cinnamon buns and Christmas breads, this stuff is a must in my recipes.
- Sanding Sugar – did you ever wonder how bakeries get their cookies and muffins with that sugary crust that just sparkles like diamonds? Or ever wanted to make your own colored sugar? This is what you need!
- Chocolate Extract – buy them 2 bottles of this. Period. Just get it.
- HIGH QUALITY CHOCOLATE – seriously, when you bite into a cookie that is made with high quality chocolate you’ll fall in love.
- Colored Gel Paste – this is pinnacle for coloring icings, making your own colored sugars and decorating… anything.
- Vanilla Bean Paste – I use this more often in my recipes than traditional extract. It’s thick and has a more vanilla-y taste.
- REAL vanilla extract – seriously never imitation..EVER
- Sprinkles – Okay really, do I even need to elaborate why?
- Coconut Oil – Baking (and cooking) with coconut oil is awesome as it’s light in flavor and leaves the baked goods super moist!
So let’s start shopping!
- Rodelle Gourmet Baking Cocoa – I love this stuff! It’s rich and adds amazing flavors to hot cocoa, fudgy brownies, cakes, cookies and frostings.
- Vital Wheat Gluten – if you want that chewiness factor in pizza crusts, breads that just have that little pull or that high rise. Add about one tablespoon per cup flour in your bread recipe and improve texture and elasticity and help your bread rise.
- White Sanding Sugar – this stuff is the key to getting that ‘diamond’ luster on the tops of your cakes, muffins, cookies and even to make your own colored sugars.
- Chocolate Extract – Why would you put vanilla extract in a chocolate cookie when you can add actual chocolate extract? Amplify the chocolate flavor with this amazing stuff!
- Quality baking chocolate – yes I am a SNOB when it comes to my baking chocolate. I have two loves when it comes to baking with chocolate. Iabsolutely LOVE Scharffen Berger chocolates and Ghiradelli chocolates.
- AmeriColor Gel Pastes – I am not a fan of the liquid food coloring stuff. I find the liquid stuff to leak and I could never get the right color I wanted. This stuff is key to coloring your own sugars and even tinting your own chocolates!
- Vanilla Bean Paste – I have been using this for eons. I love its thick consistency as it’s similar to molasses. This paste enables you to add more delicious vanilla flavor without thinning out your batters or sauces. It has flecks of vanilla all through it and the flavor is incredible!
- Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract – Pure vanilla extract, never imitation stuff. Ever. Madagascar Bourbon is my all time favorite vanilla extract as it has such a rich depth of vanilla flavor!
- Sprinkles – yes, the world needs more sprinkles!
- Extra Virgin Coconut Oil – ever since coconut oil went viral on the baking and cooking scene it’s become a must-have in the home.