Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tools of the Cookie Princess: Weights and Measures


Yes, I use all of the toys tools pictured above.

Baking is fun and yes in theory anyone can do it and the basic supplies will get you through a standard chocolate chip cookie recipe.  But if you're serious and challenge yourself to make the perfect treat every time, then you probably are like me and have seemingly duplicate tools.  Why do I have so many measuring devices?  Well, because I bake a lot!



OXO Good Grips Kitchen Scale

First up, my scale.  Dave and I got this for healthy eating to make sure we were eating the right sized portions (see above where I say I bake a lot--hence the need to eat healthfully the rest of the time).  Then I started using it for baking and really started to understand the difference between volume and weight measurements, especially for ingredients like flour.  Whole wheat flour and all purpose flour have a different mass to them, and that can result in a different finished product.  So a cup of whole wheat flour might weight 6 ounces, but a cup of all purpose flour might weight 4.5 ounces.  Who knows what I'm going to end up with if I use one over the other.  But if I measure out 5 ounces of flour, I'll more apt to know what I'm getting into.

We looked for a scale that measures in both ounces and grams (Dave is a scientist, he can't help it) and one that also zeros out. This is nice because I can set my work bowl on the scale and add ingredients, going back to zero each time.  It's a good feature because then I don't have to add, which can get cumbersome when working in fractions or decimals.


Second, dry measuring cups.  Despite my use of the scale, these are still useful.  I will still measure cups of flour and sugar, plus there's all those mix-ins to think of: chocolate chips, nuts, candy, cranberries, etc.  When I due use my cups to measure flour and the like, I use an offset spatula (a regular knife would work, too) to level the cup and get a more accurate measure.

I have both metal measuring cups and silicone collapsible cups and I do use them both, often for the same recipe.  I like the silicone cups for mix-ins and the metal ones for sugar, flour, cocoa, etc.  The metal cups are easier to level and I find flour and powdered sugar tend to stick to the silicone a bit--not a lot but leaving enough powder that I don't want to scoop into my bag of nuts with it.  That's the other thing--having two sets of measuring cups means you always have a clean version of the size you need.  If I have to wash a cup and then use it again to measure sugar, you can be sure that sugar is going to stick to the inside of the cup no matter how diligently I try to dry it.


My liquid measuring cup collection is pretty much a variety of sizes.  I have 1, 2, 4 and 8 cup sizes, although I generally don't use the 8 cup for baking (that's a lot of liquid!).  It comes in handy for cooking (measuring broth for soups and such) and for making pancakes.  The little 2 ounce cup comes in very handy for measuring oil, honey or alcohol (no joke--don't forget about the Bananas Foster Bread!)    I particularly like the cups by OXO with the measurements on a slant inside the cup. 


And then there's the measuring spoons.  I have a lot of them.  Not only are they varied in size (I go from 1/8 teaspoon to a full Tablespoon), but I do have duplicates.   Okay, I confess, I actually have 5 full sets.  But they come in handy when I need to measure 1 teaspoon of vanilla and then measure 1 teaspoon of salt (see above comment regarding washing a cup and measuring sugar).  Having extra spoons means I can dedicate one for wet ingredients and one for dry, so I alleviate any cross-contamination.

And finally, the piece de resistance is this guy.

Metric Wonder Adjustable Measuring Cup

He's awesome.  It's called a Metric Wonder Cup and it measures both "wet" and dry ingredients and measures in cups, teaspoons, tablespoons, milliliters and ounces.  I put wet in quotation marks because while the inner tube is snug, it's not sealed so you don't want to measure water or milk in it.  But it is amazing for things like molasses and peanut butter because once you've positioned the inner tube a the right measurement and filled it with your ingredients, just push the inner tube back up, dumping all the ingredients into your mix.  It pulls all the sticky stuff off the sides so you only have to scrape the top with a spatula.  Voila!  No more scraping and wiping in a standard measuring cup.


In fact, I love this guy so much, I'm giving one away to a lucky reader!  Leave a comment telling me how many measuring spoons you have in your kitchen and your email address by Friday, September 9, 2011 at 5:00 pm.  The winner will be selected via random number generator and announced on Saturday.  Good luck!

Happy Baking,
The Cookie Princess

Note: This is a non-compensated post sponsored by the Cookie Princess.

4 comments:

  1. I've never seen anything like that, but I love it! I actually recently had to get rid of a ton of measuring spoons (my husband made me). :) But I believe I still have about 3 full sets left - so maybe 12-15 spoons.

    e8jackson6@yahoo.com

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  2. I've always wanted one of those. I have about... 3 or 4 full sets of measuring spoons and a few odd ones here and there. 14-18 spoons all together! melliemelo at gmail.com

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  3. Ooh I've always wanted one of those. I think we have two semi-complete sets of measuring spoons. Kind of pathetic though since five of us moved in together.

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  4. I have two sets of spoons. One is metal and I love them. The other set is plastic and they don't 'feel' right so I don't use them often.

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