our tools of the trade AND a quickie giveaway!!!

UPDATE: Congratulations to Amanda!! She won the Sugarlicious prize pack! Her comment, lucky number 9, was randomly drawn. Stay tuned for more quickie giveaways!

 

Thank you everyone for your tremendous outpouring for the Wilton 101-Piece Tool Caddy giveaway! Over 1109 comments. I couldn’t believe it. A winner HAS been drawn randomly and notified this morning, and will be announced as soon as I get confirmation they received their notice.  But don’t despair, details about the KitchenAid givaway are coming soon! In the meantime, you can still enter the Wilton caddy, KitchenAid and Sugarlicious giveaway HERE at Woman’s World.

 

As promised, I’m back to talk about all of the tools you love (which are pretty much exactly the tools I wax on about in Sugarlicious, so yay! We all think alike!). These are collected from the oh so many comments you left for the Wilton giveaway, and though I wrote this post before the last day’s worth of comments, I did my best to go through them all and add what I could.

 

BUT FIRST, A SUPER QUICK GIVEAWAY!


Leave a comment here by midnight tonight (yes, tonight) and I’ll randomly choose one winner to get a Sugarlicious Prize Pack that includes a Sugarlicious apron, spatula, oven mitt, Post-It notes, a sneak peek booklet and some recipes. (Note that the book itself is NOT included in the giveaway, as I’m all out of my own books.) Contest worldwide.

 

 

THE TOOLS YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT

 

Understandably, there is much support for Wilton’s products. Wilton makes just about everything you need for decorating sweets, and their products are widely available online and in craft stores (and while they gave one of you an awesome caddy, they didn’t pay me to say that, many of the products I use are Wilton’s).   Your favorites (and some of mine) are:

 

GENERAL TOOLS

Below are what many, many of you voted on as your faves, and they are mine, too! All of these are listed in Sugarlicious, of course.

 

•  Disposable decorating bags (This is MY go-to as well as the majority of yours, can’t live without tool. I, too, use them for cookie decorating, for cupcakes, candy melts, non-sweets, everything.)

 

•  Decorating tips—I, too, use Wilton’s decorating tips for frosting cupcakes and for decorating cookies.

 

•  I was glad to see a few shout-outs for couplers, which allow you to switch tips easily.

 

•  And to add my own, rubber bands! Use these to close decorating bags to prevent oozing.

 

•  Other Wilton favorites include rubber spatulas for scraping bowls and spreading icing (Elaine), the comfort grip cookie cutters (Carrie) and miniature cookie cutters for making pie crust decorations (Laci Jamison), the Wilton chocolate melting pot (Anne J-Z and Karla) and the quick release (Lynne).

 

I certainly have to agree that cookie cutters and fondant cutters are in the list of essentials. Read more about building a cookie cutter collection HERE. I agree with Dee, I use fondant cutters a lot, even for cutting out cookies.

 

•  Toothpicks are a must-have tool, as many of you note, for scraping mistakes, encouraging icing, even decorating techniques.

 

•  Parchment and wax paper are on the necessities list for many, including me. I line baking trays with parchment and use wax paper for easy cleanup and practicing piping. Though Charlene Wiggins points out “My favorite tools are my practice board with patterns.” And many note they use parchment piping cones for decorating.

 

•  Georgianna writes, “A simple but imperative tool that I have is a set of teeny rubber spatulas. I couldn’t decorate without them!”

 

•  I’m glad to see KitchenAid mixers getting a lot of use. I use mine almost every day.

 

•  I’m also glad to see how well-represented SPRINKLES are for decorating, covering mistakes and just for fun.

 

•  Also vital, you can’t decorate without food coloring. Danielle Smith, I agree, I use Americolor Soft Gel Pastes. (For tips on food coloring, click HERE.) Emily writes, “I have JUST discovered Wilton colour gels – and I am in LOVE with them.” And Madiha Naeem says “My fav tool is my icing colors .. love trying different color combos and bringing a cupcake to life.” Agree!!

 

•  And just like Angelica Geoge, who suggested decorating pens, I always have these in stock.  (CLICK HERE for tons of information on food coloring pens.)

 

•  Marie’s must-have decorating tool is a “wooden skewer with a sharpened tip for drawing fine features with frosting.” Now something new I have to try.

 

•  Emma Gonzalez says “My fondant roller is my favorite tool.”

 

•  I have not mastered my convection oven, though, as Tracy has, sigh.

 

•  Some other good go-tos: Ziplocks (Maureen) and

 

•  a gum paste/fondant tool kit (Christa Dunn).

 

•  And Elane has a Cricut, something I’ve yet to find under the Christmas tree!

 

•  And yay, I’m glad sticks got in the mix! Thanks, Tammy Moore, for adding popsicle sticks.

 

•  Katie S. uses tweezers (yep, definitely helpful for things like dragées!)

 

•  Sharon uses a paintbrush to decorate sweets (I love “painting” sweets, too! And even added that to the book.)

 

•  Suz is right on when she says “my all time favorite tool is a steady hand”!

 

•  Amber, too, mentioned the internet, and Julie mentioned Pinterest. The source of MUCH addiction, I mean, inspiration, to be sure!

 

•  Jamie Spagnola said, “I can’t live without my ‘google image search!’”  YES! I agree. Certainly not to find and copy others’ work, but when drawing or creating art on sweets, especially objects and cartoon characters or landmarks, sometimes you just need to see what they look like. I understand this fully. At the cookie store, we’d have requests daily for such things (Big Ben? A hammer? Dishwasher? Garfield?). In the early days, we didn’t have internet access, so we had a huge ClipArt book we called “The Bible.” Once google images came about, it changed the game.

 

 

COOKIE DECORATING

•  Squeeze bottles—I actually don’t use these, I use decorating bags instead for cookies, but most swear by the bottles!

 

•  Lorna “ cannot live without my boo-boo stick from Karen Cookies ( apparently I make a lot of boo-boo’s ).” And Penny Carsner said the same thing. And Cynthia H.  And Shelley. Me too! We went through many boo-boo sticks when I worked at the cookie store. They aren’t easy to find, I’ve found them wholesale, but not retail, so I’m glad for the Karen’s Cookies tip. Find them HERE.

 

•  Ryan Alice Piccine can’t live without a silpat mat, “an amazing multitasker.”

 

•  Vbaler, yes, luster dust definitely counts as a tool.

 

•  Decorating tips are must-haves. I use sizes 2, 3, 4 and 5 for cookie decorating, but 1, 1.5, 2 and 3 are the most popular. (GOTTA get some 1.5s)

 

•  Amanda @ Foodfascinations says “I can’t live without a wooden skewer when I’m decorating. They are great for helping to flood royal icing and mix in color.” Another item now on my must-try list.

 

•  Linda Livingston says she uses dowel sticks to make sure all the cookies are the same thickness.

 

•  Shirley Murray, I must agree, says cookie cutters. “I love to decorate cookies using my large collection of cookie cutters. I find the cutters at thrift stores for pennies! Can you believe someone would part with their cookie cutters?!” Um, no, no I can’t.

 

 

CAKES

•  I also agree with the many who said offset spatulas are crucial for frosting cakes and cupcakes.

 

•  When it comes to cakes, it seems tools to just get that frosting on their smoothly are paramount. Lindsey (café johnsonia) writes, “my favorite decorating tool is my bench scraper.” As did Amy Nguyen for “clean sharp edges!” And Robin, from Bird on a Cake, too. And a turntable is also a popular choice, and Connie added a cake splitting tool, “like a giant cheese slicer.” And Jane uses a cake lifter.

 

•  For cake decorating,  stars, leaf tips, number 22 and the 2D nozzle are popular decorating tips.

 

 

CUPCAKES

•  Windy writes “I grew up on cupcakes iced with a knife or if we were getting really fancy, a spatula. I’ve found the joy of icing bags and tips. Now that I’ve found them, I can’t live without them!!” Yep! Me, too!  The popular decorating tips for cupcakes are stars, leaf tips, and the 1 M.

 

•  Shelly says for simple piping, she uses her “Tupperware ‘ball.’ I just fill it with frosting, stick in the tip, and squeeze.” I’ve never heard of this. I think I found it here at amazon. Where have I been?

 

UPDATE:

Gotta add a couple more from the comments below.

• Natasha uses chopsticks instead of toothpicks. I’m so going to try this.

• Mandy uses a pizza cutter for fondant. YES! Great one! I have pizza cutter listed in Sugarlicious, too. I use that all the time for fondant. Had to add here since I forgot that the first time around. Thanks, Mandy!

 

 

MORE ABOUT SUPPLIES AND WHERE TO FIND THEM…

Well, you could buy Sugarlicious for the extensive list of every supply you’ll ever need and the many stores and locations for buying them…. but I also have lots of tips and links HERE.

 

Thank you everyone so much for all of your tips and tricks and tools!! I know I got a few tips.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

    • meaghanmountford says

      Hi Shannon! I bet it’s one of the big tips, like a 1M. Makes frosting cupcakes SO easy, too! PS I’ll delete my own comment before the random draw for fairness, hee hee.

  1. Michelle P. says

    Reading this post makes me want to get out the few tools I have and make something deliciously pretty. :) Thanks for a fun giveaway too!

  2. Lynn says

    Thanks for organizing these tips together and hoping to snag this sugarlicious giveaway, even if a book is not included.

  3. says

    I can’t wait to find your book, hopefully they stock it here! Instead of using toothpicks for icing, i prefer using a chopstick. Toothpicks are so small, they were cramping my fingers, so i just grabbed a chopstick from the drawer! Never thought of skewers, and now all my chopsticks tips are dyed red from the icing colours! :-)

  4. Melissa says

    I love decorating cookies & cupcakes! I’m just a beginner, but take every opportunity to practice what little I know! Thanks for the tips!!!

  5. Mandy says

    Hello…I was just reading your tips and the last cake I made I used a pizza cutter for the fondant…much easier and sharper than the fondant cutters. I couldn’t be without my roll-out mat for fondant!
    Thanks!

  6. says

    I’ve just bought your book meaghan! I’m so excited to receive it (tomorrow hopefully)! I’d love the oven mitt, spatula and apron to go with my sparkly new book when I receive it… Complete my Sugarlicious set, woo!

    Thanks for the chance to win.

  7. says

    How much fun is it to see your name mentioned from a comment? I like this series- it’s fun. New ideas, new tips, new tools and a shared love of baking.

  8. Lydia says

    Such an awesome giveaway! You’re the best! Thanks for all the tips. I’ve been decorating for a couple years now and always have my icing oozing out of the bag. Never thought of using a rubberband! Thing to try that really soon!

  9. Tami says

    I would LOVE to win! I’ve always have been told that pink is “my color”! I just finished making a bday cake for a good friend. I could have used the apron, oven mitt and spatula!

    Thank you for sponsoring give-a-ways! Everything is so expensive these days!

  10. Donna of Carroll's Cookies n Crumbs says

    I would love to add your apron to my cookie toolbox! Please enter me in your generous giveaway. Love a quickie!

  11. Amanda Ondersma says

    I am still new to all of this but am starting my own event planning business and am loving playing with ideas for baking. I LOVE your blog and can’t wait to get a copy of your new book!

  12. says

    I’d love to win….. your book looks amazing, avery blog I read gives it an awesome review!!!… I live in Peru, is it available on amazon or e-bay for me to get it??

    Congratulations!!!, I love your blog, I’m sure I’ll love your book once i get my hands on it… You are an amazing source of inspiration for us amateurs!

    Greetings from Perú!

    Anilu

  13. Victoria A. says

    This was an amazing list. As I went down it, I kept finding new favorites, but at this point I don’t know what my favorite tool is anymore! I love them all, and all the creative ability they give me! New to me were the Tupperware ball and the Boo Boo stick, I may order a few sticks for myself, thanks for the link!
    Congrats on your book! I’m so happy for you, I’ve been following your whimsical ideas for years now, I’m so glad you’re name is out!
    Still, not glad enough to start my own blog… But someday perhaps.

  14. says

    OMG: “The Bible” I totally forgot about this fabulous clip art manual that came with about 20CD’s. Thank you for the walk down memory lane! You are awesome.

  15. Gina says

    I just thought of one tool I can’t do without. Whether its decorating cookies, baking, rolling out dough, piping….anything you can think of…..my one tool (if you can call it a tool) of choice is Parchment Paper. I have it in bulk in the house. Helps with everything. My husband says I should have stock in it. lol.

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