Friday, November 13, 2009

A baker's best friend: ice cream scoop

Happy Friday!

To the untrained eye, this looks like just another ice cream scoop, albeit a small one.  But to a cupcake/muffin/cookie/meatball (yes, meatballs) enthusiast like myself, this is one my most prized kitchen gadgets.  Though I've only had mine for a few months, I can't imagine life without it now.  For years I used the two spoons method of scooping and scraping for drop cookies and batters.  And, for meatballs, I went one step further by rolling the mixture to get a nice round ball.  As you can imagine, it was messy and items weren't really of a uniform size and that drove the perfectionist in me ab-so-freakin-lutely crazy.  I would often look to the sky (ceiling), shake my fists (with spoons of dough, sometimes falling to the floor) in protest, and shout, "There's gotta be a better way!"  Enter the ice cream scoop.

The one above is a #40 ice cream scoop, whose volume is almost two tablespoons.  When scooping your mixture of choice, get a full scoop, level off using the side of the bowl, and pull the "trigger" to clear the scoop and transfer to the tin/cookie sheet.  The secret is the half-moon shaped wire that rotates to clear the bowl of the scoop.  No need to wash hands between every cookie or fix smaller portions later.  Perfect every time.  And it makes the process much faster.  I've used it for cookies (one scoop for smaller, two for bigger) like these oatmeal raisin cookies, muffin and cupcake batters (no more overflowing or wimpy oddballs that never make it to the frosting stage), and even meatballs.  I'd imagine this would be great for making your own truffles, too.  And hey, if you want to use it for ice cream, I suppose that's acceptable.

I bought mine at a kitchen outlet store in Grove City, but I've seen them at Target, Williams & Sonoma, Sur la Table, Walmart, you name it.

Have a great weekend!  Go Pens!  Go Pitt!  Go Steelers!  And, go bake :)

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