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Mother’s Day 2021 Gift Guide | America’s Test Kitchen

(Mostly) cooking-related gift ideas from our resident equipment experts.

Published May 3, 2021.

The members of the ATK Reviews team take their recommendations seriously. So we asked them about their Mother's Day plans: what they're gifting this year and what memorable things they've gifted in the past. Check out their ideas to show your appreciation for the mothers (or mother figures) in your life.

For more gift ideas for the mom who loves to cook, check out our comprehensive buying guides.

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Honey Powder from Savory Spice Shop

Honey Powder
We recommend putting Honey Powder on . . . everything.

My mother's always looking for new ingredients and spices to take dishes to the next level, so a few years ago she started using Savory Spice Shop's Honey Powder in practically everything she cooked. Honey powder is exactly what it sounds like: dehydrated honey that can be easily sprinkled over food. It's ideal for adding a touch of sweetness to cold drinks and dry rubs, and it's also great for sprinkling over fruit and adding a little something to a quick salad dressing. My mom loves it so much that she burns through a container in no time! I plan on pairing it with other spices in a fun gift basket. —Sawyer Phillips, Assistant Digital Editor

Dried Apricots from ApricotKing

This bag cannot contain these apricots' sweetness.

My grandmother started a holiday tradition of sending these dried apricots to friends and family, and my mom has kept it going. They’re a variety called Blenheim, and they're grown, harvested, dried, and packed on a family farm in California. They're supertender and moist, with a remarkably deep, concentrated sweetness. Each one is like a little burst of sunshine. Sending my mom a bag of these spectacular dried apricots would be a nice way to continue the family tradition and mark the holiday. —Kate Shannon, Deputy Editor

Circulon Ceramic Tool Crock and test kitchen–approved tools

Bouquets are traditional for Mother’s Day, but here’s another kind of "bouquet and vase" that will last far longer: Pick our favorite stoneware Circulon Ceramic Tool Crock in a pretty color, and fill it with a bunch of our winning test kitchen–tested tools, maybe a fish spatula, silicone spatula, rasp-style grater, wooden spoon, slotted spoon, tongs, jar spatula, spider skimmer, and all-purpose whisk. Then tie a big, gorgeous satin bow around the whole thing. You could even tuck a few colorful flowers in the crock alongside the utensils, since it has plenty of space to hold up to 20 kitchen tools (including any of mom’s old favorites). A removable divider inside the crock helps keep utensils from slumping or jamming, a removable soft silicone mat at the bottom makes a cushy landing zone to protect utensils, and the whole thing cleans up in the dishwasher. —Lisa McManus, Executive Editor

DIY recipe book organizing tools

recipe album
A personalized, DIY recipe book is a thoughtful gift—especially if you make it together.

For years I watched my mom cram recipes into a stuffed binder which was so full it would stay closed only if a giant rubber band encircled it. So this past year I bought my mom a set of tools to organize her recipes: a personalized binder, these adorable illustrated dividers, a three hole punch, and clear sleeves. But that wasn't the whole gift—I also wanted to help her complete the project since I anticipated that organizing thirty years of recipes was going to take a while. I emptied the binder's contents and organized the recipes into piles that corresponded with the inserts: salads, soups, pasta, poultry, etc. Then together my mom and I went through each pile and decided which were the most important recipes to keep. The end product is a beautiful and organized recipe binder that makes locating recipes much easier—and the memory of us making it together. Carolyn Grillo, Associate Editor

Cocktail glasses and How to Cocktail

How to Cocktail bookHow to Cocktail book

Over the past two years, my mom has gone from happily sipping her $15 bottle of wine to becoming my family’s resident bartender. Good gin, Chartreuse, and Maker’s Mark stock her pantry, and going over for a casual family dinner has turned into cocktail hour(s). So, for this Mother’s Day, I’m skipping the flowers and full-on encouraging my mom’s bartending skills with two gifts: a set of cocktail glasses (I’m loving this vintage etched set but will probably get her a more classic coupe set) and the How to Cocktail book. I was an intern at ATK when they were developing the recipes for this book and was dazzled by the team’s shimmering spritzes and majestic martinis, as well as their ode to a proper Pimm’s Cup. I’m keen to see what drinks my mom would choose to shake up from their book (Mom, if you’re reading this, the Bourbon-Cherry Slush looks real good, just sayin’). —Grace Kelly, Assistant Editor

Niwaki Garden Shears

My mother lives for her garden. She spends most of her spare time tending her vegetables and trying to keep the squirrels, birds, and overzealous neighbors from eating all her cherries and peaches. For Mother's Day, I'm thinking about getting her these Niwaki Gardening Shears. I received a pair earlier this year as a housewarming gift from my colleague Lisa McManus, another great mom. (We're both fans of the topiary expert James Todman, who recommends them.) The shears are great. They feel warm and responsive in hand, and their carbon-steel blades are razor-sharp. My mom has been using the same old shears since the beginning of time, and dreads trimming the privet hedge next to her house. She'll appreciate the upgrade, and these new shears will make quick work of the hedge. Miye Bromberg, Senior Editor

Hamilton Beach Smooth Touch Electric Can Opener

hamilton beach openerhamilton beach opener

A lackluster can opener can ruin anyone's day, but even the best manual opener can be hard to operate for someone with arthritis. That's why I was excited to test electric can openers as part of our series of accessibility-minded equipment reviews. And I had the perfect user tester in mind: my mother-in-law, who is a whiz in the kitchen but suffers from arthritis in her hands and wrists. She was so insightful during testing, critiquing the openers or pointing out aspects that she liked or disliked that I hadn't considered at first. Our favorite model outperformed the competition every time, slicing off can tops speedily and flawlessly and leaving safe, dull can edges behind. I highly recommend this opener as a Mother's Day present for anyone who thinks opening cans is a hassle—whether they have arthritis or not. Chase Brightwell, Assistant Editor

Madre Linen Napkins

My mother has basically quit cooking. She cooks once on Sundays and as a true creature of habit has no problem eating the same thing for lunch and dinner every day. I can’t blame her—after four kids I’d go on strike, too. We are not a fancy family. The floorboards of our kitchen were unfinished plywood for most of my childhood. But we always used cloth napkins. For this Mother’s Day, I'm going to splurge on a gorgeous set of linen napkins for her from Madre, a Portland, Oregon-based linen company started by a friend of mine. They have the most gorgeous colors and since they’re linen, they’ll just get better and better over time. They have dish towels and tablecloths, too. The only hard part is picking which color! —Hannah Crowley, Executive Editor

Looking for more great gift ideas? Check out our comprehensive buying guides, which cover everything from the best knives to what you need to make your own jams, pickles, and preserves.

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