Your Tool Kit for Perfect Cookies

We have the right bakeware to ensure your treats look and taste superb.

These precut parchment sheets, which come in a large plastic zipper-lock bag, are the only ones in our lineup that are stored completely flat. They're also sized just right to slide easily into a standard rimmed baking sheet, although we did have to use two overlapping sheets when rolling jelly roll cakes into coils. Their superior convenience made them the runaway favorite. Don't let the purchase price distract you: The per-sheet cost falls squarely in the middle of our lineup.

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Although the grid pattern on this rack is slightly larger than on the other two models, it’s reinforced with an extra support bar that runs perpendicular to the three main bars. It had a touch more wiggle room in the baking sheets, but it kept pace with the other racks during recipe and durability testing.

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Our winning spoons had a simple design that allowed for a continuous, bump-free sweep, with a ball-chain connector (similar to what military dog tags hang on) that was easy to open and close. This set's metal construction felt remarkably sturdy, and ingredients didn't cling to the stainless steel. And while the 1-tablespoon measure did not fit into all spice jars, it was a minor inconvenience for an otherwise easy-to-use set.

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This set was almost perfect: It came with five of our essential tips, including a large open star tip for cupcake swirls and rosettes. The plastic bags were easy to handle, effortless to clean up afterward, and durable (we only once broke a bag, while piping duchess potatoes). Unfortunately, this set lacked a large closed star tip and a coupler. Some pros also thought the 12-inch bags were too small. Most agreed that this is a great starter set if you buy a few extras to round it out.

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Coming in a variety of useful sizes that nest for compact storage, our winning set performed ably on almost every test. Its wide, shallow bowls were easy to hold, fill, empty, and clean. They can be used in the microwave and the oven. While the bowls in this set were the only ones to break when dropped, the heaviness of the glass with which they’re made makes it unlikely that they’ll easily fly off the counter.

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We’ve recommended this rolling pin for years—and it remains the best dowel-style model on the market. Dowel pins’ long, flat barrels make them a great choice for larger jobs such as rolling dough for slab pies or croissants. It’s 19 inches long, giving plenty of space to roll out doughs of all sizes. At 1.4 lbs, it was heavy enough to help us as we rolled, but not so heavy that it crushed the dough underneath. Because the wood is slightly rough, it held onto a dusting of flour and dough never stuck to it. The wood also gripped the dough more than pins made from smoother materials, helping the dough respond to our movements more efficiently so we never overworked it. It’s also sold by King Arthur Baking Company as the King Arthur Straight Rolling Pin.

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Tapered rolling pins are slightly lighter, narrower, and more maneuverable than dowels, and this model is the best we tested. It tapered gently at each end and has the most usable flat surface area, 9.5 inches, of all the tapered rolling pins we tested, so it was easier to form dough into rounds. The rough wood gave the dough something to cling to, so it responded efficiently to the movements of the pin. There was no sticking because a fine dusting of flour clung to the pin nicely.

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Our previous favorite still excelled with power; precision; and a compact, streamlined design that takes up less space than most food processors, despite having one of the largest capacities, all at a moderate price. Its smooth, simple bowl and blade design are easy to handle, monitor during use, and clean. Its unusual feed tube placement allows for increased bowl visibility. It comes with just three blades for chopping, shredding, and slicing that can all be stored inside the bowl, with no accessories box to deal with. However, since we last tested it, the chopping blade was redesigned and leaves slightly bigger gaps between it and the bottom and side of the bowl, so it couldn’t effectively incorporate egg yolks into single-batch mayonnaise. We didn’t discover any other adverse effects from these slightly bigger gaps, which were still narrower than those of lower-ranked models. It did chop mirepoix uniformly and was one of only two models to give us perfectly green-colored yogurt in our dye test. Although it lacks a mini bowl for very small jobs, a double batch of mayonnaise worked well.

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Our former winner continues its reign: Its perfectly proportioned head supported foods of all shapes and sizes and maneuvered nimbly even in tight spaces. And because it's also moderately thin and flexible, it excelled at getting under food. The head's pronounced curve provided extra leverage for prying up food and kept our hands higher above hot pans. All users found its handle easy to hold, though some wished the otherwise comfortable plastic were grippier.

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This basic, compact, heavy machine’s across-the-board performance knocked out many competitors that were bigger and much more costly (although its tilt head broke on an extreme abuse test). It produced billowy egg whites as capably as it did a double batch of pizza dough. We wish that its bowl had a handle, and stainless-steel mixing parts would have been nice (these are white epoxy-coated), but those are small concessions given its moderate price. It does not come with a splash guard, which our testing proved mostly unnecessary. The beater height is adjustable. Note: KitchenAid discontinued its Classic Plus model, which was identical to this one. Note: KitchenAid now recommends not to exceed speed 2 when kneading dough with the dough hook, not to knead for more than 2 minutes at a time, and that the total mixing and kneading time should not exceed 4 to 6 minutes.

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