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In Claire Saffitz’s latest book, What’s for Dessert, the professional baker once again turns toward her favorite meal of the day (her first book, Dessert Person, is essential reading) with 100 new recipes for everything from banoffee pudding to a s’mores tart. So it makes sense that when it comes to holiday gifting, if you’re a friend of Saffitz’s, you’re getting a sweet treat.

"What's for Dessert" book cover by Claire Saffitz. A pink background, a mint bowl and spatula with chocolate in the bowl.
What’s for Dessert: Simple Recipes for Dessert People by Claire Saffitz, Amazon ($30 was $38)

“Last year, I put together a few homemade baking mixes that were a huge hit,” she says. “I used the brownie recipe from Dessert Person and packaged up the dry ingredients, chocolate, and sugars all individually; packed them into a big jar; and printed my own baking instructions.”

When it comes to wrapping, Saffitz looks no further than her kitchen—jars are obvious winners, but she also loves butcher paper as a chic wrapping paper alternative. Then again, her cooking space is stocked with good ideas for holiday baking and beyond. Here are her favorite finds.  

The Product I Use Most During Recipe Testing

My mini offset spatula is without a doubt my most indispensable tool. No matter what I’m making, it’s always in my hand.

Best Mixing Bowls

I like these stainless steel mixing bowls by Winco. They nest, which is important for storage, and they’re shallow, which makes folding mixtures easy. I prefer stainless over glass or plastic mixing bowls because it’s more versatile, lighter, and easier to clean.

Whisk That Always Works

I put whisks through a lot, and I’ve had cheaper ones break on me, so I like to invest in high-quality, slightly pricier professional whisks. The ones from JB Price are the best.

Stand Mixer I Can’t Live Without

KitchenAid, of course! I use the 5-quart tilt-head Artisan mixer in white, which is perfect for home use. My mother inherited my grandmother’s KitchenAid stand mixer from 1963, and it still works.

Single-Purpose Item That’s Worth It

I’m a baker, so a cherry pitter is pretty necessary, even though it only does one thing.

Baking Sheet That Never Sticks or Warps

Chicago Metallic makes such good-quality, nonwarping bakeware. Its aluminum half-sheet pan is heavy-duty and durable.

The Only Scales I Rely On

I’ve used many different kitchen scales in the past, and I prefer either Escali or Oxo. Both are simple and functional and good quality for the price.

My Favorite Cake Pans

I am a fan of any cake pans by Fat Daddio’s, which are heavy-duty, made with anodized aluminum, and have high sides. They will last forever and always result in evenly baked, well-risen cakes. Usually you can find them in professional baking stores.

Fish boxes are randomly the best cookie storage containers, but they’re mostly a professional food service item (as in, when you order fish from a wholesaler, it comes packed in a fish box). Aside from those, I like the large reusable silicone bags by Stasher.