My favorite gift-giving (getting!) part of Christmas has always been diving in to my stocking. As a kid, I loved getting candy, lip balm, and toys. As an adult, I love getting candy, lip balm, and fun little cooking gadgets (kitchen toys?) Here’s a list of stocking stuffer ideas that will make the stocking the best part of Christmas for the chef in your life.
Anyone that loves to bake knows that you can never have too many measuring cups and spoons. The measuring implement of your choice is always in the dishwasher when you need it! I love having several sets of aesthetically fun measuring sets on hand that make me smile while I’m being productive in the kitchen. Have a cat lover, musician, or gardener in your life? There’s an option for you! I personally love this cupcake-themed set!
These are one of my favorite purchases and they’d fit great in a stocking. I thought that these reusable silicone cupcake liners would be awesome for making muffins. Truth is? I rarely bake muffins, but use them every day anyway! These are the perfect prep bowls. They are easy to clean, won’t break, and can fit a good amount of mise en place. I also love using them for dipping sauces. Plus, they’re so colorful and brighten every day.
These Instant Pot cheat sheet magnets are going on my Christmas list. Anyone with an electric pressure cooker probably spends plenty of time Googling cook times even for basic stuff. These magnets stick onto your Instant Pot or fridge for easy reference and they quite frankly seem like a game changer!
This is a must have kitchen item. How does one know if meat is fully cooked? One of these inexpensive instant read probe thermometers. If your favorite chef doesn’t have one, this is a must get item.
Chopsticks are a perfect gift for anyone on your list that loves cooking Asian recipes—or just heating up frozen dumplings. I think it’s so satisfying to eat a big bowl of noodles with chopsticks and always reach for a fun pair when I cook my favorite noodle recipes. These rainbow metallic chopsticks are a nice option.
I tout this peeler often. I use it very frequently for making long strips of carrots in salads. It can also be used to make zucchini noodles without needing a bulky appliance. It’s the perfect size for a stocking and will give the cook in your life a simple new tool to help them be creative in the kitchen.
I know a kitchen tool is a fave when I have one in my home and RV kitchens. This microplane grater is one. Nothing makes mincing a clove of garlic easier or faster. It zests citrus like a pro and makes it super easy to add fresh ginger to dishes. It’s also wonderful for grating a block of Parm. Anyone that loves creating in the kitchen needs one and it will slip into a stocking easily.
A bench scraper is a necessary tool for any bread baker. This tool will help cut dough into pieces for shaping. It’s also super useful for scraping dough and flour off of the counter. A bench scraper is useful for cooking, too. Use it to efficiently move chopped mise en place from cutting board to pan; or to help quickly clean up scraps.
A set of disher scoops is on my all-time favorite kitchen tools list. They are awesome for perfectly portioning cookies, cupcakes, or meatballs. I like having three sizes to meet the needs of any occasion. Making stuff for a party? The small scoop makes mini portions perfect for sharing. Having a rough day? Use the large disher to scoop a giant cookie to help you get through it.
I broke out my ice cream maker a bunch this summer and then realized I was missing a good ice cream scoop. I bought this one and am super happy with it. This ice cream scoop has good heft and a slightly pointed tip that makes it easy to dig into very frozen ice cream without bending a regular spoon. It also comes in lots of different colors to personalize it for the ice cream lover in your life.
Food & Ingredients
I’ve been a convert to this flakey, crunchy sea salt since I read Samin Nosrat’s educational and inspiring Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat. Finishing dishes with a sprinkle of Maldon Sea Salt adds an extra bit of texture and flavor to a dish. I especially love it sprinkled on chocolate chip cookies before baking and on buttered bread.
My ex-boss (hey, Heath!) introduced me to this absolutely delicious Chinese condiment. Sean and I love it so much now that we buy it in packs of three. It’s just spicy enough, garlicky, and exceptionally umami-forward with a fantastic crispy texture. We love putting this on just about anything, but our favorite everyday use is as an easy seasoning for simply steamed green beans.
A couple of years ago, I learned that people in the Netherlands eat white bread spread with butter and sprinkled with a thick layer of chocolate sprinkles which are called hagelslag in Dutch. These aren’t your ordinary ice cream sprinkles; these are made of high quality chocolate and are very tasty. We went through an intense period of eating sprinkle bread for breakfast which makes any morning feel whimsical.
There is a world of fancy chocolate out there and any chocolate in a stocking is an excellent gift, but I’m partial to a local-to-me chocolatier: Taza. I love this chocolate which is made in the Mexican tradition using millstones to process the chocolate which gives the chocolate a pleasant gritty texture. The sampler pack gives a good taste of Taza’s core flavors. These chocolates are also vegan.
My favorite taste is umami. I love mushroom powder for adding a bit of umami to lots of dishes. Use it in spice rubs for your roasted and grilled meats. Add some to hamburgers, meatloaf, and meatballs to up the meaty taste. Sprinkle into stews and soups. This is an incredibly versatile ingredient for any cook’s spice cabinet.
Sriracha is one of my favorite hot sauces. I think the flavors are really well-balanced and it’s the right amount of spice for me. I love this little sriracha keychain for having hot sauce on the go. P.S. this is a pretty cute version for Tabasco lovers!
This kind of random find on Amazon is our favorite bagel seasoning. Sean’s tested several throughout his bagel making adventures. This one has plenty of flavor plus salt (not all everything seasonings do.) Even if you don’t bake your own bagels, you can use this seasoning in lots of ways: on sandwiches or sprinkled on salads. Coat a log of goat cheese with everything bagel seasoning for a unique addition to a cheese plate.
Amp up your morning pancakes and waffles with this special bourbon barrel aged maple syrup. The oak barrels that previously stored bourbon give this syrup an extra depth of flavor. Pro-tip: sneak a little maple syrup into your morning coffee for a little treat.
I would be stoked to find a handful of vanilla bean pods in my stocking. The pods would give me access to pure vanilla beans for baking. Plus I could use the pods to make my own vanilla extract AND vanilla sugar. They are pretty expensive, so they’d be a perfect Christmas treat.
Sweet smoked Spanish paprika is one of my current faves in the spice cabinet. It lends such a fantastic flavor to any number of soups, stews, and sauces. I love putting it into spice rubs for meat cookery. I also love the classic metal tin it comes in; it’s aesthetically pleasing and the packaging design keeps light out extending the shelf life of the spice.
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