Need a stocking stuffer? The bottle top juicer ($4.99) from Good Cook lets you add fresh lemon or lime juice directly to a water bottle. No need to squeeze the juice first then pour into the bottle - this little juicer sends the juice straight into the bottle. Probably not technically a cooking tool, but it's great for people who like flavored water and don't want to use the bottled flavorings that seem to be popular these days. Also handy for getting lime into your beer.
Bring out your inner cake artist with these crazy Cake Creatures molds ($39.95/set with a decorating pen or about $8 individually). There are four different molds - I tried two (didn't get the kit, so I haven't tried the pen) and each one is shaped like a standing "creature" with arms and legs in different positions. It's up to your imagination to turn the creature into a human, animal, monster or anything else you can think of.
These were ridiculously fun to decorate and they're small enough to be single-serving cakes or decorations for a full-size cake.
Maybe this should be more of a pre-holiday gift for the cookie baker. The OXO cookie press ($29.95) is what you need to make spritz cookies. But it's not just about the press, it's also (or mostly!) about the disks that aren't just your usual round flower-like things. Even better, you can buy additional sets for even more variety. I bought the fall set ($9.99) which includes a spider, spider web, owl, turkey, leaf and pumpkin. The spring set is on my wish list to buy later.
I've owned this timer for a few years and it's still my favorite. Turn it one way up and it's a timer. Flip it over, and it's a clock. The best thing about it is that if you somehow miss hearing the beeper, it will start counting up to let you know just how much too long you overcooked those cupcakes. Another thing that I love is that when you hit the button to stop the beeping, it resets to the previous timer amount. This is perfect when I'm making batches of things like flatbreads that take three minutes to cook in the oven. I can just smack the button for the next batch.
There was a lot of scoffing about this spoon-sized sifter ($25), but I've had people ask me how I can sprinkle spices so precisely. So, obviously it's making a difference in my presentation. I've used it mostly for paprika-dusting, but also for powdered sugar and other sweet decorations. The average home cook probably won't be impressed, but anyone who takes photos of their food creations or who wants precise and pretty presentations would love to find this in their stocking.
There ya go - twelve fun gadgets. What are some of your favorites?