The Craziest of Kitchen Gadgets Go to Task: Blogging Event Round-Up

posted in: Events, My Events | 25

Oh, to the joys of toys. And to learning something new every day.

Let me back up a moment. When I purchased an antique Chinese cookie mold in a curiosity store a month or so back, I thought that the thing itself was so beautiful and ornate that it would engender the most incredible spawn in the form of cookies fit for an emperor. Well, it didn’t turn out to be quite the easy process, but in the end (and with some cheating), the apples didn’t fall too far from the tree.

The main problem was the fact that no dough known to man (or within my amateur baking knowledge) would come cleanly out of the carved, wooden mold. No amount of flour dusting or greasing would do the trick, no amount of banging, whamming and poking. I eventually had to place a sheet of plastic wrap between the mold and the dough; done this way, however, the mold impressed only the faintest whisper of the carved design into the dough when raw. When baked, it was vanished. So while the dough was raw, I reinforced the design by tracing it in food coloring with a watercolor brush. Red, to coincide with the Chinese good luck theme.

The cookie was almond-flavored and made with blanched, peeled and ground almonds, egg whites, butter, flour and sugar. It wasn’t bad.

But the most exciting part of this mission by far was seeing what other people blogged about their curious kitchen tool muses. I’m so grateful to everyone who shared their stories of testing their good luck with gadgetry. So, without any further ado, here they are:

corn_zipper.jpg Anita, one half of the “couple of San Francisco food dorks” of the blog Married… with Dinner used this completely beguiling little guy to make a recipe for Sweet-Corn Custard with Mushroom Sauce. He’s a corn zipper (for stripping kernels clean off the cob), and it’s love at first sight for me!

eoiny2.JPG I think someone needs to dash out to Hollywood and write a horror movie script based on a crazed cook villain who wields a docker like this one. This bread-baking tool was Gabi’s muse at The Feast Within, and it helped her create one mean mezzaluna. (Seeriously, there’s your title for the film as well… )

onionmask.jpg The award for the shortest-lived kitchen gadget goes to Franz of the Dusseldorff-based blog, einfachkoeslich (“simply delicious”), who took shelter behind this “onion mask” while grating a number of onions. A game aficionado of food and gadgets, Franz concluded that a food processor was better for grating onions anyway, and doesn’t require a mask.

aebleskiverpan.jpg Many thanks to Dagmar of A Cat in the Kitchen for enlightening me to a delightful-looking Danish sweet called (no, not just called a “danish”), aebleskiver, which she baked in a very specific electric ableskiver pan. If I ever get my hands on one of these, I’d love to make this around Christmastime and celebrate my one-eighth Danishness.

mystery_implement_for_kitchen2_lores.jpg You know that technology is advancing for the better when they’ve created this thing to cut biscuits with. Imagine running it over a sheet of dough as you would a vacuum cleaner on dust, and presto! — perfectly cut biscuits. Elle of Feeding My Enthusiasms swooned over the tool and quickly baked her own pristine batch.

noodles_b_resize.jpg At first annoyed by its presence in her kitchen, Sarah of Avenue Food decided to give her julienne peeler another chance, and it turned out terrific carrots, cukes and daikon for her sesame noodles. Now that’s the kind of make-up story I like to hear.

eggs_evil.jpg Lisa at Food and Spice Blog proves that making your own tool really does the trick. Eschewing the need for a piping bag, she filled these tasty-looking devilled curried eggs using a handy plastic baggie with a corner snipped off.

gadget_0707.jpg Last but not least, Denise of Chez Denise et Laudalino toasts to her unstoppable new cork pourer with a built-in stopper. Curious but simple-looking, it sounds handy for the single wine-drinker who recorks after a few glasses at a time.

And that’s a wrap for That Crazy Kitchen Gadget!

I should think as well for baking cookies in August. I apologize to anyone who participated and felt the need to bake in 90-degree weather as I did. In any case, many thanks again to everyone who blogged, read, and/or continues to dare with crazy or suspect technology in their own kitchens.

25 Responses

  1. Elle

    Cool round up. I love that cork pourer/stopper and the mask for grating onions. You cookie mold is lovely and worth baking in 90 degree heat. Thanks for hosting this event.

  2. Dagmar

    Great round-up. I’m sure that there are many more weird kitchen gadgets out there 🙂

  3. Aoife

    I have that corn thingamabob! It’s wonderful! Now I’m kicking myself because I couldn’t think of a gadget to participate.

  4. Yvo

    Same as Aoife – well, kicking myself anyway. I don’t have a corn zipper, though I caught sight of one for the first time the other day on some website I shouldn’t have been on in the first place 😉

  5. Alanna

    I wish I’d known about this before it was all over! (If you’d like some tips on promoting a future event, let me know. Sorry, you may well have done everything that helps and I still just missed it, my fault!)

  6. Kelly

    I’m all about the corn zipper! It smiles at me while I zip.

  7. Jim

    That smilin’ little corn stripper makes me far too happy, but what I really need is that wine stopper/pourer. There are so many half-empty bottles of Red at my house…

  8. Wesa

    We have a cast-iron aebleskiver pan and adore it. I did not know that they made electric versions.

  9. Gabi

    Thanks for a great roundup. My what great gadgets are lurking in our kitchens. I love the electric aebleskiver pan. We make those every Christmas morning in our ancient cast iron versions. So yummy!

  10. strambinha

    You can use your chinese mold for speculatius and springerle cookies. They are both delicious, and look very pretty when molded. The dough should be firm and pliable, not sticky to the fingers.

    Do not butter the mold, just dip it in flour, brush it to loose the excess flour, press it against rolled out dough, or press a ball of dough against the mold.

    After you have molded the cookies it is good to let them dry overnight before baking, so that the inprint of the mold will remain sharp. Take a look at and, these cookies have been baked already.

  11. cathy

    Thanks, everyone! Alanna — maybe I’ll have to do a Kitchen Gadget: Part Deux at some point. I’ll be sure to let you know if so!

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  13. Audrianne

    Hey, I’ve got one of those electric aebleskiver makers! I think I got it in about 1993 or so, and I’m pretty sure they’re not made anymore. Mine was made by Maxim, and it’s called a “Donut Bites”. It’s exactly the same as the one in Cat in the Kitchen’s picture, except it says “Donut Bites” on it, instead of whatever hers says. I looked on eBay for Maxim Donut Bites, and found that it looks as if they’re making something with the same name, but a completely different look. Shoot! I was hoping to be able to replace mine when it finally gives up the ghost…thankfully it’s still going strong!

  14. Jana

    If you’re looking for an electric aebleskiver pan, check out Chef Arne is having some made and you can get on his list.

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  19. Catherine

    Very weird kitchen gadgets.

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