Make Perfect Cookies with These Test Kitchen Favorites

In the test kitchen, we believe there’s a cookie for every occasion, whether it’s an afternoon snack or the sweet ending to a special meal. Over the years, we’ve perfected the art of cookie making and have found the best equipment for the job. Our winning kitchen scale guarantees consistent results thanks to precise measurements, and our favorite portion scoop ensures that every cookie is the same size—a perk for parents everywhere. If you’re the go-to cookie maker in your crowd, our top-rated stand mixer is a worthwhile investment, making it easy to mix even stiff or chunky doughs.

—Carolyn Grillo, Associate Editor, ATK Reviews

The redesigned version of the OXO scale is accurate and had all the features that made the old model our favorite: sturdy construction, responsive buttons, and a removable platform for easy cleaning. The screen can still be pulled out nearly 4 inches when weighing oversize items. Instead of a backlight setting, the screen now has brightly lit digits on a dark background, which we found even easier to read than the old model’s screen. OXO also added two display options for weight. Users can choose to view ounces only (24 oz), pounds and ounces (1 lb 8 oz), grams only (2500 g), or kilograms and grams (2 kg 500 g), which comes in handy when doubling a recipe. The scale now uses decimals rather than fractions, so it’s more precise and easier to read.

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This Microplane grabbed the top spot thanks to its great performance and its soft, grippy rubber handle that was slightly more comfortable and secure than that of our old winner. Otherwise, their grating surfaces are identical, so they both shredded cheese, zested lemons, and grated nutmeg, garlic, and ginger with ease. The Premium Classic came sharp, stayed sharp, and looked as good as new after testing. We do wish it had a wider surface so it didn’t form a trench in our cheese while grating, but it’s still the best option out there.

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This mixer performed exceptionally well. It was speedy, creaming butter and sugar and whipping meringue faster than any other model, and it muscled through dense cookie dough with ease. Its beater heads are the widest in the lineup, making for efficient mixing and zero clogging, and they’re silicone tipped, so they didn’t clang around in the bowl. This mixer is thoughtfully designed with several features that make mixing more efficient and convenient, including a timer, a light that shines into the mixing bowl, a pause button, a well-positioned display screen, and a plastic storage case that locks onto its base.

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A practical, no-nonsense spatula that aced every cooking test, with a great balance of flexibility and firmness for both the head and the handle; however, the head did become slightly discolored by the turmeric in the curry test, and if we were going to quibble, the handle, while providing a great grip, could be a bit more cushy. But all around, a terrific choice for nearly any job in the kitchen. (We also went beyond its top recommended temperature with no sign of damage.)

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This light, smooth bamboo spoon was broad enough to churn bulky stews, yet small enough to rotate a single chunk of beef without disturbing surrounding pieces. Its rectangular handle was comfortable to grip; its head had the most surface area in contact with the pan, so it excelled at scraping fond. Stain-resistant, it emerged after testing looking closest to new.

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The deeply beveled edge of this scraper cut through pizza and bread dough quickly and scraped the work surface effectively. The textured polypropylene handle was easy to hold on to, even with greasy or floury hands, and was thinner than other scrapers’ handles, helping us hold it flat to the work surface for easier, more effective scooping and scraping.

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This pin capably handled dough for pie, cookies, pizza, and yeasted rolls, with gentle weight and a slightly textured surface that holds a dusting of flour for less sticking. Its long, straight shape made achieving even dough thickness and rolling out larger disks easy.

Testers gave top marks to this rack, which has six feet on three support bars for extra stability. Cookies cooled evenly on this rack, and pork emerged from the oven with crisp, browned surfaces. It fit perfectly in our favorite rimmed baking sheet (and other standard-size baking sheets) and is safe to wash in the dishwasher. It’s sold in packs of two, making it the best value in the lineup.  Update October 2018: Since publishing this review, the quality of this rack has become inconsistent. We now recommend the Checkered Chef Cooling Rack, which had earned a Highly Recommended rating and come in a close second place in our original review. 

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This set has all the essentials: six core tips in the right sizes, twelve 16-inch disposable pastry bags, and a set of four reusable couplers. The six tips make topping cupcakes, decorating cakes, piping pâte à choux, and filling savory foods effortless. all the components are available at craft stores such as Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, or Jo-ann Fabric and Craft Stores.

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Our winning scraper’s versatile teardrop shape allowed us to choose between a more narrowly curved edge for smaller bowls and a broader edge for wider bowls. Its metal core kept it sufficiently rigid in our hands while handling dense cookie dough, and its flexible silicone edges left more delicate doughs intact as we handled them. This scraper was both easy to clean and durable. One tester found this scraper the slightest bit small, but it fit comfortably in most of our hands, and we liked how nimble it felt.

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