William Sonoma - What To Buy?

Decorating By sillywabbitz Updated 21 Dec 2010 , 9:32pm by sillywabbitz

sillywabbitz Posted 20 Dec 2010 , 9:16pm
post #1 of 53

I have a $125 gift card to William Sonoma and I have no idea what to buy.
Mostly I find there stuff to be over priced so I shy away from it.
Anybody found anything they can't live without there?

I'm definately going to look for a really good rolling pin but any other ideas?

52 replies
metria Posted 20 Dec 2010 , 9:31pm
post #2 of 53

i bought the vanilla 3-pack but have yet to try ... hope it's good:

http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/world-vanilla-set/?pkey=cbaking-mixes|fodbakdec

Image

bobwonderbuns Posted 20 Dec 2010 , 10:03pm
post #3 of 53

I like their Silpats and cookie sheets.

One thing to avoid like the plague is their batter spreader thingy (or whatever it's called.) It looks like a giant syringe and it costs $35. It's designed to regulate the amount of batter for muffins or cupcakes. I thought it was a great idea and just had to have it - boy was I wrong!! I used it once, only to figure out that the opposite end doesn't come off and hence the thing could not be cleaned!!! So I take it back, only to find they "don't return things once they've been used" and I was screwed. Just beware...

sillywabbitz Posted 20 Dec 2010 , 10:27pm
post #4 of 53

Thanks so much Metria and Bob. I just recently invested in a large bottle of good vanilla but I might try that vanilla back anyway. Makes you wonder what the differences really are between them.

Bob, this may be a stupid question but do you use your silpats to bake on or for fondant work. I usually bake cookies on parchment paper. The cookie sheets is a great idea. Mine are really crummy.

metria Posted 20 Dec 2010 , 10:42pm
post #5 of 53

they have silicone mats for baking and a separate one just for rolling out dough that is NOT to be used in the oven. the ones for the oven have red edges.

LaurenLuLu Posted 20 Dec 2010 , 10:45pm
post #6 of 53

Vanilla bean paste, also by Nielsen-Massey like the liquids above, is AMAZING. A Dutch oven?

sillywabbitz Posted 20 Dec 2010 , 10:54pm
post #7 of 53

What do I do with a Dutch oven? I only bake...I seriously don't cook. Can I bake with a dutch oven?

glow0369 Posted 20 Dec 2010 , 10:57pm
post #8 of 53

This is interesting, cause I just received a hundred dollar gift card from the same place and not sure what to buy....funny...

warchild Posted 20 Dec 2010 , 10:59pm
post #9 of 53

I'd wait until after Christmas, better yet, after New Years Eve to spend the giftcard. WS usually has pretty good sales starting Jan. 1st cause they have to clear out all the stuff they over charged for before Christmas. icon_rolleyes.gif
I was at WS on the weekend hoping to find their peppermint bark on sale but didn't luck out of that. It was still regular price at $30 bucks for a small tin!
I did buy a 16 cup Cuisinart Elite Food processor while there, but will be taking it back probably. It was $100 off for one day only so I went for it. Problem is, I didn't think about the size of it. It barely fits, under my kitchen cupboards!

bobwonderbuns Posted 20 Dec 2010 , 11:01pm
post #10 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by sillywabbitz

Thanks so much Metria and Bob. I just recently invested in a large bottle of good vanilla but I might try that vanilla back anyway. Makes you wonder what the differences really are between them.

Bob, this may be a stupid question but do you use your silpats to bake on or for fondant work. I usually bake cookies on parchment paper. The cookie sheets is a great idea. Mine are really crummy.




My silpats are used for baking only, but only because I have other things I use for fondant work. I can use them for fondant -- it is just a silicone sheet -- but I don't. I don't bake on parchment -- the freaking parchment paper burns every time!!! icon_confused.gif Honestly, I don't know how people do it! icon_cool.gif

sillywabbitz Posted 20 Dec 2010 , 11:08pm
post #11 of 53

Good tip on waiting until after the holidays.

Bob, I have never had parchment burn on me but I can tell you my cookies are so much better now that I cook them on parchment instead of aluminum foil. No more burnt bottoms.

I've been eye-ing the Nordicware Gingerbread house cake pan, it's only about $35 BUT I need another shaped pan like a hole in the head. I will definately check out the vanilla bean paste...but will have to figure out how to use iticon_smile.gif

frankdiabetes Posted 20 Dec 2010 , 11:16pm
post #12 of 53

I really like their Goldtouch pans but I agree that most of their stuff is horrendously overpriced. Some of their cookbooks are decent, also.

I ordered the different types of vanilla from King Arthur and I honestly have to say...you'd need a REALLY sensitive palate to tell the difference. I can sort of tell when I smell them straight from the bottle but it's so subtle. I love the vanilla bean paste though- my new favorite ingredient for sure!

LaurenLuLu Posted 20 Dec 2010 , 11:20pm
post #13 of 53

The Dutch oven is for cooking on the stovetop so probably not for you! The vanilla bean paste is used just like extract but it has a true, intense vanilla taste. There are the seeds floating in a sweet, thick base and pours kinda like Elmer's glue.

aundrea Posted 20 Dec 2010 , 11:43pm
post #14 of 53

how much is the vanilla bean paste. sound like something i would like to try.

glow0369 Posted 20 Dec 2010 , 11:55pm
post #15 of 53

I just picked up 2 bottles of the Nielsen Massey Pure vanilla bean paste at TJ maxx, for 3.99. Williams Sonoma is selling the same size fluid ounces for 11 bucks..WOW

sillywabbitz Posted 21 Dec 2010 , 12:02am
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Glow0369, this is exactly why I hate to shop at WS.

Ramute64 Posted 21 Dec 2010 , 12:08am
post #17 of 53

I always buy WS kitchen towels (stripe). I think very good quality.

playingwithsugar Posted 21 Dec 2010 , 12:10am
post #18 of 53

Save your certificate for stuff you want, not stuff you can get elsewhere.

My son's girlfriend bought me a great rolling pin from Sam's Club Online last year.

http://www.samsclub.com/sams/shop/product.jsp?productId=102991

Because it's aluminum, you can stick it in the fridge or freezer before using it on doughs, and it will keep the friction of the pin from sticking to the dough.

It's a real heavyweight, too, so you get even rolling from it.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

playingwithsugar Posted 21 Dec 2010 , 12:21am
post #19 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by sillywabbitz

What do I do with a Dutch oven? I only bake...I seriously don't cook. Can I bake with a dutch oven?




You can bake no-knead bread in a dutch oven.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

playingwithsugar Posted 21 Dec 2010 , 12:24am
post #20 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobwonderbuns

I don't bake on parchment -- the freaking parchment paper burns every time!!! icon_confused.gif Honestly, I don't know how people do it! icon_cool.gif




I use parchment pan liners instead of the stuff on the roll. They're good for 5-6 bakes before I have to toss them.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

sillywabbitz Posted 21 Dec 2010 , 12:38am
post #21 of 53

Theresa that rolling pin looks exactly like what I've been looking for and only $17. I'm so glad I mentioned it. I would have spent $80 on a pin. I can't imagine I'm going to find anything at WS that I can't find elsewhere for a better price but I've got to spend the card eventuallyicon_wink.gif thanks everyone.

playingwithsugar Posted 21 Dec 2010 , 12:49am
post #22 of 53

That's why I said buy what you want.

Now, about those aluminum specialty baking pans (stadium, some of the bundt pans, etc) that WS sells - all I've read about them is negative reviews, because the cakes don't want to come out after baking.

If anyone has any of those pans, perhaps you can teach us how to get the cakes out of those pans.

OOH, I just looked on their website. Think about getting the big pizza stone they show. I use one in my oven when baking cakes and breads. It conducts heat and gives you even baking throughout the cake (no high or low spots). You have to put the stone in the oven when you start the pre-heat, and you have to bake your cakes a little longer, but you don't have to reach in and spin the pans around to get even baking all around.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

KJ62798 Posted 21 Dec 2010 , 12:49am
post #23 of 53

I have a fairly geeky family so I got the Star Wars cookie cutters. I have the original set w/Yoda, Darth Vader, Boba Fett & a Storm Trooper. They now have a second set w/the vehicles. They also have pancake molds. The Star Wars stuff is exclusive to WS so if you have kids that like Star Wars you could go in that direction.

Kristy

lutie Posted 21 Dec 2010 , 1:10am
post #24 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by sillywabbitz

Theresa that rolling pin looks exactly like what I've been looking for and only $17. I'm so glad I mentioned it. I would have spent $80 on a pin. I can't imagine I'm going to find anything at WS that I can't find elsewhere for a better price but I've got to spend the card eventuallyicon_wink.gif thanks everyone.




I just got back from WS as a client had given me a "tip" of a $50 gift certificate for a cake I had made on top of my fee ...$50 does not buy much of anything there. I looked at three different food scales (electronic) under $50.00 and there were a few gadgets. Finally (mind you, this is the third time I shopped there to spend this gift card), I was so frustrated I bought a set of $40 measuring cups (they will last me the rest of my life) with a small amount left on the card.

Please do not think I was not pleased with the gift card; I was not pleased with their way over-priced stuff and the fact no one working was able to even smile. When I said, "Merry Christmas!" to the clerk, all she could say was, "Okay!" Surely, I caught them at a bad time...I will wait until spring to go back...or just pay the high-priced shipping online.

Oh! ...and the $40 measuring cups were $30 on one side of the store and $10 more on the other side...when I questioned it, they would only charge what was on the UPC. At that point, I wanted out of there and the lines were long. Rude beyond belief. Horrible experience!

They have $18 measuring spoons, $14.95 for a brioche pan, tart pans under $20.00, and cup cake papers. Not much more...the dish towels were $18.00 and a plastic pitcher was $39.00. Hope that helps!

glow0369 Posted 21 Dec 2010 , 1:31am
post #25 of 53

Well... I think I'm just going to get the Kitchen Aid Ice Cream Attachment...it sounds interesting...Retails for 100.00 on sale now for 79. I love ice cream to go with my CAKE.. icon_smile.gif But, if anybody has this and not happy with it, let me know...

sillywabbitz Posted 21 Dec 2010 , 1:32am
post #26 of 53

Theresa, I have a couple of those specialty pans and I use the homemade cake release. I fill the pans appropriately and bang the heck out of then on a kitchen towel on my counter. This gets the air bubbles out. I've used the little mini bugs and my 3D rabbit pan so far with good success. I probably won't but the house though because the pans are a pain to store and they're usually seasonal.

Dayti Posted 21 Dec 2010 , 1:33am
post #27 of 53

How about a cake stand or two? Since it looks like baking stuff you can get cheaper elsewhere. I would also wait for the sales, unless you have a "spend by" date on the card or they don't accept them in sales, or you are desperate to spend it now.

http://www.williams-sonoma.com/search/results.html?activeTab=products&words=cake+stand&cm_sp=OnsiteSearch-_-GlobalNav-_-Button

pattycakesnj Posted 21 Dec 2010 , 1:59am
post #28 of 53

wow, I am so surprised reading this post, I love WS, and buy a lot of good things there (Of course, I have a WS outlet near me, and am on their mailing list, so get coupons all the time).
I bought the full size sheet pans (the really big ones for commercial ovens) for $4 and many nordic pans (stadium, acorns, 3d Santa for $icon_cool.gif. (Never had a problem getting cakes out of those pans). I also bought many cookie cutters and recipe books there, really inexpensive, kitchen towels and aprons etc.

Jmlpitbull Posted 21 Dec 2010 , 2:38am
post #29 of 53

The digital oil/candy thermometer! $39 and worth it's weight in gold. You set it for what you need it on and it beeps when it's at that temperature.

frankdiabetes Posted 21 Dec 2010 , 2:43am
post #30 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by KJ62798

I have a fairly geeky family so I got the Star Wars cookie cutters. I have the original set w/Yoda, Darth Vader, Boba Fett & a Storm Trooper. They now have a second set w/the vehicles. They also have pancake molds.




I just got the cookie cutter sets for my sister-in-law for the holidays as she is a huge Star Wars geek...they're so cute!

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