Sometimes it’s the little things

Maybe it began when I received a miniature whisk ornament as a holiday gift one year, or perhaps it started even with the Matchbox cars I played with as a child, but whatever the impetus, I’ve long had a fascination for all things Lilliputian. The comments on our recent post that featured the teensy-weensy measuring spoons reminded me that not only are tiny things adorable, they can also be quite useful. I’ve collected a number of miniature kitchen items over the years: some were destined for the thrift shop, but others have proven their worth.

The photo above showcases just a few items in my collection – the mini cocottes were gifts, and the miniature tartlet pans were an impulse buy at a Sur la Table (RIP). The cocottes have held individual cobblers and crisps, and they are perfect for making garlic confit. The miniature tartlet pans are, to be frank, a pain in the arse. When I serve the miniscule tarts I do hear plenty of oohs and aahs, but I am not convinced that the compliments make up for the hours of work required to form, bake, and fill dozens of tiny shells. Nevertheless, I keep them in case inspiration strikes since they take hardly any room to store (and they’re just so dang cute!).

In addition to these items, I have dozens more miniature tart pans, friand and brioche molds, tiny whisks, spoons, and measuring cups, and many kitchen-themed Christmas tree ornaments, including a red KitchenAid mixer that matches my 7-quart beast (which is anything but mini). I use most of the utensils on a daily basis – especially the mini whisks – and frequently dip into the tart pan and friand molds. There’s just something so squee about serving tiny tarts and tea cakes. Maybe it’s an Alice in Wonderland-type appeal; I’m not sure why they delight me so much. Do you have a fondness for miniature kitchen items as well? What are your favorites?

Post a comment


  • lkgrover  on  August 19, 2022

    I share your delight of miniatures. I also find that mini breads & desserts (such as mini scones, muffins, cupcakes, & madeleines) often get eaten more at parties & potlucks than their larger versions. Maybe people feel less guilt eating the small version? Or being small gives people the freedom to try more things?

  • Fyretigger  on  August 20, 2022

    My sister got everyone in the family a set of miniature kitchen tools as Christmas stocking stuffers one year. We all thought they were kind of a joke gift. But she said we’d be surprised how much we would use them, and she was right. The mini-tongs and mini-whisk spend more time in the dish washer than they do in the drawer.

  • hillsboroks  on  August 20, 2022

    I can’t help but think my love of tiny kitchen equipment goes back to my childhood and the toy versions of all kinds of kitchen gear. But like everyone else here I find my small versions of pans, whisks and measuring spoons come in really handy, especially now that I am only cooking for two most times.

  • sanfrannative  on  August 24, 2022

    I have a teeny little box grater from my bridal shower and I use it for fresh nutmeg : )

  • MollyB  on  August 24, 2022

    I have a couple of stainless steel baby food spoons from when my son was a baby, and I find myself using them pretty frequently. They’re perfect for getting things out of small narrow jars (like those capers and green peppercorns come in). I also have a very small granite mortal and pestle that is great for crushing a couple of cloves of garlic or a small amount of spices.

  • Ceribells  on  September 3, 2022

    Anybody that’s read down this far: any recommendations on where to buy functional mini cooking utensils? Not novelty tiny, but like under 11″ long. I’m barely 5’1″ and a lot of spatulas, cooking spoons, etc. are really too large for me to handle.

    And for anybody else wondering the same thing… Ikea’s cheapest utensils are often smaller (to save on costs, but works for me!). And GIR makes most of their tools in a mini and/or skinny size (though not all of their tools are my favorite).

Seen anything interesting? Let us know & we'll share it!