Stand mixers are like dishwashers. They’re a somewhat unnecessary expenditure (you could easily use a hand mixer or wash your dishes by hand) but they somehow revolutionize your life. I couldn’t have made the expenditure myself on my tight, broke-college-student budget, but I actually was lucky enough to win a Breville Stand Mixer from the awesome Cookie Madness. And as far as stand mixers go, Breville wins everything. I laugh at the face of Kitchenaid users. With its scraping ability, sleek design, and powerful mixing capabilities, this was love at first sight. If you have the budget, definitely invest in one because it will change your (baking) life.
Look! No Hands! Like I said, it’s like the dishwasher. I’ve alway had to use a hand mixer just like I’ve always had to wash dishes by hand (I think it might be an Asian thing: dishwashers operate as wet dish racks and nothing more). The idea of being able to sift my flour WHILE I wait for my butters to cream is completely novel. AND AWESOME. Saves so much time and energy. On a side note, I’m looking forward to the day I’ll use a dishwasher for the first time in my life. If only.
The Scraper!! The scraper. OMG. THE SCRAPER. I’vealways had to stop the mixer and dig out the stuff that gets caught in between the beaters (especially
when creaming butter) as well as scrape the sides of the bowl every minute or so. I’m told other stand mixers don’t have that scraping capability and I’m glad I never had to go through any of that trauma. In the picture above, I’m making some buttercream icing. Although it looks like it, the bowl has not been hand-scraped at all. The only place I need to scrape is the top part where, as you can see from the undyed white butter, the beater didn’t reach, which I don’t need to do until the very end. I didn’t even need to scrape down the paddles themselves during the process – a miracle I have yet to figure out.
The Spatula. A tip for people who buy this mixer: the rubber/plastic spatula that comes with it looks like one of those cheapo things they just throw into the package. That may be true, but it actually works REALLY well in scraping dough or batter from the mixing bowl to the cake pan/ cookie sheet / etc. You can pretty much scrape it all in one or two fluid motions. Awesome.
Last thought. One thing I’d like to point out is that the mixer isn’t just some fancy schmancy tool. While you can make great cookies without one, the stand mixer’s paddles really do a better job of mixing your dough/batter. Butters/Sugars are aerated so much better, while flours aren’t overmixed. And, as I’ve mentioned, cutting down on time leaves you room to focus on other things in the process. So definitely go out and get one if you have the money!