With the leaves growing crispy and a brisk chill in the air, it’s hard not to feel seasonally inspired. With all the recipes for tempting pumpkin pie, gingersnap cookie, and apple crisps circulating, everyone in the office begins itching to start our holiday baking. The process can be time consuming and can get out of hand quickly, especially if you try to do everything by hand. Having the right tools for the job can make the whole process smoother and a lot more fun!
A perpetual Christmas wish list item, the iconic KitchenAid Mixer is a coveted appliance for anyone who has a passion for baking or a penchant for pastries. Your parents might have handed down an original, but they’ve been updated over the years to reflect a wide range of colors and hands-free mixing capabilities. Still, due to price and size this item has always been out of reach for most casual bakers. Until now: a 25% lighter model with a 20% smaller footprint (compared with KitchenAid Classic Stand Mixer), the new KitchenAid Artisan Mini Mixer hit the shelves recently and has made this small appliance a dream that we can all share.
As with the Classic, the well-known tilt-head design allows clear access to the bowl and attached beater or accessory so you can easily add ingredients as you need them. You can lock the head into place too, in order to keep the beater-to-bowl stable. This model comes with three interchangeable heads: a beater, a mixing blade, and a bread kneader. Another nice touch: the Mini is fortunately still compatible with all attachments from earlier models so you can borrow your friends’ spiralizer or your aunt’s pasta attachment!
In terms of functionality, the Mini is very similar to the Classic. At 19 pounds, this is still a hefty appliance (the Classic weighs in at a whopping 26) but it’s mostly due to the powerful motor. Because of this, there’s a catch: the price. Because the Mini uses the same motor as the classic, the smaller model isn’t significantly cheaper than the original. But it is quite powerful- capable of tackling any task or recipe, whether you’re stirring wet and dry ingredients together, kneading bread dough or whipping cream. It can handle a little less, with a 3.5-quart bowl that can make five dozen cookies instead of closer to ten dozen cookies. But let’s face it, isn’t that enough cookies?
We made a batch of oatmeal chocolate-chip cookies recently in order to give this bad boy an inaugural spin (sorry for the pun!) and weren’t disappointed. We were able to crack eggs one handed directly into the mixer, just like the Cupcake War bakers! The mixer powered right through our not-so-warm butter and whipped up a batch of cookie dough in no time. We were left with just one dirty bowl and a few measuring cups in the sink and after dolloping some dough onto baking sheets, we had spent no more than 20 minutes on our warm gooey chocolate chip cookies!
With a price tag of $280, this stand mixer is still a financial investment. But with it’s seemingly magical ability to whip up frothy meringue, most New York home bakers would argue that it’s worth its spot on the countertop, and cuter and more compact than ever.