Congratulations on your new stand mixer! Now, what are you supposed to make with it? A stand mixer is a right-of-passage for the home chef, sitting on kitchen countertops since the early 1920’s. The original Avocado Green and Harvest Gold colors available in the 1970’s were at the height of fashionable decor at the time. Luckily, they have come a long way since then, and you can find any color your heart desires.
A stand mixer is a pretty big investment and assuming you purchased a high-quality one; it will be a work-horse for you for many years to come. It will simplify many different recipes by taking out the manual labor portion of cooking and baking.
This article will give you some great ideas about what to make with your new kitchen dynamo.
Doughs of all types
By far, the best tool to use to make doughs of all kinds is a stand mixer. The mixer comes with everything you will need to do so: the paddle attachment for mixing in the loose ingredients and the dough hook for kneading.
You can easily make quick-breads, like zucchini or banana and very heavy artisanal loaves like sourdough or french bread without having to break your arms kneading for what feels like an eternity. Stand mixers are very sturdy and have no problem powering through dense bread dough. Another bonus is the large bowl that comes with the stand mixer. You can easily leave your bread dough in there to rise, saving yourself another dirty dish.
Whipping egg whites
The whisk attachment is an invaluable part of the stand mixer. If you’ve ever tried to whip egg whites to stiff peaks with a hand mixer, or worse yet, a human-powered whisk – you’ll love this attachment. There’s a lot of recipes that call for whisked egg whites: soufflé, meringue, delicious little french macaron and even some icings like the Italian or Swiss buttercreams.
The whisk attachment can also be used to make homemade whipped cream. It really only takes a minute to make and is infinitely better than the stuff in the can. If you’re feeling extra ambitious, try making homemade marshmallows. The whisk will do all the hard work of incorporating air into a sugar/gelatin mixture, so you are left with silky smooth, fluffy marshmallows that taste nothing like the ones from a bag.
Did someone say cookies?
The best chocolate chip cookies are homemade chocolate chip cookies. In order to get melt-in-your-mouth bakery-style cookies at home, you need to use a stand mixer. The paddle attachment is crucial to creaming your butter and sugar. If you don’t mix the butter and sugar together in the right way, you’ll be left with undissolved grainy sugar crystals and a flat cookie because not enough air was beaten into the butter. The stand mixer gently but efficiently does this job, resulting in a cookie definitely worth the calories.
High-rising, tender cakes
The science behind creaming butter and sugar for cookies is the same for mixing cake batters to achieve a light, airy texture with a delicate crumb. Using the paddle attachment to incorporate air into your batter without over-processing gently is the key to a perfect homemade cake. The stand mixer is far superior for this task than a hand-mixer which will whip too forcefully and can overwork the batter resulting in a dense, brick-like cake.
Grinding your own meats
Some stand mixers come with a meat grinder attachment for meats or homemade sausages. With other mixers, you would need to purchase any extras separately. They are very easy to use and are usually secured to the front of the mixer with just a simple screw. Grinding your own meat is a great way to be sure you know exactly what’s going into it. You control everything: the size of the grind, the amount of fat and the cut of meat used.
The grinder attachment is not limited to just meat. You can use it to grind apples for applesauce and fruit for jams and jellies. It can even be used to make your own breadcrumbs with the leftover ends of loaves you’ve been saving in your freezer for months not sure what to do with.
What are you going to make first?
This list is not all-encompassing of the things you can do with your stand mixer, but it’s a great jumping-off point.
There are many other attachments available that can turn your stand mixer into a pasta maker, an ice cream maker, or even a food processor.
If there’s one appliance you choose for your kitchen, it should be a stand mixer. They are extremely versatile, and with all of the separate attachments available, it’s pretty much the only appliance you will ever need.