Creative Mixer Applications
January 18, 2007 5:57 PM   Subscribe

What is the neatest thing you do (or have done) with your KitchenAid mixer?

I, because I have a very very nice boyfriend, am now the proud owner of a bright red Artisan Series KitchenAid stand mixer. Yes, I rule.

In order to fully take advantage of the awesomeness of this gift, I would like to know what your favorite uses are.

Recipes are good; MacGyver-like creative applications are even better! (Preferably those that leave the mixer still usable for food preparation.)
posted by exceptinsects to Food & Drink (27 answers total) 38 users marked this as a favorite
Ice cream?
posted by billtron at 6:02 PM on January 18, 2007

Do not abuse your KitchenAid stand mixer. It deserves respect as it is the best stand mixer ever. Make a cake, or some bread. Get the meat grinder or ice cream attachment. Mashed potatoes. Make meringue or cream pies.
posted by Roger Dodger at 6:03 PM on January 18, 2007

There are a lot of attachments. My favorite is the meat grinder. I like to get cheaper cuts of steak and grind them into ground beef for a tastier hamburger. The mixer is also awesome for whipping up homemade mashed potatoes.
posted by justlisa at 6:04 PM on January 18, 2007

Pasta attachment - jef likes to roll his own lasagne noodles, and we do the lasagne recipe from Saveur, bechamel and all. The ragu takes all day, tho.
posted by ersatzkat at 6:12 PM on January 18, 2007

Deep dish, Chicago style pizza dough.
posted by FlamingBore at 6:19 PM on January 18, 2007

I don't have any non-food applications to suggest, but I would third the ice cream attachment recommendation. I love mine! Also, this bread recipe comes out perfectly every time for me. It's super tasty and relatively simple - just takes some planning in terms of time.
posted by katie at 6:44 PM on January 18, 2007

Nothing could be easier than making pizza dough with your Kitchenaid.

I also concur that the meat grinder is a great attachment. I've used mine to make sausage and pate.
posted by donovan at 7:05 PM on January 18, 2007

The sausage stuffer is the best. First, you can use the meat grinder attachment and add your herbs and spices. Then, you stuff your sausage casings. The KitchenAid people are geniuses.
posted by HotPatatta at 7:12 PM on January 18, 2007

Best answer: I use mine to make one of the ingredients of The Most Comforting Hot Chocolate In the World (a recipe I'm still developing).

The ingredient is homemade marshmallows, following the French Laundry recipe. Thanks to the Kitchenaid, the 12-minute beating cycle is reduced to maybe 6 or 7.

For the hot chocolate (2 mugs worth), gradually heat 2 cups of whole milk on the stove top. When the milk starts to steam, whisk in 1/4 cup of Nutella, until the milk has a nice froth. This recipe is from the First & Forever Cookbook. To make it the World's Most Comforting, I spike it with crème de cacao, instead of the suggested Frangelico. Then top it off with a homemade marshmallow, which melts much better than your standard bag from the grocery store (at only 4 times the price!).
posted by hammurderer at 8:22 PM on January 18, 2007 [11 favorites]

Best answer: I made marshmallows in mine at Christmas time. And then I made marshmallows in my boyfriend's little brother's Kitchenaid too.

I still feel like I did some kind of magic.
posted by bilabial at 8:51 PM on January 18, 2007 [2 favorites]


(the end result)
posted by Doohickie at 9:11 PM on January 18, 2007

I have no stand mixer, being both poor and cheap, but a friend let me use her Kitchenaid to accomplish the otherwise nearly impossible, namely the reintegration of oil and peanut solids in five pounds of separated peanut butter. That mixer is magical.
posted by eritain at 9:30 PM on January 18, 2007

you don't even need an attachment for ice cream -- buy some vanilla or chocolate and use the batter stirrer to mix in your choice of toppings and flavorings. its not exactly making your own, but at least you get to make whatever flavor you want
posted by cubby at 9:45 PM on January 18, 2007

mixing paints, thining joint compound
posted by mrleec at 10:46 PM on January 18, 2007

If you have any egg whites left over from all the recipes you're experimenting with, try making meringue cookies!

I made a batch this past weekend in the KitchenAid, and was pretty happy with the results. Super easy, and a good use of your leftovers. The recipe I used actually called for a 1/4 tsp. of vanilla, which gives it a little something extra (you can also add nuts, cocoa, or any other flavorings inside the 'dough').

For those who have a meringue cookie, they're almost like big versions of those cereal marshmallows.
posted by chimmyc at 11:28 PM on January 18, 2007

My roommate once baked a cake. It didn't come out right, so he baked another cake threw the WHOLE FIRST CAKE in the KitchenAid with a little liquid of some kind, put in the blade attachment and WHROMPF WHROMPF WHROMPF: Frosting!
posted by aubilenon at 12:24 AM on January 19, 2007 [3 favorites]

I've used the meat grinder and was distinctly underwhelmed. By comparison, I bought a hand crank model from a church sale for $3 and it has better capacity, better quality, and better throughput. I bought the sausage stuffer attachment and am intending to try that out with meat ground by hand.

I've had my mixed for 17 years now and have used it to make countless batches of bread dough, batches of pizza dough, and all manner of baked goods.

I have the pasta extruder which is fun in same way that the Play-Doh fun factory is. Handy hint - if you're making a batch of pasta, having one of those cheap wooden laundry drying racks at hand is a big help.

While I like the convenience of a spray can of whipped cream and the handy late-night-direct-into-mouth delivery system, you can put together a batch of whipped cream lickety split and flavor it with vanilla, cocoa, amaretto, Grand Marnier, etc.

Once, when I needed butter for a recipe and was short a half stick, but had a pint of cream, I used the kitchen aid to make butter - just dumped in the cream, put in the whisk, turned it on high and walked away for a few minutes.

The only thing that I wish I'd gotten when it was easier to find was a bowl attachment that makes it easier to add flour in and harder for it to spray out.
posted by plinth at 5:29 AM on January 19, 2007 [1 favorite]

The least labor-intensive cookies you can muster.

Always awesome and delicious and properly mixed and in need of commas.

Royal Icing.

Whipped Cream. Making whipped cream is glorious and awesome with a KitchenAid mixer, as is beating egg whites pretty and fluffy.
posted by that girl at 5:35 AM on January 19, 2007

I would look at the KitchenAid less as an appliance that lets you do totally new things, but as an appliance that lets you do the things you'd like to do more often, but are too much work/hassle/cleanup/etc.

My SO has one, and we basically use it for the "standard stuff," mostly cookies, bread dough, cakes, pasta (with the rollers, which are great -- don't get the extruder, it sucks, real pasta should be rolled), and the like. It's nothing that we couldn't do by hand, or with a smaller mixer or beater, but with the KitchenAid we actually do it, rather than just thinking "gee, it would be nice to make pizza instead of ordering out." I do a lot of breads in it, because turning it on and letting it massage the dough for 20 minutes removes a big disincentive to making it myself.

I think the most fun you can have is just going through your recipe box, and pulling out that recipe that you've had for years, but have never wanted to make because it always seemed like too much kneading/stirring/mixing, and do it.

(Incidentally, the recipe for chocolate chip cookies that comes in the book with the machine isn't half bad.)
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:08 AM on January 19, 2007

I actually don't own a Kitchenaid yet, but when I do one of the first things I'll make is lobster or crab butter. I'd definitely put it in the MacGuyver category, and I bet the result is delicious.
posted by rorycberger at 2:19 PM on January 19, 2007

Bread, bread, bread, bread, bread and a shitload of cookies around the holidays. Like Kadin2048, it doesn't really do anything for me that I wasn't doing myself, but generally allows me to sod off and oil the bowl for the first rise or something. This from a guy who swore he'd never tire of hand kneeding. Did try the pasta roller but somehow effed it up into making the world's hardest raviolis.

I'll admit that when I first got it the old household whisk got a couple of month layoff while I used the mixer for everything that I would have beaten by hand (eggs for the omlette, pancake batter, etc, etc). I leave the really weird "Does it blend" stuff for the food processor.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 3:08 PM on January 19, 2007

Things a Kitchenaid will do that you can't easily do by hand:

Make buttercream
Make dough (especially a wet ciabatta dough or a stiff bagel dough)
Whip up eggwhites in like 20 seconds
Whip up whole eggs e.g. for a genoise
posted by rxrfrx at 9:34 AM on January 20, 2007

Response by poster: Everyone's answers were great, but I picked hammurderer's because I can't believe I have lived this long without having hot chocolate made with Nutella.

I also intend to try making marshmallows at the earliest opportunity!

PS Don't worry, I respect the Kitchenaid; I'm not going to mix spackle in it or anything.
posted by exceptinsects at 9:39 AM on January 20, 2007

Make your own butter. It's fantastic if you buy good cream. Put the cream in the mixer, and whip it as if you're making whipped cream. When it's thick enough, switch to the paddle and keep going. Eventually, the butter will coalesce out and most of the buttermilk will escape. Pour that off (save it for something) and keep going. When enough has come out, wash the butter under running water in a strainer to get off the rest of the buttermilk, and then shape it or pack it into a container and store it in the fridge or freezer as you would with any other butter. Adding sea salt is optional, to taste.
posted by Caviar at 7:15 PM on January 20, 2007 [2 favorites]

I went to a printmaking conference last year (SGC, for the other artists out there) and saw a demo of a guy printing etchings using a pasta roller. I imagine this could be done with the Kitchenaid attachment. Just get some pieces of felt, small plates (copper, plexiglass), ink, cheesecloth, and you can make little drypoints with no chemicals or anything messy like that.
posted by bradbane at 3:47 PM on February 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

I make pasta with ours - The pasta roller attachment is something I cannot live without. I used to use an old hand crank pasta maker - it was such an arduous task that I ended up making pasta a lot less often. Now, it's easy to make pasta after work.
posted by soplerfo at 4:38 PM on February 28, 2007

i love my artisan mixer. it's pearl white.

i have heard the innards of the (expensive!) pasta attachments are plastic and can break. kitchenaid doesnt have the greatest customer service reputation, either. you can easily roll pasta dough and cut it in strips like mario does. SUPER easy and impressive to others if theyre watching.

one thing that is nice is to get an extra bowl. i thought this was ludicrous until i started using my mixer all the time for bread and baked goods! it's funny that your bf bought yours because it was the one thing my husband kept trying to remove from our wedding registry. He said it was because we lived in a small nyc apartment and he didn't think i'd use it. for a while i had to store it in the office because my kitchen coudln't house it. But now my husband is eating his words, and snickerdoodles.
posted by JJ Jenkins at 9:25 PM on February 28, 2007

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