Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The story of my Kitchen Aid mixer

The Essential Soft Oatmeal Cookie
The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion Copyright 2004

1/2 cup (1stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 large egg, beaten
6 tablespoons sour cream or yogurt (not nonfat) I used sour cream
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 cup currants or raisins (optional) I used chocolate chips
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon I left this out
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup pecans or walnuts (optional) I left these out

Preheat the oven tho 350 degrees F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment paper) two baking sheets.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, oil and sugar. Add the egg, beating until fluffy, then beat in sour cream and vanilla. Stir in the currants and oats.

In a separate bowl, mix together the baking soda, cinnamon, salt and flour. Add this mixture, a cup at a time, to the oat mixture, beating well after each addition. Stir in the nuts. Let the dough rest for 15 to 30 minutes.

Using a tablespoon cookie scoop, drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake the cookies for 12 minutes, or until they're light brown, Remove from the oven and transfer to a rack to cool.

Okay, not the most exciting cookie recipe. I can't get fancy when I'm looking for a sure thing to put in Nick's lunch bag. He's funny about what he likes and what he doesn't. Store-bought definitely has a greater appeal to him than homemade at this point. He really liked these and so did I. Although I love the oatmeal cookie recipe that uses vanilla pudding, it's nice to have options.

This is a somewhat historical recipe, boring as it is. It's the first recipe I prepared using my Kitchen Aid stand mixer! I never thought I needed an expensive Kitchen Aid stand mixer. Well, there was a point that I wanted one but I was given a Kitchen Aid hand mixer as a wedding gift over 10 years ago and it's so powerful, I stopped coveting the stand mixer.

But I was one of the first shoppers at a local church yard sale late last summer, and what do you think I did when I saw a Kitchen Aid stand mixer sitting there priced at $20? Yep, I bought it! Well, I guess I gave the ending of that story away already, huh?

$20 is a lot for me to spend on something at a yard sale, especially something mechanical that may or may not work. I might have passed it over if it weren't for the handwritten note written on a sticker and placed on the mixer letting me know that all Kitchen Aid attachments work for this mixer. Would someone have taken the time to write that note if the mixer didn't work? And it was a church yard sale after all, all items donated, all of the money going to the church. I took a chance.

I picked that thing up and paid for it so fast, putting down the strawberry shaped cookie jar I was carrying. I was wrangling a 2 year old too, something had to give. Someone else snatched up that cookie jar while I was paying for the mixer and getting it to my car but that's okay. It was nothing special. I've seen those at other yard sales and at Goodwill. I've never seen a Kitchen Aid mixer out in the wild before.

The cashier was amazed that I was paying $20 - everything was priced so cheaply, he thought that was a lot! It's a Kitchen Aid K5-A, with the Hobart name on it, so it's older but those older models are usually better made than the newer models.

So now I'm using it cautiously. I don't know how much life is left in it. I want to use it, but if it croaks, I don't want to be so attached to it that I find myself wanting to replace it at a more believable price. I used it for all of my Christmas baking (my poor neglected hand mixer!) It got a great workout and gave me no problems. What was also nice about it was that it forced me to keep washing the bowl between cookies instead of building a large mountain of dirty bowls like I might tend to do when I use my hand mixer.

So yes, I'm getting a wee bit attached to it, but would I pay hundreds for one of these? I still don't think so, not at this point in my life. I'd rather have more cookbooks.


Mark said...

Love this post and while I trust the Kitchen Aid name I can't justify paying so much for one either. I bake a lot of bread and my only tool is a hand held dough hook. Still, for $20 I would have snatched that too. ;-)

Annie Jones said...

I think you found a bargain! I think I already told you I found a Kitchen Aid "in the wild" for $35. It, too, was a Hobart version. I used it for a few years, but it's main job was bread dough and I ended up stripping the gears in it. We tried to fix it, but either the parts were unavailable or too expensive, so I sold the basic attachments and bowl on eBay for more than the $35 I paid...LOL!

I might snatch another up at $20 or $35 dollars, but I would never spend hundreds on a new Kitchen Aid, especially now that they are no longer made by Hobart and since I bake even more bread now. I moved on to a Bosch Universal, which is just as pricey (maybe even just a little more so) and worth every penny...and it is belt-driven so I won't end up stripping the gears. :)

Laura said...

My first Kitchen Aid is over 30 years old and still going strong! I gave it to my sister when I got the larger capacity model for Christmas 2 years ago. She uses it several times a week and hasn't had any problems. I think they can go on forever!

M Smith said...

I was lucky and inherited a KA stand mixer and i totally love it! It has provided over 15 years of wonderful service to me. Speaking of service... now is the time to find a place to have it serviced so you can contact them when you need it. I have one a bout an hour from me, but it was worth the drive when my mixer was 'abused' by my husband for mixing something in it that he shouldn't have been mixing (some sort of drywall crap). In any case, $25 later and I was back in business.

In my opinion, I couldn't make homemade marshmallows or similar candies without my stand mixer (or a third hand) so it has totally earned its space in my kitchen.

M Smith said...

Took a quick look at what model you have...

I have the same exact one. Lots of life left in that baby! It's a heavy-duty mixer completely capable of mixing bread (you do have the dough hook, I hope. If not, you can get it) as long as you respect the machine.

Any mixer can blow its motor, strip its gears etc. if you over work it by cranking it on high with a very glutenous load in the bowl. Just be patient, and it will be your new best friend.

$20 was TOTALLY a steal! lol!

Lynda S said...

I have the same mixer (the bowl raised up instead of the head, right?) and it is 25+ years old. The only thing I ever had to fix or replace was the whisk. You got a great deal!~

Cookie said...

Can you post a photo of the kitchenaid machine itself?

csr said...

I wish I could just stumble upon an old KA mixer like you have! They are really great work horses. Those cookies look great by the way! Elisabeth @ King Arthur Flour

csr said...

I wish I could just stumble upon an old KA mixer like you have! They are really great work horses. Those cookies look great by the way! Elisabeth @ King Arthur Flour

Lauren said...

This post reminded me to THANK YOU for the oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe with the vanilla pudding mix. I don't remember when you first posted that, but I do know I made it pretty much immediately thereafter and it is my family's absolute FAVORITE!!!

LiveChat85 said...

Kitchen Aid is one of the competitor of Bosch brand, because both brands have the durability that the consumer is looking for.

Bosch Mixer

Rosanna said...

Pretty effective data, thanks so much for your article.

Blender Kitchenaid said...

It's the first recipe I prepared using my Kitchen Aid stand mixer! I never thought I needed an expensive Kitchen Aid stand mixer. Well, there was ...