Stepford and the Kitchenaid Mixer

I didn’t grow up with a Kitchenaid mixer. Or any kind of mixer that wasn’t our hands, a fork, and rarely a hand mixer. When I would go to peoples houses and see a stand mixer two thoughts would enter my head:

  1. They must be SUPER rich, and
  2. They must be lazy as all hell

I mean what kind of person can’t be bothered to use a fork to mash their cookie dough together? Who doesn’t hand knead their bread dough? What a cop out!

I apologize for every silent judgement I ever had about these wonderful devices. I take back every bad thing I ever thought about stand mixers and anyone who uses them. They are obviously sent from heaven and people who use them are demi gods.

When MIL and I did cookies last weekend, she came bearing gifts (of course she did!! You know they never enter the city limits without having something for us or Little Darling) of everything we needed to make cookies, and their beloved, bayberry colored Kitchenaid mixer.

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At first, I was like I-cannot-believe-she-carted-this-thing-down-here, but within about 10 seconds of using it, I was like please-dont-ever-take-this-thing-away.

Let me just say. Holy God this thing is AMAZING.

Number one, it cuts the time of almost any recipe in half because instead of spending 15 minutes with a fork digging into the palm of your hand while you curse under your breath at the butter that wasn’t soft enough, you toss the butter into the mixing bowl and the mixer is like WHAM, BAM- butter is smeary and ready.

Number two, it keeps your fingers and hands clean, for the most part. There was an unfortunate incident where we thought we could fit a triple batch into the mixing bowl (for future reference, don’t do that) and we got pretty messy. But as long as you are just dropping ingredients in, it is pretty mess free.

Number three, it mixes everything perfectly. When you are normally biting into hunks of unmixed brown sugar and wondering why your cookies spread so funny or aren’t very chewy or any of those weird problems you encounter even though you followed the recipe exactly, that doesn’t happen with the stand mixer. Your cookies are perfectly mixed, and come out pretty beautifully.

This was my first time using a stand mixer and I was pretty much instantly in love. I am already looking for counter space I could open up so I can fit one permanently. I have made quite a few cookies in my life time, and I can say the cookies coming out of this stand mixer are by far the best cookies I have ever had and the chocolate chip cookies are bordering are best chocolate chip cookies I have ever tested ever, included the store bought ones and the bakery cookies. I mean it.

So. Grab yourself a stand mixer, and whip up a quick batch of chocolate chip cookies for you and your loved ones. Or maybe just for you since you will probably eat the whole batch before any one else eats one..

Chocolate chip cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups chocolate chips

Mix the butter, sugars, and vanilla in the stand mixer. Add the eggs one at a time and mix well in between each one. Slowly mix in flour, salt, and baking soda. Mix in the chocolate chips.

Drop spoonfuls onto cookie sheets covered with parchment paper. Bake 8-11 minutes until the edges are golden brown but the middle is still pale. Let cool for a few minutes before moving to wire racks to cool completely. Eat every cookie in one sitting  Enjoy.

Christmas Cookies

Growing up, one of the best things about the Christmas holiday was baking with my mom. We made huge batches of cookies and would spend hours icing them. We only ever made Gingerbread, Orange cookies, and snickerdoodles. I think because those are the only ones people liked? The recipes were super old and had been handed down for generations. We would always show up to my grandparents on Christmas eve with a huge platter of cookies.

When I was in college, moms interest in baking cookies kind of died out (I suspect that there was never a great love of cookie baking and she was simply doing it because it was a fun memory to be made with us kids) so one year I tried to do it myself. I ended up with an army of over 200 gingerbread men that lived in my freezer and got handed out to everyone I knew. Last year there were no cookies because I was so insanely pregnant I could barely move.

This year, I enlisted MIL to come help. She was looking for someone to help with her family recipes and I was looking for help wrangling Little Darling while I baked. We only managed to get two recipes done, but we had a great time doing it. Since then I have been sneaking in batches of chocolate chip cookies at night while Little Darling is sleeping and we have planned another baking day this weekend to get another large portion done.

My favorite christmas cookie, and probably all time favorite cookie ever, is my moms gingerbread recipe. It is soft and chewy and delicious. We ice them with a simple powdered sugar glaze and they are so good! Growing up we made them in circles because its easy, but I have been branching out into gingerbread men, boys, and even little house shaped cookie cutters.

Here is the recipe:

2 eggs
1 cup shortening
1 cup baking molasses
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup boiling water
2 tsp baking soda (dissolved in boiling water)
2 tsp ginger
2 tsp cinnamon

Add flour to make soft dough to roll
Bake at 375 for 5 or 6 minutes

That is the recipe as it was given to my mom a million years ago. I have learned to not over work the dough or your gingerbread men taste like dough boys. Not a good taste. I have no idea how much flour I ever use, I just mix until it is a nice dough that I can work with my hands.

After they have cooled down you can ice them. Here is my icing recipe:

4 Tbsp butter (melted)
2 cups powdered sugar
4 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla

Work with it until it is a good consistency to pour or spread, whichever you prefer.

I love these cookies, they are super delicious and the perfect addition to any holiday party.

Key Lime Cookies

I have spent a lot of time wondering what I should do with the limes my mom brought me. They are cute little things, and incredibly ripe. But, I don’t have a single lime recipe in my kitchen that calls for actual limes, only lime juice, and even those recipes are few and far between.

Enter Pinterest.

Not sure how the average woman ever survived without Pinterest. Still wondering how my mother survives without Pinterest. I am on it at least 10 times a day looking for information and recipes and helpful tips. It is my life saver.

So I found this Key Lime Cookie recipe.

Ingredients
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, plus 2 cups more for rolling
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ¼ cup fresh key lime juice (regular lime juice is ok)
  • 1 tablespoon key lime zest
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, cream the butter and 1 cup of sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. On low speed, mix in the egg yolk, lime juice, and zest until incorporated. Add the dry ingredients, mixing on low speed just until combined. The dough will be very crumbly. Using your hands, knead the dough gently until it comes together and forms a ball. Roll the dough into 1″ sized balls and place 1″ apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.
  3. Place the baking sheet on a wire rack. While the cookies are still warm, roll them in the reserved 2 cups of powdered sugar, and place back on the baking sheet to cool completely. Sift the remaining powdered sugar over the tops of the cookies. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

The only thing that I would change is the baking time. I had mine in for 20 minutes and the bottoms got burnt. And you really don’t have to use your hand to mix the dough together. In fact, it is really advisable that you do not use your hand, otherwise you just end up with a hand full of dough goo and you have to explain to your husband why there is key lime cookie stuck to your wedding band set.. not good.

I am in love with these cookies though! They were really simple and delicious. I must confess I have been eating them for breakfast with my cup of coffee, and in the evening with a cup of tea, and sometimes at lunch time as dessert… they are just really light and refreshing. And the recipe makes a ton! I will definitely be making these in the future. I am thinking lemon, orange…maybe ever coloring the dough somehow to make them pretty?

Oh my god. Green lime cookies.