My mother is a baker. Some of my earliest memories involve making cookies and cakes with that mixer. She'd pull a stool up to the counter and I'd help measure out ingredients. This was so routine that we never had store-bought treats when I was a kid (as a result, we usually hoped the Easter Bunny would bring us Twinkies!). Having a Kitchen Aid mixer in the kitchen was as important as having a toaster.
Soon after I got that first apartment, I got that Kitchen Aid mixer. It served me well for quite some time, but a few years ago, it started to be sluggish. My mother's mixer is probably about 40 years old and it's going strong, but mine was having trouble at 10 years old. It protested with a pitiful whine towards the end of cookie making sessions, when the ingredients approached a doughy consistency. I started wondering if like many companies, Kitchen Aid had changed their manufacturing practices over the years. My mixer just wasn't the work horse that my mother's is.
So, I switched. I sold my Kitchen Aid on Craigslist. When I called my mother to tell her, she was very, very quiet. Kitchen Aid mixers are clearly supposed to have one and only one owner. I had already done some research and settled on a replacement.
I switched to the Cuisinart stand mixer and I'm so happy with it! It's got as many attachments as the Kitchen Aid, but most of them are metal.
I also love that it has a built in timer. You can set the mixer to run for a set amount of time and just walk away. It also works up to the speed that you select, so you never have a cloud of flour in your face after starting it up too quickly.
The latch to the left of the timer and dial releases the top. With the Kitchen Aid, you had to unlock the top and then lift it yourself. My Cuisinart's top lifts itself once you flick that latch and give the top part a little nudge.
I got the food processor attachment for free and have been making bread crumbs for meatballs and oat flour for dog treats fairly regularly (Baxter automatically hovers when I use the mixer, so I guess I use it more for him than for me!).
Does anyone else own a Cuisinart? Do you like it as much as I do? What about the Viking stand mixer? I saw that after I bought my Cuisinart and wonder how it compares. I don't think stand mixers are very popular any more, but I suspect that those who have them have stuck to the Kitchen Aid just because it's been around forever.
The Kitchen Aid mixer will always be iconic, but if you're a serious baker and having committed to a mixer yet, check out the Cuisinart. I've been really happy with mine.
I didn't really mean to write a review, but I guess this became one. No company was involved in this post.