Growing up in a Pennsylvania-Dutch family, store-bought was not part of our vocabulary when it came to cooking and baking. I watched my mom, my grandma, my aunt, and my great aunt make birthday cakes, pies, soufflés, crumb cakes, cookies — all with a KitchenAid mixer. As an aspiring baker myself, a KitchenAid mixer has been the appliance I’ve most coveted since I moved out on my own and could no longer mooch off of my mom’s. But since I chose to live in a cardboard box–size apartment in New York City, storage for a heavy, bulky appliance was never in the cards — that is until I discovered there was a mini-version, and it could fit in the small space above my kitchen cabinets.
Then in 2016, KitchenAid released the Artisan Mini, and I would have never known about it if it wasn’t for my mom (I think she saw it in one of her food magazines). It’s 25 percent lighter and 20 percent smaller than a regular KitchenAid mixer, and clearly targeted toward millennials who live in cities. The mixer can handle all the same attachments as its predecessor (minus the ice-cream maker) and comes in a rainbow of colors (I went with Orange Sorbet, which, along with Hot Sauce, are cheapest of all the color options available on Amazon). Since I was used to the regular size, I was a little skeptical about my recipes fitting in the mini, especially my “Best Chocolate Cake.” It makes for a really liquidy batter, and I was worried that the smaller bowl would cause the chocolate to splatter. But since the rest of the appliance is proportional to the bowl, the batter stayed put.
As for the mechanics, the Artisan Mini’s beater can still slice through thick batters with ease and mix together the smoothest cookie dough. It’s been a savior during the holidays: I don’t have to worry about wrist pain when making ten-plus batches of Christmas cookies (as I would with a hand mixer). Heck, I can just throw in the ingredients, and then drink an espresso while it does its thing.
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