The best stand mixers support so many attachments it can be difficult to figure out which one to use for your recipe. Also, many of the attachments serve multiple purposes. For example, the food grinder can be used to grind beef, pork, and more, but it can also mash potatoes — it isn’t just for grinding meat.
Your mixer comes with 3 standard accessories usually — a dough hook, a flat beater, and a whisk or whip. Since you need to make dough before baking your cookie, you might think a dough hook is the right attachment to use, but no, that’s the attachment you use when you need to knead heavy dough for bread.
Cookie dough isn’t heavy, so the right tool for cookies is the flat beater, also called a paddle.
Here’s what a flat beater looks like:
As explained above, these tools have multiple uses. The paddle isn’t just for cookies — it’s designed for mixing cakes, frostings, and other types of batter.
Deciding on What Accessory to Use
To know which one to use for your recipe, find out what your recipe requires you to do. Does it ask you to beat, knead, or whisk the ingredients? That’s how you figure out the right one to use, but that’s not the easy way for those who are new to baking or using mixers.
If you’re new to this, the easiest way to figure out what accessory to use is by consulting your manual. They usually include a guide for different types of mixing tasks and recommend the right tool for the job.
If your mixer’s manual doesn’t contain an attachment guide, KitchenAid and Cuisinart manuals usually have one, so you can google and download a manual from any of these brands and follow their guide. Also, the recipes that come with your machine usually tell you what attachment to use.
That said, here’s a general guide:
- Attach a dough hook for coffee cakes, bread, and pizza, or other types of yeast dough.
- Pick the whip for airy mixtures, such as eggs and egg whites, frostings, and heavy cream.
- Pick the paddle for semi-heavy mixtures like cakes, biscuits, and cookies.
Amazon sells a lot of these accessories by the way, so if yours breaks or you need to buy an extra one like a food grinder, spiralizer, or any of the numerous extras available, look on Amazon.