Because I’ve been going a little confectionery-crazy lately, Peter decided to let me splurge on a nice mixer to add to my kitchen arsenal. I went with the KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixer, and let me tell you, this thing is a BEAST. I’ve had a workout just arranging it on the counter and tinkering with it as I read through the instruction manual. It weighs 20 pounds, easy.
I went with the Imperial Black color, which isn’t as glossy as some product images implied, but that’s OK — I like the feel of it, since it’s kinda like a thick powder-coat type paint, and I know that it won’t show smudges or scuffs like the smooth finishes will. It reminds me of a well-used, well-seasoned cast iron skillet.
My first project will be these espresso chocolate chip shortbread cookies that Peter and I have become addicted to. They’re insane. Here’s the blog post on Use Real Butter, which is where I found the recipe, and it links back to the original recipe on Smitten Kitchen. They vary a tiny bit, but the Use Real Butter version/method has worked out amazingly for me. It’ll be extra nice not to have my arms and hands cramp up from mixing them manually!
Seriously, bookmark that recipe. You’ll be making them repeatedly, and in increasing frequency. XD
This is my dad’s recipe for super-easy cookies of any variety. They’re guaranteed fool-proof, and the possible varieties are virtually endless.
- 1 box of 2-layer cake mix — your choice!
- 8 tbsp (1 stick) of butter, softened
- 1 egg
- approx. 10 oz (1 to 1.5 cups) add-ins — your choice! (i.e., dried cranberries, chopped nuts, chocolate or peanut butter chips, etc.) – OPTIONAL
Preheat your oven to 325°. Mix the ingredients together with a hand-mixer on LOW speed (although I recommend digging in with your hands if you decided to toss in any optional ingredients). The dough will be VERY sticky, so consider yourself warned!
OPTIONAL: Once the dough is blended, roll it in plastic cling wrap, shaping it into a log. It will keep in the freezer for a few days, or you can take it out after just a few hours. The cold dough will be a lot less sticky and easier to handle.
Roll a portion of dough into a ~1.5″ ball, then press onto a non-stick cookie sheet. Bake at 325° for 12 to 13 minutes. Carefully remove the cookies from the cookie sheet and place them on a cooling rack. This recipe yields about 2 dozen 2″ to 3″ cookies.
Try using different combinations of cake mixes and add-ins. Some examples:
- spice cake + dried cranberries (this one is an all-time favorite!)
- double chocolate cake + peanut butter chips
- German chocolate cake + chopped walnuts
- coconut cake + chocolate chips