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April 15, 2009
Every once in a while something comes along for the kitchen that makes you think, "What took them so long?" And the thought that usually follows in the minds of those who are more mechanically inclined than I am, is "Why didn't I think of that?" My bet is that as soon as you see the new BeaterBlade+, you'll have one or both of these reactions.
The BeaterBlade+ is like a windshield wiper for your stand mixer. It's a leaf or paddle attachment with wipers on the sides and bottom so that as your blade whirls around, the wipers scrape the bowl in those hard-to-get-to places.
The BeaterBlade+ people claim that because you don't have to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl -- their blades do that for you -- you can cut down mixing time by as much as 50%. That's probably true, but saving mixing time doesn't really mean that much to me. I like that I barely have to scrape the bowl, a job I find pesky, and, more important, that the blade mixes batters and doughs more evenly more easily.
The BeaterBlade+, which costs between $25 and $30, is available for several kinds of mixers. I've got them for my KitchenAid 5-Quart Lift-Bowl Mixers (my favorite mixer), but they're available for all the other KitchenAid mixers as well as for mixers by Cuisinart, Viking and DeLonghi.
If you buy one and want to take it for a test-drive, here's a recipe for my grandmother's sugar cookies. It's kind of fun to think about making a recipe with high-tech gear that my grandmother always made with a wooden spoon and elbow grease. Given that she wasn't much of a romantic, I'm guessing that she would not only approve of our using everything mechanical we can get our hands on, she'd probably be envious.
GRANDMA'S ALL-OCCASION SUGAR COOKIES
From Baking From My Home to Yours
Makes about 50 cookies (depending on diameter)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons (10 tablespoons; 5 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Sugar or cinnamon-sugar, for dusting (optional)
Whisk the flour, salt and baking powder together and keep close by.
Working in a mixer with the paddle attachment, if you have one, beat the butter at medium speed for a minute or so, until it is smooth. Still beating, add the sugar and continue to beat for about 2 minutes, until the butter is light and pale. Add the egg and the yolk and beat another minute or two. Reduce the mixer speed to low and steadily add the flour mixture, mixing only until it has been incorporated. In fact, because this dough is best when worked least, you might want to stop the mixer before all the flour is thoroughly blended into the dough and finish the job with a rubber spatula. When mixed, the dough will be soft, creamy and appealingly malleable.
Turn the dough out onto a counter and divide it in half. If you want to make roll-out cookies, shape each half into a disk and wrap in plastic. If you want to make slice-and-bake cookies, shape each half into a chubby sausage (the diameter of the sausage is up to you - I usually like cookies that are about 2 inches or more across) and wrap in plastic. Whether you're going to roll or slice the dough, the packets must be chilled for at least 2 hours. (Well wrapped, the dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.)
Getting ready to bake the cookies: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Have two lined baking sheets (page 000) at the ready. For these, I prefer to bake a single sheet at a time. You can fill both sheets and keep one sheet covered in the refrigerator while you bake the other.
If you are making slice-and-bake cookies, use a ruler to mark off 1/4-inch intervals on each roll of dough. With a sharp thin-bladed knife, slice the dough into rounds and place the rounds on one of the baking sheets, leaving about 1 1/2 inches of space between each cookie.
If you are making roll-out cookies, work with one packet of dough at a time and roll the dough between sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper to a thickness of 1/4 inch, lifting the plastic or paper and turning the dough over often so that it rolls evenly. Lift off the top sheet of plastic or paper and cut the cookies - I like a 2-inch round cookie cutter for these. Pull away the excess dough, saving the scraps for re-rolling, and carefully lift the rounds onto the baking sheets, leaving about 1 1/2 inches of space between each cookie. (This is a soft dough and you might have trouble peeling away the excess or lifting the cut outs. If so, cover the dough, chill it for about 15 minutes and try again.) After you've rolled and cut the second packet of dough, you can form the scraps into a disk, chill, roll, cut and bake them.
Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, for 9 to 11 minutes, rotating the sheet at the mid-point. The cookies should feel firm, but they should not color much if at all. Remove the pan from the oven and dust the cookies with sugar or cinnamon-sugar, if you'd like. Let them rest 1 minute before carefully lifting them onto a rack to cool to room temperature.
Serving: I don't know that I've ever formally "served" these. When they're cool, I put them on a plate or in a basket and then, the next thing I know, they're gone.
Storing: The cookies will keep at room temperature in a tin for up to 1 week. Wrapped well, they can be frozen for up to 2 months.
Tags: Baking from My Home to Yours
, Grandma's Sugar Cookies
, KitchenAid Mixer
Tools and Gadgets
| April 15, 2009 9:19 AM
Brilliant. If this fits my ancient but trusty K5A, I'm buying one today! Thanks, Dorie.
| April 15, 2009 9:26 AM
Cathy, it's on my ancient K5A right now. I've got newer KitchenAid mixers that I really like, but it's the old K5A that I LOVE. I've had it for more than 30 years and tested recipes for 10 books on it and it's still going strong - nevertheless, I touched wood after I wrote that :)
| April 15, 2009 9:39 AM
I am so longing for the beaterblade.
| April 15, 2009 9:43 AM
I've been wondering if those things actually worked. I guess it IS possible to improve upon a classic.
| April 15, 2009 10:06 AM
Oohhhh I want one of these so bad! Just recently got my KitchenAid and my biggest struggle is scraping down the sides! I think I'll send my hubby to your site for a hint!
| April 15, 2009 10:35 AM
brilliant! and love the name...
| April 15, 2009 11:03 AM
Love it! i bought one about 3 weeks ago for my KitchenAid and ready to get one for my new viking mixer as well. it really does a nice job when making butter cream. Glad you like it too!
| April 15, 2009 2:28 PM
I received a Beater Blade for Christmas and I adore it. I started a baking business last month (yes, really!) and have been using my new blade to mix your lemon sable dough, which it handles to perfection.
A chicette in Paris
| April 15, 2009 3:05 PM
This recipe looks delicious! I would love to have a beaterblade!!
| April 15, 2009 3:39 PM
I am getting so close to buying one of these...but, I have also seen this one:
Do you feel that the Beater Blade is a better choice?
Every time I am making cookies or cakes in my KA, I wish I had a scraping blad. I have an older lift model and I can't just stick my spatula in to scrape, I always seem to have to drop the bowl.
By the way, I'm not complaining lest you think so! Tee hee. I love my KA in any way, shape, or scrape-down-the-sides form :)
| April 15, 2009 3:41 PM
I LOVE this recipe. Have made it several times from your venerable book. And, can I just say....you are SO one of my heroes!!!!!
| April 15, 2009 4:21 PM
Thanks! I've been using all sorts of silicone spatulas (most from Williams-Sonoma) for this job but I'll have to buy one one of these ASAP. And try those cookies of course. :)
| April 15, 2009 6:02 PM
Right you are Dorie. I've been using mine now for several months and would never go back. The plus for me is I can put it in the washer. The KA beater that came with my mixer is aluminum and discolors in the washer.
Alisa - Frugal Foodie
| April 15, 2009 6:05 PM
What a delicious test drive!
| April 15, 2009 10:46 PM
I love fun new kitchen tools! Agree that scraping down the bowls is pesky. I wish there was a blade long enough to reach all the way to the bottom. I always find flour, etc on the bottom of the bowl that didn't quite get mixed in and then I usually end up incorporating it by hand!
| April 15, 2009 11:01 PM
It's so nice to find that some of you are using the BeaterBlade+ and liking it as much as I am.
It's also nice to know that there are Grandma's Sugar Cookies fan out there -- thank you.
Lu, I've never tried the SideSwipe Blade (although I love the name), so I can't tell you if it's any better than the BeaterBlade+ -- sorry.
Maris, I think you'll find that this blade helps with the flour-in-the-bottom-of-the-bowl problem.
Ruth -- CONGRATULATIONS on starting a baking business. I haven't visited your blog for a while, so I'm behind on the news. I'll have to go catch up.
| April 16, 2009 12:21 AM
Love the sugar cookie recipe, Dorie. In fact, love everything I've tried from Baking From My Home To Yours. The Corniest Corn Muffins are the best EVER! And FWIW, I have both the BeaterBlade+ and SideSwipe for my KA 6 qt. (obviously I'm a bit of a gadget junkie). Although the BeaterBlade+ works well, I actually like the SideSwipe better. It's sturdier (has a metal core) and for whatever reason I found myself always gravitating toward that one after using them both for a while.
| April 16, 2009 2:52 AM
Oh it's about time! Thanks for the heads-up on this nifty accessory. I must have one!!
Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)
| April 16, 2009 8:04 AM
I've been reading about these for a year or so -- there are a few different brands on the market, and I haven't been sure which to buy for my KitchenAid Artisan.
| April 16, 2009 10:17 AM
Cook's Illustrated was testing these and I believe the preliminaries had the BeaterBlade in the lead.
Laura [What I Like]
| April 16, 2009 11:33 AM
Oh how genius! Glad someone finally has addressed the most annoying bowl scraping problem. And I was just thinking that we were out of cookies at home so thanks for the recipe inspiration!
| April 16, 2009 1:38 PM
I'm off on a mission to get one of these toot suite!!
| April 16, 2009 5:47 PM
I love my BeaterBlade; no more scraping down the bowl. I so enjoy your recipes with the TWDer's, especially this weeks the Amaretti Torte.
| April 16, 2009 10:44 PM
I can't wait to purchase one of these! I have been wanting one for awhile. Glad you approve! The cookies look fantastic too!
| April 17, 2009 2:08 PM
Dorie, I ordered by BeaterBlade today from Amazon. Can't wait to use it :)
Thanks, as always, for another great post.
| April 17, 2009 3:26 PM
For those who are considering the SideSwipe blade - I had one, and loved it until all the blue nubs started breaking off into the batter! I think I'll try the BeaterBlade next
| April 17, 2009 5:53 PM
I bought a SideSwipe blade at first. You don't have to scrape the bowl, for sure, but you still have to scrape a whole lot of dough/batter from each individual little "fin." So I bought a BeaterBlade instead and loved it so much I bought two more for Christmas gifts.
| April 18, 2009 3:35 AM
Sounds pretty amazing. I would kill to have a kitchen aid stand mixer. A yellow one is on my wish list. Some day . . . some day.
| April 18, 2009 1:16 PM
"I don't know that I've ever formally 'served' these. When they're cool, I put them on a plate or in a basket and then, the next thing I know, they're gone."
So true! I guess that's the highest compliment a cook can get, right?
| April 18, 2009 6:23 PM
Its so nice to get a "Dorie bakes approval." :-*) Thanks Dorie. I so love my KA's. Aren't we lucky to have such fine kitchen toys!!! Can't wait to get my hands on one of these new toyettes. Thanks
Julia @ MÃ©langer
| April 18, 2009 6:51 PM
I started reading your post, and thought ... "no way?!!". When I was using my KA yesterday, and stopping it occasionally to scape down the sides of the bowl, I thought to myself, "for a $699 mixer - the entry point here in Australia) - you would think that it could mix without intervention". I am Googling this right now (but looks like it could require some importing)...
Corry Garam (Melbourne, Australia)
| April 18, 2009 9:05 PM
Thanks Dorie for your generous sharing of recipes, ideas and thoughts and your wonderful entertaining blog spot,
I have just ordered two KA 'Scraper A Bowl's (that's what KA call it here in Australia) for $AU 49.95 each - an extra one for my friend's house warming present. I was tickled pink when I saw it on the demonstrator's table. I had tried to order one from America a few months ago, but was told that they didn't have a distributor in Australia and couldn't send one. Unfortunately, I have to wait up to 4 weeks for delivery. I can hardly wait to test drive it.
For Julia from http://www.melangerbaking.com and other Aussies who may be interested, they are available via order through Matchbox. Melbourne.
Mixing Bowl Mama
| April 20, 2009 9:49 AM
Thank you for the review...I would love to get one of these and may just do so this week....
| April 20, 2009 2:08 PM
Great timing, Dorie! My mom and I bought one this weekend to try out, but we got the wrong size blade. I was going to give up, but after seeing your post today I will search more diligently for the one that fits the 5 Qt mixer. Thanks!
| April 20, 2009 4:50 PM
Actually here is the Cook's Illustrated comparison:
SideSwipe Spatula Mixer Blade
The paddle has several angled silicone fins that beat, scrape, and push batter down in the bowl. When baking our recipe for Spritz Cookies, which recommends stopping three times to scrape the bowl, we could add ingredients without stopping until the dough came together, leaving completely clean sides in the bowl.
This offers a single beating-and-scraping "wing," which blended cake batters well and creamed butter in half the time of a traditional paddle. However, when we mixed our Spritz Cookies, the BeaterBlade+ left smears behind
| April 20, 2009 7:32 PM
I am so glad to see that you and others really like this product. I have been eyeing it but just couldn't justify buying to simply alleviate the hassle of scraping the bowl. Now that I know it actually mixes better, well, now how can I not buy one?!
| April 21, 2009 12:57 AM
I gave my sister one of these for Christmas and she loves it. I very much want one of my own after seeing her use it.
| April 21, 2009 2:45 AM
i was considering this for a while i was happy to find this amonth others.
also the other commnets helped me.
| April 21, 2009 9:16 AM
Thanks for all the great comments and many thanks for the links that compare the BeaterBlade+ and the SideSwipe.
I was just baking with my blade and thinking that it's great that you don't have to scrape down the bowl as often, but what's really good about a tool like this is that it does a better job of mixing the batter. Because the blade also has wipers on the bottom, it picks up more of the flour that often gets left behind in the hollow of the mixing bowl.
| April 24, 2009 2:18 PM
I bought my beaterblade several months ago and agree that it scrapes the bowl very well (though you still need to scrape down the ingredients that end up above the blade on the side of the bowl). My biggest complaint, however, is that when you add dry ingredients into partially mixed batter (say, the second edition of dry ingredients after adding buttermilk), the dry ingredients are thrown up and out of the bowl! It can be quite a mess. The KA shield doesn't help - I've taken to covering the bowl with a dish towel before starting the mixer. Any suggestions?
| April 24, 2009 6:39 PM
If it hadn't been for you, I might never have discovered the new beater blade! Many thanks.
Of course it begs the question......why hasn't anyone thought of it before???
| May 7, 2009 9:44 AM
The minute I saw it I ordered one for me and one for my sister. We both bake a lot and I have found it very useful. Certainly one can live without it, but it works and I am always in favor of a good innovation on an old standby. My KitchenAid is from my 1st wedding in 1975 and I kept hoping for an excuse to replace it. I've had it so long now that the avocado green is back in style!
| May 12, 2009 1:09 PM
I took a pastry class at the CIA in Hyde Park, and the master pastry chef there always covers the bowl with a towel for the first 10 sec or so after adding dry ingredients--so you're right up there with the experts!
| June 9, 2011 12:46 PM
These sound delicious! I need to bake some immediately. Although I'll have to bribe my grandpa to let me use his dough machine. Thanks for the recipe!
| May 30, 2012 11:16 AM
I think you forgot to put it when your supposed to add the vanilla. I figured to add it after the eggs but just incase someone else doesnt know. This batter tastes DELICIOUS! Cant wait to bake it up!
replied to comment from Alicia
| June 2, 2012 6:54 AM
Alicia- Great catch. Thanks for writing in to let me know about it.
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