Whipping up a bulky batch of shortbread has never been so easy. With its 10-speed range and 325 watts of mixing power, the KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer reigns supreme among our list of kitchen must-haves. From Bordeaux and Boysenberry, to Pistachio (pictured) and Aqua Sky, the multi-functional mixer is not only versatile in color but in use. Hand-assembled in Greenville, Ohio, the product has a power hub and attachments universal for making meringue, fresh pasta, and ice cream. Its sleek, chromatic design complements counter space, and, with purchase, includes a flat beater, dough hook, wire whip, and pouring shield. It’s perhaps the perfect gift for mom this Mother’s Day — the toughest decision will be which hue to choose. — Andrea Bosco
KitchenAid products are available at Williams-Sonoma, williams-sonoma.com.
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Shannon Gomes, public relations manager at Williams-Sonoma, weighs in on the KitchenAid mixer
WHIRL: Can you briefly explain the benefits of the power hub, multiple beaters, and bowl options?
Shannon Gomes: The central power hub allows you to make your KitchenAid stand mixer into a multi-functional kitchen device. It is no longer just for mixing, you can use it to make pasta (both rolled and extruded), grind meat, juice citrus, make sausage, etc. The hub is universal so that all accessories fit the range of stand mixers that KitchenAid makes — no need to change accessories if you decide to change models. A dedicated beater for the different tasks that are preformed in a stand mixer ensure that the job is done correctly. The dough hook replicates the kneading that is needed for making bread and other yeast doughs; the flat beater is great for creaming butter and sugar, and stirring and incorporating ingredients without aerating; and the whip is designed for when you want to add volume by aerating your mixture, such as when making whipped cream or egg whites. There is also a flat beater that includes a scraper attachment — this guy ensures very consistent mixing of ingredients and eliminates the need to scrape down the sides of the bowl during mixing. A range of bowls are available to fit the KitchenAid stand mixers. Having multiple bowls is a great choice when you need to mix a bunch of different items for a recipe and don’t want to keep washing the dirty bowl between each step. Some bowls come with lids so that you can store them in the fridge without having to transfer the contents to another container. Some bowls also reduce the capacity that the stand mixer can handle which is great for smaller batches — the combi Whip & Mixer turns your 6-quart stand mixer into a 3-quart version. The ice cream mixer is an additional bowl that you can store in your freezer until ready to use and turns your stand mixer into an ice cream maker. (Note: Not all bowls fit all models.)
WHIRL: How does Williams-Sonoma choose which colors it carries — does it vary by season?
SG: We like to feature different colors by season and our specific lifestyle layouts within our stores and catalogs. All colors are always available online for customers to purchase at any time.
WHIRL: What’s the difference between the 5-quart tilt-head and 6-quart bowl-lift mixer? What’’s the difference between the Artisan and Design series?
SG: The most obvious difference is in capacity. The 5-quart is also a smaller footprint and is not as high as the 6-quart. The 5-quart tilt-head model is the perfect machine for the regular home baker who might make double batches on occasion. The 6-quart (and 7-quart) stand mixers can accommodate larger batches and have a bowl lift. This is a feature that is found in commercial mixers. They also have more powerful motors (they need them to handle the larger load). The Design series is the same machine as the Artisan series but with different color and a glass bowl versus a stainless-steel bowl, and it has a two-coat premium metallic paint versus the standard single coat that is on the regular Artisan series.
WHIRL: Are there new attachments debuting this year at Williams-Sonoma? If so, what are they?
SG: Yes! We are excited to launch a couple new attachments throughout the year this year. One of which is the new Slow Juicer Attachment that’s launching exclusively with Williams-Sonoma this summer. It’s another great addition to our attachment assortment, and comes with multiple screens to utilize for high pulp, low pulp, and saucing to cover all our customers’ needs.
WHIRL: Do you have a favorite feature of the KitchenAid mixer?
SG: I really like to use the dough hook to make a quick pizza dough rather than kneading by hand. It allows me to do the rest of the preparation that needs to get done in the kitchen, as well as having the opportunity to use so many different attachments on one machine!
WHIRL: What are the company’s tips for a couple registering for the KitchenAid mixer and its products at Williams-Sonoma?
SG: It’s the perfect gift for our newlyweds — not only can you pick the color that fits your personality, you can also sign up for cooking classes to learn more about how to use the product as a new couple in the kitchen. We offer discounts on all cooking classes for our registrants until six months after the big day!
WHIRL: Do you have a favorite recipe you like to whip up using the mixer?
SG: I use it for everything ranging from meringues, soufflés, cookie dough, cake batters, and I can’t forget my own ravioli.