General Question

Jeruba's avatar

Do I really need a "paddle attachment"?

Asked by Jeruba (41889 points ) December 19th, 2008

I heard food scientist Shirley Corriher on NPR the other day talking about chocolate crinkle cookies, and they sounded so yummy that I would just love to try them.

Problem: the recipe calls for a “mixer with paddle attachment” and says to line a baking sheet with “release foil.” I have been baking cookies since before Barack Obama was born, and I never heard of either of these things. Do I really need them? Can I substitute for them somehow? I’ve always mixed cookies by hand.

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21 Answers

cooksalot's avatar

It’s just that the batter gets really hard to mix with a mixer at a certain point. The paddle makes it easier or you can just change over to a wooden spoon when it gets too stiff. I just spray the pan well with Pam Spray or use parchment paper I think the easy release foil is just a sponsor endorsement. You can see a picture on my cooking blog

PupnTaco's avatar

Parchment paper (with spray) or a silicone baking sheet will most likely give the same results as release foil. You already know to use a lightweight baking sheet otherwise they’ll burn on the bottom.

And I’d guess a good wooden spoon and a strong arm will accomplish the same thing as a Kitchenaid with paddle attachment (standard issue).

Jeruba's avatar

@Cooksalot and @Dave, thanks for the help. I have a strong young son who can take over with a wooden spoon when the going gets tough, so I may try that. I don’t have any parchment, but it sounds like I should get some. You use it with spray?

I went to your blog, @Cooks, but don’t know where to look for the picture. Can you point me? Later I’ll come back and browse. Looks interesting.

@Dave, I used to have regular old thin cookie sheets, same as my mother’s. When I tried to replace them, they were no more to be found. I had no choice but to get the double-layered ones. My cookies positively never burn on the bottom (or the edges), but I haven’t made chocolate cookies before, so I will be especially vigilant with the first batch.

PupnTaco's avatar

We usually use parchment without spray – it’s a nice no-stick (and no clean-up afterwards) product.

Maybe setting them on an upper-middle rack might help?

hannahsugs's avatar

If you have a hand mixer, that would work in lieu of a paddle attachment. As the others have said, mixing by hand will work too, but you’re more likely to run the risk of over-mixing. Make sure not to handle the dough too much after you add the flour, or you’ll end up with tough cookies (tee hee). A standing mixer with a paddle helps avoid this problem because it mixes very evenly and efficiently. As long as you don’t overmix, you should be fine.

Jeruba's avatar

Oh, thanks for the warning, @hannahsugs. My cookies always do come out perfect, but I’ve never tried anything like these before and I want to get it right.

PupnTaco's avatar

I’ll take this opportunity to recommend “Baking Illustrated”—the most thorough and amazing cookbook I own.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

This isn’t exactly related, but I really love the way you said “baking cookies since before Barack Obama was born.” That definitely made me lol. And I love NPR :)

Jeruba's avatar

New measure of time, @TM. Thank you.

cooksalot's avatar

Here’s a picture Not the prettiest but I had messy hands and was trying to take pictures. With kids trying to help. eeek!

janbb's avatar

I usually either grease cookie pans (wiht butter) or use parchment paper – depending on the stickiness of the dough. Withreal buttery cookies, I often don’t put either on the sheet. I don’t spray or grease parchment paper when I use it and cookies come out fine. One nice thing about parchment paper is that you can take the whole sheet of cookies off the tray at once so you don’t get much residual baking.

Mizuki's avatar

Paddle-spanked by Barak Obama while eating cookies?

Jeruba's avatar

Thanks, @Cooks. So it’s like a very coarse beater.

Thanks, everyone. Hmm, maybe I’ll try something else. Posting a general request for chocolate cookie recipes.

cooksalot's avatar

My kids loved helping to make the cookies and rolling them in the sugar.

PupnTaco's avatar

Jeruba - check cooksillustrated.com and see if they have their "thick and chewy chocolate chip cookies" recipe online.

It’s “the bomb,” as they say.

Jeruba's avatar

@Dave, it is, and the description sounds heavenly, but the recipe itself is available to members only. That lets me out. Thanks for the tip, though.

cooksalot's avatar

hmm, let me go look at my cooks illustrated cook book. maybe it’s in there.

PupnTaco's avatar

Merry Christmas:

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
From Cook’s Illustrated
Makes about 30 cookies

2 1/8 c bleached all-purpose flour (about 10.5 oz)
1/2 t table salt
1/2 t baking soda
12 T unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 c brown sugar (7 oz)
1/2 c sugar (3.5 oz)
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 t vanilla
1–2 c chocolate chips

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions. Mix flour, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.

Either by hand or with electric mixer, mix butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Mix in egg, yolk, and vanilla. Add dry ingredients; mix until just combined. Stir in chips.

Form dough into balls and place on parchment or silpat-lined cookie sheets. Smaller cookie sheets can be used, but fewer cookies can be baked at one time and baking time may need to be adjusted. (Dough can be refrigerated up to 2 days or frozen up to 1 month—shaped or not.)

Bake, reversing cookie sheets’ positions halfway through baking, until cookies are light golden brown and outer edges start to harden yet centers are still soft and puffy, 15 to 18 minutes (start checking at 13 minutes – these cookies really do need longer baking time than most average cookie dough recipes). Frozen dough requires an extra 1 to 2 minutes baking time. Cool cookies on cookie sheets. Serve or store in airtight container.

Jeruba's avatar

Oh, thank you, Dave! You’re very kind.

PupnTaco's avatar

Best choc-chip recipe I know. Insanely good!

smile1's avatar

ooo!! the crinkle cookies look delicious!!

I have always baked with my hands all 15 years of my life, though I have a paddle attachment for my mixer. Mixing with ones’ hands, for me at least, is a lot more fun, and there is always the fact of less dishes to wash (that is, unless you dislike mixing your dough with your hands…). You can use a wooden spoon to mix, but it will get harder to mix as it gets mroe together…I have found the wet and dry ingredients do not mix well together by spoon…

I really want to try making some now…

those were some awkwardly worded sentences.. sorry if it takes a while to understand….

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