I was so excited to receive a new Kitchen Aid food processor (hereinafter referred to as "fp") to replace my small and aging Cuisinart. To break in the new toy, I decided to do something pretty easy - cookie dough. I tried out a couple of recipes from Cook's Country for slice-and-bake cookies.
Since the new fp was nearly twice as large as my old one, 12 cups vs. 7 cups, I thought I could make a double batch of cookies. Now, I'm not that bad at math to think that the capacity was actually double, but since a single batch didn't seem to come close to the limits of my old fp, I figured the larger size was big enough to accommodate a double batch of orange poppy seed cookie dough. I was wrong. It was a disaster. The ingredients at the bottom of the bowl got pulverized, including the poppy seeds, turning that portion of the dough a sickly bluish color while the ingredients at the top remained untouched. I emptied the ingredients into another bowl and returned half the mixture to the fp, where I finally got the ingredients together. However, the dough was very dry and I added a little water. After repeating this procedure I worked the two halves together by hand to make sure everything was evenly distributed, then formed the dough into two logs. It still seemed a little dry.
This was not exactly the debut I was hoping for, although I was not expecting too much since I found the quality of the materials to be suspect from the time I opened the box. The blade seemed flimsy compared to the sturdy blade on my Cuisinart. The bowl seems to be heavy duty and the base is certainly heavy enough, but those blades just don't look like they can handle what I will most likely throw at them. Plus, the stupid thing doesn't fit under my cabinets. It is about 1/4 inch too tall. You don't think they could have accounted for that? My cabinets are industry standard height above the countertop - I'm sure I'm not the only one with this problem.
You can just barely see my Cuisinart ice cream maker behind the fp - another somewhat disappointing purchase. It makes ice cream okay, but the noise is as bad as my old ice/salt model, which actually works better although it is less convenient. But now I have two ice cream makers, and that is not a bad thing.
Can you tell from the photo that a little red light comes on next to one of the buttons when the unit is in operation? I can't think of a more useless feature. I find that the distinct hum of an electric motor, ingredients bashing the side of the bowl, and whirling blades of death to be much more effective at indicating that a food processor is working than a tiny red light that is covered up by my finger hovering over the off button. That brings up another problem I have with this machine. I really liked the toggle of the old Cuisinart. Up was on, middle was off, and down was pulse. It was easy to go back and forth without looking down at my hands. This is quite a bit less intuitive (oh, but it looks so cool).
As if I weren't already annoyed enough, one of my cats decided that he wanted to assist by jumping on the counter and performing a quality check on the butter. Before he made the leap, I distracted him with a treat. That kept him occupied while I cleaned up the unit for the next batch of dough.
This Kitchen Aid machine came highly recommended by Cook's Illustrated, which, coupled with the sale price at Amazon.com, prompted me to choose this model. I may have to reconsider the purchase and crack open the wallet for a more heavy duty model. But to be fair in my evaluation, I decided to make a single batch of cookie dough. I chose Coconut Lime for the next batch. It went a lot better, although the dough still seemed a bit dry, so I squeezed in a little lime juice. Perhaps I used a little too much juice, because this dough was decidedly sticky. Nevertheless, I decided to quit while I was ahead (behind?) and formed it into a log. I think these cookies are going to be huge, because I was to make the log only 10 inches long, according to the recipe, and it's about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. If these cookies spread even a little, they will be monsters. I prefer a smaller cookie to help assuage the guilt I have in consuming multiples.
I threw the bowl and lid into the dishwasher, even though I had originally planned to make three types of dough (double batches so I could freeze half for later). By the time the second batch was done, it was late and I was whipped, so I called it an evening. Plus, my cat was no longer distracted and seemed to ask "what, is that all I get?"
Tomorrow I will research some larger, more heavy duty food processors to see if I want to trade up.