Does It Make a Difference If I Mix Cookie Dough with a Mixer Instead of By Hand? {Ask the Readers}

I was recently chatting on Skype with a few blogging friends about my flourless peanut butter chocolate cookies and it led to a conversation about how we mix our cookie dough. We shared thoughts on mixing by hand, or with a mixer, and if it makes a difference.

I have a few of my grandmother’s cookie recipes that must be mixed by hand or they turn out totally different. My gluten free death by chocolate cookies are another recipe that seem to turn out better by hand, but besides that I pretty much use a mixer for all my cookies.

After this conversation about cookies turning out differently when you mix them by hand, it got me thinking though about how much difference it does make, so I thought I would ask you all to share your thoughts.

What do you think? Do cookies turn out differently when mixed with a mixer instead of by hand? 

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

Comments

  1. I wouldn’t know, I NEVER mix by hand, always the Kitchen Aid. So, if they don’t turn out, I assume it is the recipe.

  2. I only mix cookies by hand. I think it makes a huge difference and it is my secret to perfect cookies.

  3. most of the time i use my kitchenaid, but i can’t keep it on the counter all the time so for little things i don’t want to drag it out… but i do think that if the butter is melted it is much easier to mix by hand. if you need to cream it, a mixer works so much better. on that note, i do have an antique non-electric handmixer of my grandma’s. i should do an experiment sometime using that as a helper!

  4. I always mix my cookies (and most other baking recipes) by hand, using a wooden spoon. In my opinion, cookies made with a mixer are too uniform in texture and lose that perfect texture whether it’s chewiness or crispiness or a mixture of both. I gave up using a mixer for cookies eons ago for that reason.

    Shirley

    • Another reader mentioned it making a difference with gluten free too, so this is interesting. I am loving all the thoughts on this one.

      • Lynn, for me, this is something I’ve almost always done, even long before going gluten free. I think that it goes back to the advice on baking recipes like brownies and muffins where we’re told not to overmix. Using a wooden spoon, I just “feel” when the dough is ready. Interestingly, the classic advice on gluten-free baking, particularly when mixing bread dough, is that you can’t overmix because you don’t have the gluten and the concern on it losing its elasticity.

        Shirley

  5. Regular flour vs. gluten-free? Now, THERE’S a BIG difference. Wheat means gluten and cookies don’t need to be “all worked up” or it can bite you in the butt! So, I think mixing by hand often lends itself to more successes. GF though? It can probably make less of a difference…but I’m lazy and I think mixing by hand is easier anyway! Less to wash up afterward! I also like to “feel” the dough in case it feels too “thick” or “thin” and needs adjusted…..

  6. I don’t own a mixer, so I do all my mixing by hand. Actually, my whipped shortbread is fantastic! I would never want to risk my tried n true recipes by using a mixer. I like to ‘feel’ when the mix is ready. If I ever got a mixer, I would only use it for new recipes, I think.

  7. According to my husband, he can tell the difference in taste whether it was mixed by machine or hand. He always guesses correctly! And, always still eats them; he prefers hand mixed cookies.

  8. Yes, it does make a difference. Using a mixer tends to overmix, causing a flatter cookie. I’ve tried it both ways, and mixing by hand is the only way if you want a cookie that doesn’t resemble a flat hockey puck..Just sayin’

  9. Hand mixing works much better with GF flours! I learned this the hard way….I used the mixer and my husband, also a baker, mixed by hand. There just is no comparison.

  10. My husband, the cookie maker in the house, says, “YES IT DOES!” He says it doesn’t overwork the flour, and you can make sure it is mixed more thoroughly when you mix it by hand. I don’t know if that is the case, but he does make “to die for” cookies. So, I will have to concur… hand mixing! Oh, by the way, “hand mixing” to my husband is just that “hand mixing”, NOT stirring with a spoon by hand but using your hands to mix the dough. I wasn’t quite sure what your definition of hand mixing was.

    • Well by hand I meant a wooden spoon for this, but I do mix meatloaf, meatballs, etc by hand because I agree for somethings your hands just mix better. I might have to try it with cookie dough now and see.

  11. Sharon Hartwig says:

    Hmmm. I’ve always used my hand mixer, because I thought you needed to, to get everything incorporated. I may have to try it by hand once just to see the difference.

  12. I use my hand mixer to cream the butter and sugars and mix everything else in with a wooden spoon. I’m going to try my next batch of cookies without the mixer in the first step.

  13. Karin Goodman says:

    Interesting comments. Most in our family are gf, so I will have to try this out and see. I use my Kitchenaid for almost everything. Maybe I’m overmixing and that’s why somethings are not turning out.

  14. I have tried this experiment the last few times I’ve made cookies. They definitely turn out better hand mixed! When I use the mixer I end up either adding more flour, or having to put the dough in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. Using the mixer makes the butter softer, making it too soft to roll the cookies into a ball. Hence the need to refrigerate or add more flour. But adding more flour messes with the end product, so it’s easier to just mix by hand.

  15. I have never thought of such a thing. Now I’m totally curious! I always use my kitchenaid! I don’t know if I’m patient enough to let the butter warm up enough to use a spoon and my own muscle! Got a cookie scoop and new cookie sheets for Christmas… Guess I will have to try it sometime soon!

  16. I use my kitchenaid. I find “my cookies” come out better. However, I spent a year perfecting “my cookies” (chocolate chip and chocolate chip oatmeal. ) and can tell when mixing when they are done. We take our cookies very seriously around here! Hubby says he married me because of “my cookies”. I also finish mixing the flour by hand with any cookie recipe. However, I am now curious on if it would make a difference on other cookie recipes I use.

  17. I own a Kithcen Aid Stand Mixer and a run of the mill hand mixer for quick things and for things that you need to take the mixer to- I do some cake decorating (used to do a lot more) and that is the reason I wanted a Kitchen Aid Stand – it is a big help on the icing. I also love it for when I do meat loaf and sausage cheese balls. You don’t want to work the meat too much but if you load all ingredients it mixes it well quickly and w/o all the mess – I have carpel tunnel and the cold meats make my hands and wrist hurt bad.

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