Review of the new KitchenAid 7-Qt. Stand Mixer & a Recipe for Cranberry-Chocolate Cookies

Homemade bread. Hot and fresh from the oven. Just a little bit of butter and you could almost eat the whole loaf in one sitting!

There is something very comforting about the smell of yeast bread baking in your home. There is also a great satisfaction that comes with creating a loaf of bread, a real sense of accomplishment. It is different than the pride you feel when you have success with other types of baking.

Making my own breads, particularly Artisanal breads, was one of the reasons I was so excited to work with and review the new KitchenAid 7-Qt. Stand Mixer. This mixer is described as “the largest, most powerful – and quietest – KitchenAid mixer ever offered.” I was especially interested in the commercial features and the capacity to handle larger and more difficult batters and the ability to knead very stiff bread doughs.  There have been several projects I have had to abandon in the past because my KitchenAid stand mixer did not have the capacity or horsepower to handle them, so I was ready to put this new mixer to the test to see how it performed.

I did read the instruction booklet for this mixer since it was quite a bit more powerful than the KitchenAid mixer I have been using. This KitchenAid 7-Qt. Stand Mixer will mix everything faster and more efficiently than some other mixers, so you need to be aware of this and adjust mixing or beating times accordingly. In fact, it may take about half the amount of time to do the job, so you need to be careful not to overbeat your cake batters, cookie doughs or other ingredients.

Homemade White Bread

You also need to make adjustments when kneading yeast dough. Many recipes will give you suggested times for kneading with the dough hook on a stand mixer. However, the manual for this KitchenAid mixer tells you to use only “Speed 2” with the Power Knead Spiral Dough Hook. It also says that most yeast doughs will be kneaded sufficiently within 4 minutes. One of my bread recipes calls for a total of 10 minutes of kneading at 2 different speeds, so I knew I would have to experiment with some of these recipes to see how to make the proper adjustments.

Steps in making White Bread

I played it safe with the first bread recipe and used KitchenAid’s recipe that was already adapted for this mixer for Basic White Bread. If you have never made homemade white bread, you need to! It is so easy to make and sooo good. For me, it is reminiscent of earlier years when we did not have all the whole grain breads that we do now.  Of course, we eat whole grains for health reasons, but there is still something really wonderful about the yeasty taste of freshly baked white bread.

We prefer ours brushed with butter while still warm

 

The dough hook did a great job of kneading this dough

This recipe worked beautifully and we were amazed at how quiet the mixer was, especially considering the horsepower.

The texture of the bread was consistent throughout the loaf

 

A little butter and some homemade jam…that’s all

My next project was a batch of Cranberry-Chocolate Cookies. These seemed to be fitting for the holiday season. I was very careful to not overbeat the mixture when creaming the butter together with the sugar and other ingredients. It probably did take about half the time as it normally would. These cookies are chock-full of chocolate chips, nuts and cranberries and are especially good when still warm and fresh from the oven!  I could have easily doubled or tripled the recipe for these cookies with this mixer.  (The recipe for these cookies is below.)

Santa would enjoy these with a glass of milk!

I then decided to prepare a bread recipe that I have never been able to make with my other mixer due to the weight of this particular yeast dough. The recipe is for Rustic Italian Bread and makes 3 large loaves. It begins with a “sponge” (or a starter) and goes through 2 risings and a final proofing before the bread is baked on a baking sheet and then finished on a baking stone to ensure a perfectly crusty and browned loaf.

This recipe was one that called for kneading the dough a total of 8 to 10 minutes. This dough is very stiff, so it is hard to tell when it is the exact time to stop kneading. It seemed to be the right texture at about 6 minutes, so I stopped there. The new KitchenAid 7-Qt. Stand Mixer did a great job with this very stiff dough. I noticed that is slowed down at Speed 2 a few times, indicating just how difficult this dough is, even with a commercial mixer.

Eat one loaf, share one with a friend and freeze the other

The Rustic Italian Bread was a great success and perfect to accompany a huge pan of lasagna for dinner. The texture was even, yet light and airy on the inside and the crust was just a bit crunchy, but still nice and chewy on the outside. It is really difficult to find Italian Bread that you can buy anywhere that comes close to this.

The texture and taste of this bread was exceptional

You cannot test a mixer without a great cake recipe, so I chose to make a Bundt cake for our Thanksgiving dessert. This is a large cake and the batter was very dense. Once again, the mixer did an excellent job of thoroughly combining the ingredients. I did use the pouring chute as I was adding ingredients to minimize splatter.

The pouring chute makes it easier to add some ingredients

I have been using the beater blades with the rubber scraper on my other mixer, so I was not certain how the regular beater bar would work on this mixer. It seems to do a fine job of incorporating the ingredients.  I still suggest that you take a spatula and wipe the bowl down a time or two, just to be certain everything is mixed in properly.

Lots of ingredients went into this cake batter

I promise you will love this cake recipe!

This cake recipe is wonderful for the holiday season, so I will be sharing it with you later this week.

If you are interested in a commercial strength mixer that offers great flexibility (especially combined with the KitchenAid attachments and accessories), this is a perfect choice for a new mixer. It is quiet, strong and versatile and is very attractive on your kitchen counter (especially in the lively cherry red color!).

If you have been a very good boy or girl, maybe Santa will bring you this shiny new Kitchen Aid 7-Qt. Stand Mixer for Christmas this year. :)

Disclosure – KitchenAid provided me with this stand mixer for my use and review.  If you are interested in purchasing this particular 7-Qt. model, it is available exclusively through Williams-Sonoma.

Cranberry-Chocolate Cookies

Yield: 2 dozen cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter (4 ounces), slightly softened
3/4 cup (5 5/8 ounces) packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
1 cup (4 ounces) dried cranberries
3/4 cup (3 ounces) chopped pecans or walnuts ( I used walnuts)

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets or line with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, orange juice, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

3. Beat in the egg until combined, scrape down the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl. Add the flour, mixing until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips or chunks, cranberries, and nuts. Drop by tablespoon onto the prepared baking sheets.

4. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until just beginning to brown around the edges (they won’t look set in the center; that's okay). Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheets.

Recipe is from King Arthur Flour

29 Responses to “Review of the new KitchenAid 7-Qt. Stand Mixer & a Recipe for Cranberry-Chocolate Cookies”

  1. 1

    redkathy — November 28, 2011 @ 8:41 pm

    Oh my gosh Gwen that Italian bread looks amazing!!! A stand mixer has been on my list for a while… sigh This one sounds like the Kitchen Aid King of stand mixers! Can’t wait to see that cake ;)

  2. 2

    Colette — November 29, 2011 @ 8:23 am

    Oh! love the idea of cranberry chocolate cookies! Gotta try them gluten-free.

  3. 3

    Susan in the Boonies — November 30, 2011 @ 12:23 am

    Your bread looks so wonderful!
    And how I long for a bigger KitchenAid!

    Maybe some day!

    • Gwen replied: — November 30th, 2011 @ 9:51 am

      Maybe Santa will bring you one this year! Take a look at the Artisan Mixer if you want to spend less and have a great mixer.

  4. 4

    Lora ~ cakeduchess — November 30, 2011 @ 8:54 am

    Love your mixer! I’m craving a few of those delicious cookies now. But that bread…oh my goodness:)Send me the recipe when you get a moment:)xo

  5. 5

    Drick — November 30, 2011 @ 9:49 am

    I’m like all others, beautiful bread.. I’m sure the mixer eased the making of dough but it still takes the talent of a baker to bake… and the cookies are just perfect, chocked full of goodness, and I’m using walnuts more too, pecans are like gold…
    MSRP -$650.00 / whoa, you are one lucky reviewer…

  6. 6

    Jen — December 2, 2011 @ 9:41 pm

    That is just gorgeous! And the red is perfect for the holidays!

  7. 7

    belle (tinkeringinthekitchen) — December 3, 2011 @ 8:12 am

    what a delicious sounding (and looking!) recipe! Im going to grab a coffee and read more, so glad i found your blog :) Belle

  8. 8

    Karen — January 28, 2012 @ 2:35 am

    I just bought the 7 qt kitchenaid I make my first batch of bread with it..under a load it has a clicking noise. I want to know if any one else is having this noise appear. I love the mixer and that’s the only complaint I have. They said it was normal. I don’t hear any one else say they are having this noise. Please advise me. I was going to take it back but they say it normal.

    Thank you

    • Gwen replied: — January 28th, 2012 @ 8:59 am

      Hi Karen,

      That noise is not normal. It sounds like your bowl is not locked in place. There is a silver clip on the stand and a silver ball on the bowl. You need to lock the bowl in place by securing the ball in the clip.

      If you are certain the bowl is locked into place and it’s still making that, I would check with KitchenAid or exchange it for another mixer.

      I hope that helps.

      Gwen

  9. 9

    Karen — January 31, 2012 @ 12:16 am

    Thank Gwen, My bowl is locked and I have checked with KA and they said it a normal sound but I feel its not right. I am going to keep using for a while and see what happens. so with your mixer you do not get any clicking noise from the beater head that goes around under a load with bread dough? Other than that I love it.
    Karen

  10. 10

    Gwen — January 31, 2012 @ 10:53 am

    Hi Karen,

    I have not heard that noise, but will certainly look for it next time I use the mixer when making bread or any other batter.

    If the beater attachment and bread hook are fitting properly and have the right distance between the attachments and the bowl, I am not sure why you would hear a noise. The Italian bread I made was a really tough dough and while it moved slowly through the dough, there was no sound like what you are describing.

    If you are uncomfortable with the sound, I would ask them for a replacement.

    Gwen

  11. 11

    Lee — April 5, 2012 @ 5:04 pm

    Hi Karen,
    There is a way to adjust the kitchenAid. Put the flat blade on, lock the bowl in place by pressing on the rear of the bowl. Place a Dime in the bowl in the small groove. Turn KitchenAid to Stir. (First Position) and check to see if the flat blade touches the dime. If it touches the top and moves the dime you have the height set correctly. If you need to adjust the height there is a screw just above the bowl. Turn it 1/4 either way and check with a dime again.
    Lee

    • Gwen replied: — April 5th, 2012 @ 5:10 pm

      Hi Lee,

      Thank you for your tip on adjusting the mixer.

      Gwen

  12. 12

    Don — May 6, 2012 @ 7:15 am

    Hi Karen,

    Did you keep your clicking mixer and is it still performing fine? We just purchased a new 7 qt mixer (recent Williams-Sonoma sale) and it has the same clicking noise when under the slighest of load. The click is coming from the reduction gears in the head, and I believe it is the last stage gear that actually spins the beater head. I can easily reproduce by removing the bowl and beater, putting the mixer on a low speed and gently holding the tip of the spindle with a rag. Applying any resistance to the spinning will cause the mixer to click, but if I instead apply a little resistance to the larger rotating head (allowing the beater spindle to turn freely) then no clicking. It doesn’t sound normal to me (as if the gears aren’t lubed sufficiently, are misaligned a little, or perhaps not captured sufficiently in the housing) but this is my first experience with any stand mixer, so I don’t know for sure. I’m probalby going to visit a local Williams-Sonoma to see if they have one on the floor that we can plug-in and test.

    Cheers,
    Don

  13. 13

    Don — May 22, 2012 @ 8:07 pm

    Hi,

    I just wanted to follow up regarding our new stand mixer. The clicking noise is definitely not normal. I contacted KitchenAid customer service and they quickly sent us a replacment. The new unit does not make any clicking noise at all. So, if you experience a clicking noise that seems to originate from the gears in the motor head, I’d recommend contacting KitchenAid to report the issue and possibly request a replacment.

    Don

  14. 14

    Leo — November 21, 2012 @ 6:35 am

    Hi, I love the breadknife that has the wooden handle. Where can it be purchased?

    • Gwen replied: — November 21st, 2012 @ 6:55 pm

      Hi Leo,

      My husband said that he purchased that about 20 years ago. The bread knife is actually a set with the slatted bread cutter. There are a number of bread knives with wooden handles, but I am not sure where you can get one exactly like the one we have. We are traveling right now, so I can’t tell you the name that is on the knife, but I will let you know when we return home.

      Gwen

  15. 15

    Tami — January 5, 2013 @ 12:26 am

    I got my new 7qt mixer for Christmas and love, love, love it however it didn’t come with the little cookbook like I’ve gotten with my previous kitchenaid mixers. Does this one not come with a cookbook?

    • Gwen replied: — January 5th, 2013 @ 10:37 am

      Hi Tami,

      Yes, you should have received a small booklet with this mixer. It is helpful to have it since it gives directions for using the mixer as well as a few recipes designed for it. Since this mixer is stronger than most, you do not need to mix things as long and you may want to reduce the speed, depending on what you are mixing. Many times these books can be found online on the company’s website. If not, call their customer service and request a copy. I hope that helps.

      Gwen

  16. 16

    Sheri — April 17, 2013 @ 2:39 am

    Mine didn’t come with recipes either. I called kitchenaid and they said the 7 quart doesn’t? I wish mine had the bread recipe in it.

    • Gwen replied: — April 17th, 2013 @ 8:08 am

      Hi Sheri,

      The basic white bread recipe I used was from KitchenAid. Check online for it and see if it’s available on their website. If not, I can try to get it to you, but they should have that booklet available to download.

      Gwen

  17. 17

    Sheri — April 18, 2013 @ 3:36 am

    Ok I just checked and with my model number there is no booklets with recipes. What is your model number?

    • Gwen replied: — April 19th, 2013 @ 2:54 pm

      Hi Sheri,

      I don’t see an actual model number. Mine is just the 7_Qt. Mixer that has 1.3 Horsepower.

      I hope that helps.

      Gwen

  18. 18

    Ngadi — December 2, 2013 @ 7:34 am

    Hi Gwen,
    Thank you for this review. I just bought a 7 qt KA and was wondering how it would perform with smaller batches? Do I need to get a smaller bowl and if so which ones would fit the 7qt mixer. Also where can I get the pouring shield from? All the ones I see online are for the 5qt or 6qt. Would really appreciate your help.

    Thanks,
    Ngadi

    • Gwen replied: — December 2nd, 2013 @ 9:20 am

      Hi Ngadi,

      Thank you for your comment. You can make smaller batches with this machine, just be cautious of overmixing the dough since this machine has more power than a standard mixer. As far as a smaller bowl – I thought I read somewhere that it was possible to purchase a smaller bowl for this mixer when I first reviewed it, but cannot find anything to substantiate that online. The best thing to do it to contact KitchenAid and ask them this question.

      BTW, the pouring shield came with my mixer, so I’m not sure why you didn’t have that attachment. If you contact KitchenAid or the store where you purchased it, they should be able to help you with that as well.

      Good luck. I’m sure you will enjoy using this mixer!

      Gwen

  19. 19

    Ngadi — December 2, 2013 @ 4:25 pm

    Thanks for your prompt response and advice Gwen. I just opened my box and the pouring shield was in there! It doesn’t show it as one of the contents on the outside of the box so thought it wasn’t included. This is my first KitchenAid and I’m pumped!

    Ngadi

  20. 20

    Kathy Holland — April 14, 2014 @ 2:33 pm

    Hi just ordered this mixer! I would like to try the Rustic Italian Bread out as one of my first recipes – can you send me the recipe? It looks great!!!

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