No, it’s not your imagination—scientists tell us that baking is a mood booster. Sure, we like to eat sweets when stressed or upset, but it turns out that creating cakes, cookies and other delights makes the baker feel better too. Baking seems to spread joy and, yes, maybe even makes us better people, as Ted Lasso’s boss-charming shortbread would attest.
If baking brings you to your happy place, maybe it’s time to take it up a notch. You’ll find plenty of tips out there on how to do that—advice ranging from reasonable (use better quality flour) to obvious (keep the oven door closed). But one of the simplest ways to take your baking to the next level is to add a stand mixer to your culinary toolkit.
Hand mixers are great for smaller, simpler jobs, but for thick dough (as in the beignets below) or large batches of anything, a stand mixer is the better choice. For starters, your arm and hand won’t get tired because a stand mixer can run on its own without being held or supported, which means you can multitask in the kitchen. Stand mixers are also more powerful and more versatile than hand mixers. In general, they feature a much higher wattage, more speeds and greater functionality. In fact, for many tasks, like making pasta or grinding meat, a stand mixer can take the place of a food processor.
Finally, a beautiful stand mixer like this one from Hamilton Beach® Professional looks great on your countertop and tells anyone who enters your kitchen something important about you — that you’re a baker, a maker, a person who brings a little joy to the world. Whether you’re baking for the holidays or just to brighten any ordinary day, here are nine desserts that will spread some smiles.
With raspberry sauce and white chocolate, this isn’t a typical deli cheesecake. Tastes as delicious as it looks, and that’s saying something.
Ready to graduate from cakes to tortes? Try this rich and decadent torte that says “holiday” with both eggnog and chocolate.
Both adorable and delicious, these mini bundt cakes combine gingerbread and chocolate for a holiday flavor that’s welcome any time of year.
A French-influenced Mardi-Gras favorite in New Orleans, beignets are essentially square-shaped doughnuts or fritters, usually topped with powdered sugar. The coffee glaze in this recipe elevates the simple beignet and makes it ideal for holiday breakfasts.
Often thought to have originated in France, the macaroon may actually have been invented in Italy and brought to France. Whatever the origin, macaroons are sophisticated little coconut cookies with no flour or leavening, which makes them great for gluten-free diets.
Scones are a type of flatbread thought to have originated in Scotland. With dried cherries and almonds, this slightly sweet scone is great for breakfast or as an afternoon treat.
With brewed coffee in the mix, this twist on the classic chocolate cake will satisfy sweet tooths and generate smiles all around.
A classic holiday favorite, this pecan pie gets an update with chocolate and bourbon in the mix. Make sure you save room for this very grownup dessert.
With its light and fluffy meringue top and lemon filling, this pie is bound to please the discerning palate. A nice change from traditional holiday pies and a great option any time.