A KitchenAid stand mixer on the counter suggests not only that you have the cooking chops to use it but that you can afford a high-end appliance as well (typically they cost between $200 and $500). But keeping up appearances just got a bit more dear—for the holidays KitchenAid is offering stand mixers that are hand painted and signed by the artist. For $1,900 you can whip up a batch of snickerdoodles in a mixer with one of three leopard prints, regular, white and noir, or in three other options.
The mixers are being painted by Dean Loucks who has a reputation for painting boats, cars and motorcycles among other items. As it says in the KitchenAid website promotion, "these functional works of art are sure to inspire culinary creativity and conversation for years to come."
But wouldn't you rather have people remember your cooking? To turn out the best culinary creations you need a stand mixer that can stand up to Consumer Reports tough tests. Two KtichenAids, the Classic and Artisan, made our list of top picks although the brand lost the top spot recently to the Breville BEM800XL, $300. But the differences were scant. All three are worth considering as is the fourth-place entry from Hamilton Beach Eclectrics.
When we test stand mixers, we mix large batches of chocolate chip cookies, whip up heavy cream and meringue and knead a loaf of bread. The Breville and the two recommended KitchenAids, $200 and $300, aced all the tests while the Hamilton Beach, $180, fell a bit short on the kneading task. The Hamilton Beach was the quietest of the bunch. Of course, if you want a loud mixer, get one in a showy animal print.
—Mary H.J. Farrell