JS5981, a reader and real-life recipe user, wrote in with this question about hand mixers and cookie consistency:
I had one quick question. We don't own a Kitchenaid mixer and have been using a brand new Sunbeam hand mixer we just got as a wedding gift. This thing is crazy powerful (it's speed at 1 is what our old mixer use to get at 10!). I guess my question is, is this okay to use for the butter creaming process because our last couple of flat crispy cookie batches have been more of doughy/airy consistency. Any suggestions?
Hey, JS. KitchenAids are great because the lower settings are reasonable in their power, and the paddle attachment creams creamables really well. But I've used a hand mixer to make quite a few batches of cookies, and I totally agree with you. The motor--even on the lowest setting--is obnoxiously, ridiculously powerful. You're lucky if you get butter-and-sugar shrapnel sprayed all over yourself and not your kitchen. Note to hand mixer manufacturers: It's a kitchen appliance, not an outboard motor.
I think your mixer might be over-creaming and whipping too much air into your creamables/cookie dough. For your next batch, make sure you leave your butter out on the counter for 30-45 minutes so that it comes to room temperature and is really soft. This should should cut down a lot on the time you have to use the mixer, which also cuts down on the amount of air you're whipping into the ingredients.
However, you might want to try creaming the creambables by hand--especially if you're using really soft butter.
I hope this helps!