A day or so ago I made 'peanut butter blossom' cookies (the peanut butter cookies with a Hershey's Kiss stuck in the middle while still hot) and bogged the mixer down quite a bit. Last night I made some devil's food cookies with a cake mix and really bogged the mixer down. While the mixer was several years old, I almost certainly was asking too much of (that is, abusing) it. The result was that last night the mixer died. As in "let the smoke out." I've taken the thing apart and I suspect a shorted winding in the motor since that's about all there is to the thing.
Thus I need a replacement. I'd put a handheld mixer on my Christmas list but I'm not about to wait that long, even if we move at least part of Christmas up to about Thanksgiving.
I went to Wal-mart (the only place that [A] was open by the time I went out and [B] had mixers) and looked at what they had.
What I had, and burned out, was a 200W Black & Decker mixer with the typical beaters and five speeds and a 'burst' for highest speed.
What Wal-mart has is:
1. Rival, 125W, 5-speed, for $6.36.
2. Hamilton Beach, 250W, 6-speed (burst), for $15.88.
3. Black & Decker, 250W, 6-speed, for 19.88.
4. GE, 300W, 6-speed, for $29.00.
1 and 2 looked like they had the usual beaters. 3 had wire beaters of a couple types and a little case for everything, while 4 has wire beaters of a few types, a little case for everything, and in what seems complete overkill, digital display and membrane keys. Actually the membrane keys or buttons make some sense: they keep things sealed and won't let flour/dust/dirt/whatever in that way.
While the Rival is cheap, I suspect that it is just that: cheap rather than merely inexpensive. And considering what I've been asking of my mixer a mere 125W seems inadequate. Both the Hamilton Beach and the Black & Decker should have more oomph than what I had and I'm not sure there's all that much difference between them. The 300W GE is tempting but I don't know if I want or even need that much - or want to spend that much.
The other choice, a standing mixer, is out due to lack of room in the kitchen and funds for something that fancy. No matter how nice such a thing might be, it just isn't going to happen. I don't have to stick to Wal-mart, but really the only other place in town is Shopko. Target or K-Mart would mean a trip to Mankato. There is a Sears in town, but it's a small place that concentrates on larger items - and I'm not exactly thrilled with the idea of dealing with Sears for various reasons.
So I ask the the folks who bake and put some stress on their mixers, any recommendations?