What is a Paddle Attachment anyhow?

In my quest to make the perfect chocolate chip cookie, I have been baking every recipe I can get my hands on. I even had a bake-off with myself on a rainy day when I made six dozen cookies; soft and chewy vs. thin and crispy. The taste test is a subject for another discussion.

In the directions for all of the cookie recipes it says something to the effect of, "In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment…" Well, what is a paddle attachment? My hand me down Kitchen Aid Mixer (that I am very thankful for) only came with a whisk attachment. So, I have been using a hand held mixer or when I think my arm may fall off after six dozen cookies, I switch to the Kitchen Aid mixer with the whisk. I am sure if I keep using the whisk for cookie dough, it will bend. So, I broke down to buy a "Paddle Attachment."

After looking online for 40 minutes I could not find a Paddle Attachment. Can this be? So, I called Christopher at 1-800-541-6390, the Kitchen Aid customer service hotline. After a chuckle, Christopher assured me that I am not crazy. The paddle is actually called a "Flat Beater." I suggest all cookbooks be revised to read, "In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater attachment…" Thank you Christopher!

I also learned some other helpful tidbits while on the phone with Christopher. The Flat Beater comes two ways; with a nylon coating or in plain aluminum. The nylon coating makes the flat beater dishwasher safe. The aluminum flat beater should be washed by hand. Please note, the whisk attachment is NOT aluminum. The "tines" or wires that make up the whisk, are stainless steel. The whisk is therefore dishwasher safe.

Now that my coated flat beater is ordered and en route, I can continue my quest to bake the perfect chocolate chip cookie.