At first glance, you might think your hand blender is an unnecessary tool. You have a real blender, so why would you need a blender on a stick? If you think about it, though, a hand blender has some real advantages. It is easier to clean than a blender with a big jug, and it gives you a bit more control over how much you actually beat your foods. If you have a hand blender handy, here are three delicious things you can make.
Meringue is just whipped egg whites, and meringue cookies are just sweetened, baked meringue. To make these tasty treats, start with three egg whites. (Make sure you do not have even the smallest speck of yolk in the whites, as it will keep them from whipping properly.) Start beating the egg whites with your hand blender. They'll grow frothy, and then they will start to get foamy. When they start getting foamy, add 1/2 teaspoon cream or tartar, and start adding 1/4 cups sugar, a spoonful at a time. Add some sugar, beat some more — and then add more sugar, and repeat. When the meringue is stiff, spoon it onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Place your meringue cookies in the oven at 300 degrees F, and then turn the oven off. Don't open the oven for two hours. When you do open it, the cookies will be done.
Chocolate mouse is basically melted chocolate and heavy cream, all whipped together. It's easy to make with a hand blender, and it's the perfect weeknight dessert. To get started, combine 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 1/2 cups heavy cream in a saucepan. Heat until the chocolate dissolves. Then, let the mixture cool to room temperature. Beat it with the hand blender until soft peaks form. Then chill the mousse and enjoy!
Silky Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes made with a hand blender are more silky and smooth than those made via other methods. Start with boiled, salted potatoes. Add about 1/4 cup milk and 1 tablespoon butter per pound of potatoes. (So if you have two pounds of cooked potatoes, add 1/2 cup milk and 2 tablespoons butter.) Blend the potatoes with a hand blender, scraping down the sides of the bowl periodically. Season with salt and pepper to taste. This recipe works best with russet potatoes or another non-waxy variety; red wax potatoes don't mash as well.