Doppler 9&10 STEM: Holiday Cookie Chemistry

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Nothing brings holiday cheer like baking cookies with the family. Your kids can keep their education going during the break as well with science. But, how are cookies and science-related? The type of bake and ingredients used can determine the taste and texture of the cookie. So let’s make some cookies and go through the science.

The goal is to make as many versions of cookies of the same cookie recipe to learn the chemistry of a cookie.

Here is what you will need if you want to try this one at home:

  •  Grab a Parent
  • Paper and a Notepad
  • Parchment Paper
  • Kitchen Oven
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Mixing Spoon
  • Dry and Liquid Measuring Cup
  • Measuring Spoon
  • Baking Sheet
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Milk
  • White Sugar
  • Brown Sugar 
  • Baking Soda
  • Baking Powder
  • Crisco
  • Softened Butter
  • Melted Butter
  • Salt
  • Vanilla
  • Eggs
  • Sprinkles 
  • Holiday Cookie Cutters
  • Optional Toppings (Chocolate Chips, M&Ms, Raisins, etc.)

 

Let’s get to baking, and maybe you will find your new favorite cookie recipe! 

We know that the kids will want to help with the Christmas cookies, so why not make it a fun science experiment. Choose 2 to 4 different recipes for your cookies that have distinct differences. We are going to use these three changes for the science experiment.

  • Baking Powder versus Baking Soda with Extra Egg
  • Double the Brown Sugar to White Sugar (2:1 Ratio)

Now that you have your three changes to our ingredients, we bake one regular batch as well. To keep the experiment simple, we are going to make sugar cookies. Now, write down your changes to your recipe and what you think might happen to the cookie when you change these ingredients. This educated guess is your hypothesis. Remember, there is NO wrong answer. 

Make one cookie recipe at a time that way you don’t get mixed up, don’t bake just yet. We want to compare the dough. 

  • First, we are making up the original recipe.
  • Next, we make with double the brown sugar to white sugar
  • Last, we are using baking soda (instead of baking powder) and doubling the eggs 

Once you have created the dough, set the four types side-by-side and note the differences, either mentally or on your notepad. Now cut the dough into fun holiday shapes!

Time to bake the cookies per your original recipe. After they have finished baking, set them side-by-side and note the differences, either mentally or on your notepad! Some of the differences you may be able to see, while other differences you will be able to taste.

How did you do compared to your thinking (hypothesis)? Did you find your new favorite cookie recipe? Well, I am happy to hear! Have a great Holiday season and Merry Christmas to you and your family.

CHEMISTRY: The tastes are different thanks to chemistry. When you mix up different ingredients you get a solution. For example, Baking Powder instead of Baking Soda. Baking soda (Sodium Bicarbonate) reacts with acids in the dough creating air pockets from gas (Carbon Dioxide or CO2) in the cookie. The baking powder you have to be more careful with when baking because it already contains the acid. Whereas, you are adding the acid in your original recipe (brown sugar in our case).

If your kiddos try this experiment, send us photos of you and your experiment and you might get to see it during weather on The Four on Tuesdays!

Make sure you tune in every Tuesday for a New 9&10 STEM. Send us an email at weather@9and10news.com or find us on Facebook and at Doppler 9&10 Weather Team if you have a weather question or want something in science explained! It does not have to be weather-related! Anything Science or math-based we’ve got you! You can always get the latest forecast on 9and10news.com/weather as well as interact with us on social media!

 

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Categories: Doppler 9&10 STEM, Recipes, the four