For the past three weeks, the Blue Room students have continued their exploration of the science of baking. Last week, they made apple sauce muffins and thought about how cookies bake differently from muffins. They discussed similarities and differences in recipe ingredients and measurements and considered how a cookie and a muffin were similar and different. This week, the children explored using alternative ingredients. The children made chocolate chip cookie bars using gluten-free four, vegan butter, and sugar-free, gluten-free chocolate chips.
Throughout this process, the Blue Room students are learning about many things, including the following:
* how to follow a recipe
* how to use measurement tools (for example, how four ¼ cup measurements equals a 1 cup measurement)
* how to successfully crack an egg without getting the shell in the bowl
* how to pour or scoop out ingredients carefully
* how dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda), mix differently than wet ingredients (oil, vanilla, melted butter, whisked eggs)
*how to hold the bowl with one hand and carefully mix so as not to lose any of the ingredients over the edge of the bowl
* how to use a hand mixer
* how to share a task
* how to be patient
We will continue to bake through Thanksgiving and then see where we will go from there.
Apple Sauce Muffins
1 cup applesauce
1⁄2 cup vegetable oil
1⁄2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
1⁄2 cup rolled oats (quick-cooking oats)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Whisk the applesauce, egg, vegetable oil, brown sugar, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl.
2. Fold the flour, baking soda, ground cinnamon, and salt into the wet ingredients with a spatula.
3. In a separate bowl, prepare the crumb topping. Mix the rolled oats, brown sugar and cinnamon. Mix in the vegetable oil.
4. Pour the muffin batter into a 12-slot lined or greased tin. (Note: we used muffin papers.) Top each muffin with the crumb topping. (Note: we did not make the crumb topping.)
5. Bake for 20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Gluten-free, Dairy-free Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
2 1/4 cups Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour (we used Bob’s Red Mill)
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
1 cup plant-based butter softened (we used Earth Balance buttery sticks)
½ cup Sugar
3/4 cup Brown Sugar packed
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 cups Chocolate Chips ( or to your taste ) (we used Lily’s no sugar added chocolate chips)
1. Preheat oven to 375°F—line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. For cookies, line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Mix flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
3. Beat butter, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract in a large bowl until just creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Gradually add flour mixture and beat until well-blended. Stir in chocolate chips.
4. To make bars: Spread out evenly on a rimmed baking sheet.
To make cookies: Only use two eggs! Scoop or roll dough into balls, about two tablespoons each. Place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Let rest, preferably chilled, for 30 minutes.
5. For bars, bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until golden brown. For cookies, bake for 11-13 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a baking sheet for 5 minutes. Move to wire rack to cool completely.