I was home-schooled, so a lot of my science projects happened in the kitchen. That’s where we dissected the squid (and then fried it… first taste of calamari, happiness abounded!). That’s where we mixed milk with food coloring and separated pepper on top of water by rubbing our fingers in soap. That’s also where I learned to bake. Cookies, brownies, cakes, bread, etc. Baking is about the only time when I actually use a recipe. Because, like most science experiments, if you don’t get the ingredients perfectly proportionate, and the temperatures just right, you end up with a goopy mess that may be fun to play with, but doesn’t resemble the desired product.
For example, chocolate chip cookies. Even if you get the ingredients perfect, but decide not to put the dough in the fridge for an hour (or two, two is best), you end up with flat, crispy around the edges, blobs instead of soft perfect cookies. (If you like crispy around the edges, that’s the way you do it.) When you’re baking bread, the temperature of the water has to be just perfect, or you’ll either not activate the yeast (too cold), or kill it (too hot) and either way, you end up with a semi- solid chunk of bread instead of a fluffy load.
And when you’re talking ingredients, have you ever mixed up baking powder and baking soda? Not a pretty picture. A first attempt at biscuits (the culprit will remain nameless) ended up with her boyfriend foaming at the mouth instead of enjoying fluffy, buttery biscuits. And I once added a little too much flour to banana bread and it ended up with a crumbly mess. It still tasted all right, but just wasn’t the way it was supposed to turn out.
Though there can be some happy accidents like unbreakable glass is an example and penicillin. I once made a batch of cookies that were lovely and a perfect example of a happy accident. They tasted like pancakes with vanilla. I’ve tried multiple times to reconstruct these cookies because they were VERY quickly devoured. But, alas, the accident hasn’t been repeated as of yet. I’m getting closer though! When I finally get them figured out, I will post them here. But in the mean-time, I give you my Peanut-Butter-Chocolate-Chip cookies… Enjoy your science project.
- 1/2 c. Unsalted Butter (1 stick) – softened
- 1 c. Brown sugar (you can use regular white sugar, but the molasses in the brown sugar makes them all soft)
- 1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
- 1 egg
- 1 1/4 c. all purpose flour (if you use self-rising flour, omit the baking soda and baking powder)
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/2-1 cup semi-sweet or milk-chocolate chips (Richard likes the milk chocolate)
- Cream the butter, peanut butter, and sugar.
- Add in egg and mix thoroughly
- In a separate bowl, Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Slowly incorporate dry mixture into wet until all ingredients are doughy and happy.
- Add chocolate chips and mix again.
- Place dough in refrigerator for 1-2 hours (or overnight)
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Spoon dough onto baking sheet in 1 inch balls, making sure to keep the balls about 1 inch apart.
- Bake 9-10 minutes.
- Let cool 5 minutes
- Remove from cookie sheet and devour happily.
Btw. I totally got the Title for this post from Questionable Content (not generally suitable for kids, but this strip is totally tame). Its one of my favorite Web-Comics 🙂