ATK Kids
Kitchen Classroom: Week 26
Week 26 of resources to help kids learn in the kitchen—and make something delicious along the way.
09-04-2020
America's Test Kitchen Kids

Welcome to Kitchen Classroom, where America’s Test Kitchen Kids is sharing a weekly set of kid-tested and kid-approved recipes, hands-on experiments, and activities, each paired with a suggestion for bringing learning to life in the kitchen. 

We Want to Hear from You!

We want to hear how Kitchen Classroom is working for you and your family and what you’d like to see in future weeks. Please click this link to complete a short survey about Kitchen Classroom. After completing the survey, you’ll receive a coupon for 10 percent off at the America’s Test Kitchen Shop (restrictions apply).

 

This week, kids will test their knowledge of food groups while making a portable Salad In A Jar, explore combinations while making a customizable Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Pie, flex their multiplication and division skills to bake the perfect batch of Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, and engineer a DIY cooler in our Keep Your Cool Design Challenge.

Don’t forget to share what your family makes by tagging @testkitchenkids or using #atkkids on Instagram, or by sending photos to kids@americastestkitchen.com. Visit the America’s Test Kitchen Kids website for more culinary content designed especially for kids, plus all of the Kitchen Classroom content in one easy-to-scan location. 

Here’s what’s cooking for the week of September 7th through 13th.

From left: Salad in a Jar, Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Pie

Salad in a Jar

These portable salads are perfect for a picnic or lunch on-the-go. If you have them, wide-mouth pint jars are the easiest to eat your salad out of, but any pint-size jar or container with a tight-fitting lid will work. This recipe is one example of a salad in a jar—check out “Food for Thought” at the end of the recipe to learn how to make a salad with all your favorite ingredients. If you can’t find Persian cucumbers, use half an English cucumber instead.
[GET THE RECIPE]

What You’ll Need
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon grated lemon zest plus 4 teaspoons juice, zested and squeezed from ½ lemon
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard or mayonnaise
¼ teaspoon salt
Pinch pepper
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 Persian cucumbers, ends trimmed and cucumbers chopped
1 cup (6 ounces) cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
½ cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese

Learning Moment 
Health (Nutrition)
Ask kids: Have you heard of food groups before? Can you name any food groups? Discuss what kids may already know about food groups. 

Explain to kids that foods can be grouped together based on how they help your body when you eat them. Nutritionists (scientists who study what people eat and how food works in your body) recommend eating a balanced mix of foods from different groups to help your body stay healthy. Tell kids that the United States Department of Agriculture categorizes foods into five different food groups

  • Fruits, which include fresh fruit, dried fruit, and fruit juice
  • Vegetables, which include raw or cooked vegetables and vegetable juice
  • Grains, which include any food made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, or other grains (such as bread, pasta, breakfast cereals, grits, or tortillas)
  • Protein, which includes foods made from meat, chicken or turkey, seafood, beans and peas, eggs, soy products, nuts, and seeds
  • Dairy, which includes milk and foods made from milk, like yogurt or cheese

Before kids begin cooking, have them lay out all of the ingredients for this recipe on the counter. Ask kids: Can you sort these ingredients into the five food groups, plus a group for “other”? Have kids sort the ingredients into groups with their best guesses. Ask kids: What were your reasons for putting these ingredients into these groups?

Tell kids that nutritionists would sort the ingredients of this recipe into these groups:

  • Fruits: lemon
  • Vegetables: cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce
  • Grains: none
  • Protein: chickpeas
  • Dairy: feta cheese
  • Other: extra-virgin olive oil, Dijon mustard or mayonnaise, salt, pepper

Ask kids: Were you surprised by any of these answers? Why or why not? 

Take It Further
Science (Geology)
This salad in a jar is made up of layers of ingredients that are stacked on top of one another. When you look at the jar from the side, you can see the different layers. Ask kids to count how many layers they can see. We saw five: dressing on the bottom, followed by a layer of protein (chickpeas), then sturdy vegetables (cherry tomatoes and cucumbers), then more delicate vegetables (lettuce), and lastly, a sprinkle of cheese. Layering the salad this way helps to keep your salad fresh until you’re ready to eat.

Ask kids: Did you know that the ground you are standing on is also made of layers? Explain to kids that just below our feet are layers of different kinds of soil and rock that make up the Earth’s crust. If you could cut through all of the soil and look at it from the side, you’d see five layers: the organic layer, topsoil, subsoil, parent material, and bedrock. The organic layer is the layer we stand on, made up of leaves and other plants that are slowly breaking down. Below that is the topsoil, where plants’ roots grow in loose, airy soil that is also home to some insects and bacteria. The next layer down is subsoil, which is dense, hard-packed, and full of minerals. Only large and sturdy plant roots can grow deep into the subsoil. Below that, the parent material layer is made of pieces of rocks. It’s called “parent material” because all the layers above it are made from it as it erodes, or breaks down. And lastly, at the bottom, is bedrock. Bedrock is made of large rocks like granite, quartzite, basalt, and sandstone. To learn more about layers of soil and what they’re made of, kids can watch this video.

Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Pie

Celebrate the end of summer with this customizable, kid-tested ice cream pie. A press-in cookie crust surrounds the ice cream filling. Kids can use the Oreo cookies and cookies and cream ice cream suggested in the recipe, or swap in their favorite cookies and ice cream flavors. They can also add decorative (and edible) toppings, such as M&M’s candies, sprinkles, or Reese’s Pieces.
[GET THE RECIPE]

What You’ll Need
Crust
Vegetable oil spray
16 Oreo cookies, broken into large pieces
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Filling
2 pints cookies and cream ice cream
8 Oreo cookies, broken into large pieces
2 cups Whipped Cream (optional)

Learning Moment 
Math (Patterns)
This ice cream pie is wonderfully customizable—kids can decide what kind of cookies to use for the crust and what flavor of ice cream to use for the filling. Challenge kids to use their math skills to calculate how many different crust and ice cream combinations they can make using the word problems, below.  

  • If you have 2 different cookies (Oreo cookies and graham crackers) and 2 different flavors of ice cream (vanilla and chocolate), how many different ice cream pie combinations can you make? (Answer: 22 = 2 cookies x 2 flavors = 4 combinations)
 

Oreo Cookies

Graham Crackers

Vanilla

Vanilla-Oreo

Vanilla-Graham Crackers

Chocolate

Chocolate-Oreo

Chocolate-Graham Crackers

 

  • If you have 3 different cookies (Oreo cookies, graham crackers, and animal crackers) and 3 different flavors of ice cream (vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry), how many different ice cream pie combinations can you make? (Answer: 32 = 3 cookies x 3 flavors = 9 combinations)
 

Oreo Cookies

Graham Crackers

Animal Crackers

Vanilla

Vanilla-Oreo

Vanilla-Graham Crackers

Vanilla-Animal Crackers

Chocolate

Chocolate-Oreo

Chocolate-Graham Crackers

Chocolate-Animal Crackers

Strawberry

Strawberry-Oreo

Strawberry-Graham Crackers

Strawberry-Animal Crackers

 

  • If you have 4 different cookies (Oreo cookies, graham crackers, animal crackers, and Nilla wafers) and 4 different flavors of ice cream (vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and mint chip), how many different ice cream pie combinations can you make?  (Answer: 42 = 4 cookies x 4 flavors = 16 combinations)
 

Oreo Cookies

Graham Crackers

Animal Crackers

Nilla Wafers

Vanilla

Vanilla-Oreo

Vanilla-Graham Crackers

Vanilla-Animal Crackers

Vanilla-Nilla Wafers

Chocolate

Chocolate-Oreo

Chocolate-Graham Crackers

Chocolate-Animal Crackers

Chocolate-Nilla Wafers

Strawberry

Strawberry-Oreo

Strawberry-Graham Crackers

Strawberry-Animal Crackers

Strawberry-Nilla Wafers

Mint Chip

Mint Chip-Oreo

Mint Chip-Graham Crackers

Mint Chip-Graham Crackers

Mint Chip-Nilla Wafers

From left: Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, Design Challenge: Keep Your Cool

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

To achieve a superchewy chocolate chip cookie, we employ a few tricks: using melted butter, making larger-sized cookies, and removing the baking sheet from the oven just a little early so the cookies finish cooking on the hot baking sheet. While their cookies bake, kids can practice their math skills with some dough-dividing math problems and learn about the history of this classic cookie.
[GET THE RECIPE]

What You’ll Need
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup packed light brown sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips

Learning Moment
Math (Multiplication and Division)
Portioning cookie dough is the perfect opportunity to practice math skills! In step 5, kids divide the cookie dough into 12 balls each measuring 2 tablespoons. As the cookies are baking, challenge kids to solve the following math problems:

  1. If each ball of dough is 2 tablespoons and you make 12 balls total, how many tablespoons of dough are there total in this recipe? (Answer: 2 x 12 = 24 tablespoons)
  2. There are 4 tablespoons in ¼ cup. If you made extra-large cookies with ¼ cup of dough for each ball, how many cookies could you make? (Answer: 24 ÷ 4 = 6 cookies)
  3. There are 3 teaspoons in 1 tablespoon. If you made mini cookies with 1 teaspoon of dough for each ball, how many cookies could you make? (Answer: 24 x 3 = 72 cookies)

Take it Further
Social Studies (Food History)
Ask kids: How do you imagine chocolate chip cookies were invented? Who do you think invented them, and why? 

Tell kids that we have just one person to thank for the chocolate chip cookies we know and love: Ruth Wakefield. In the 1930s, Ruth and her husband ran a restaurant in Whitman, Massachusetts called the Toll House. Ruth invented a recipe for Tollhouse Chocolate Crunch Cookies to serve with ice cream for dessert at the restaurant. Her original recipe contained both nuts and chocolate chips.

In 1939, Ruth gave the Nestle company the right to use her cookie recipe and the Toll House restaurant’s name–and an American legend was born. If you’ve ever seen a package of Nestle Toll House chocolate chips, you’ll find Ruth’s now-famous recipe on the back. Even today, her cookies are perfect for pairing with a scoop of ice cream! 

Ask kids: If you could invent your own dream cookie, what kind would you make, and why? What would the ingredients be? What would you name your cookie?

Design Challenge: Keep Your Cool

In this hands-on activity, kids will learn about how insulation keeps cold foods cold by designing their own miniature cooler. Kids will use household materials to design a container that keeps an ice cube cool for 30 minutes—and then they’ll put their designs to the test! Encourage kids to get creative and plan out their design before implementing it.
[GET THE ACTIVITY]

What You’ll Need
2 to 4 ice cubes, all the same size
2 small containers with lids, about 16 ounces each, both made of the same material, such as plastic containers, cardboard boxes, or mason jars
Building materials (Use what you have around the house—see the activity for a list of ideas.)

Learning Moment 
Science (Observation and Hypothesis)
Before designing their ice cube container, challenge your young engineers to a scavenger hunt. They should look for items in your house that keep things cold and/or warm. They might find items like a thermos, a cooler, a beverage sleeve, an insulated tote bag, a fluffy blanket, or even a jacket or coat.

Ask kids:

  • What are the properties of these items? How would you describe them? 
  • How are these items similar to each other?
  • What materials are they made from?
  • What do they look like?
  • What do they feel like?

Then, tell kids to design their container keeping those observations in mind. After designing and building their container, ask them to make a hypothesis (an educated guess based on an observation) as to how their design will keep the ice cube cold. After they complete the activity, be sure to read the “Food for Thought” section of the activity to learn about the science of insulation and why the insulated container kept the ice cube colder than the uninsulated container. Ask kids whether their hypothesis was proven correct or not based on what they learned. Encourage kids to repeat the activity and design a second cooler with improvements if they wish!

Join the Club

On sale from September 1st through September 30, 2020, the October edition of the Young Chefs’ Club explores the wide world of NOODLES. Make Fresh Pasta, just like in Italy (no pasta machine required) and serve it with Marinara Sauce or Meat Sauce. Move on to rice vermicelli in our Rice Noodle Bowls with Pork and Scallions and fresh lo mein in Sesame Noodles with Snow Peas and Carrots. Explore the salty science of pasta water with a simple (dinner-providing) experiment. And the whole family can play our board game: Noodles and Ladders!