Welcome to week 29 of Kitchen Classroom, where America’s Test Kitchen Kids is sharing a weekly kid-tested and kid-approved recipe, hands-on experiment, or activity paired with a Learning Moment that brings learning to life in the kitchen.
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In this week’s edition of Kitchen Classroom, Kids Cook Breakfast. Kids can make a lemony spin on a morning classic with Palace Diner Lemon-Buttermilk Flapjacks for the whole family. During breakfast, use the conversation starters in Take It Further to spark discussion. After you finish eating, your young chef can conduct a kitchen science experiment using leftover ingredients from breakfast to discover the science behind baking soda. It’s sure to get a reaction —a positive one from science-minded kids, and a bubbly chemical reaction from the baking soda itself!
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Here’s what’s cooking for the week of July 19th through 25th, 2021.
Kids Cook Breakfast: Palace Diner Lemon-Buttermilk Flapjacks
Fluffy pancakes are a staple at the breakfast table. This buttermilk flapjack recipe from the Palace Diner in Biddeford, Maine has a lemony twist that gives these flapjacks even more lift, making even a short stack look tall. If your young chef loves lemon flavor, have them use the full 1 teaspoon of lemon zest.
[GET THE RECIPE]
What You’ll Need
1⅓ cups (6⅔ ounces) all-purpose flour
¼ cup (1¾ ounces) sugar
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1⅓ cups (10⅔ ounces) buttermilk
1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
½–1 teaspoon grated lemon zest plus 4 teaspoons juice, zested and squeezed from 1 lemon
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
½ teaspoon vegetable oil
Physical Science (Chemical Reactions):
Before they get started making breakfast, tell kids that baking soda and baking powder are both leaveners. Leaveners help baked goods, such as cakes and muffins, and breakfast items, such as pancakes, rise and give them a fluffy texture. Tell your young chef to set aside some extra lemon juice (you will need an extra lemon), buttermilk, and baking soda for a quick post-breakfast experiment all about how baking soda works.
- Use masking tape and marker to make three labels: “Buttermilk,” “Lemon Juice,” and “Water.” Find 3 similarly-sized glasses and add 1 label to each glass.
- Measure ¼ cup buttermilk, ¼ cup lemon juice, and ¼ cup water into each appropriately labeled glass.
- Make a prediction: Tell kids that they are going to add baking soda to each glass. Ask kids: What do you think will happen when you add baking soda to each of the glasses? Why do you think that?
- Add 1 teaspoon baking soda to each glass. Use spoon to gently stir each mixture, cleaning spoon between glasses. Let mixtures sit for 5 minutes.
- Observe your results: Ask kids: What happened when you added the baking soda? Which mixture created the most bubbles? Which created the least?
The glasses with lemon juice and buttermilk should have produced lots of bubbles when the baking soda was added. The glass with water should have produced no bubbles. Explain to kids that this is because lemon juice and buttermilk both contain acids, while water does not. When baking soda comes in contact with an acid, it creates bubbly carbon dioxide gas, which is what makes the pancake batter bubbly and the pancakes nice and fluffy.
If your young chef were to do this experiment with baking powder instead of baking soda, all 3 glasses would be bubbly since baking powder already contains an acid. (It also contains baking soda, so baking powder only needs a liquid in order to create carbon dioxide gas—the liquid doesn’t need to be acidic.)
Take It Further
Language Arts (Speaking and Listening):
As you enjoy your flapjacks, use the prompts below to help foster conversation around your table. As kids and other family members answer the questions, help them think through their thoughts and feelings about their answers and what has been said by others.
- Flapjacks are fun to make at home, but they’re also really popular at diners. What are some other foods you might find at a diner? What’s your favorite diner breakfast?
- The baking soda in these flapjacks helps make them ultrafluffy, but it needs a little help from other ingredients to work. Sometimes, we all need a little help. Can you think of a time you needed help to get something done? How did working with someone else make it better? Was it more fun? Was it quicker?
- What was challenging about making this recipe? What were the easiest parts?
On sale July 2021 Pie Box
The August edition of the Young Chefs’ Club is filled with reci-pies, techniques, and activities all about pie. Kids can make a show-stopping Double-Crust Blueberry Pie, an impressive Cheesy Summer Vegetable Galette, and a crowd-pleasing Chocolate Cream Pie, serving up slices with the included pie server. Explore the science of pie fillings with an edible experiment, and learn pie trivia in our card game Truth or Pie. This box is on sale throughout July and arrives in August.