Welcome to week 33 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.
This week’s Kitchen Classroom is a Weekend Project! In the heat of summer, kids can cool off with a classic summertime sweet: Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches! The recipe, from The Complete DIY Cookbook for Young Chefs, can be DIY’ed from start to finish—even the ice cream—if your young chef is feeling ambitious. After they build their sandwiches, kids will put their math skills to the test to see how many ice cream flavor and topping combinations they can create. Then, they’ll get their creative juices flowing in Take It Further as they invent their own unique ice cream sandwich flavors—and name them.
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Here’s what’s cooking for the week of July 26th through August 1st.
Weekend Project: Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches
Kids can make the ultimate ice cream truck treat completely from scratch—yep, even the ice cream! These sandwiches star any flavor of homemade or store-bought ice cream stuffed between chewy (not tough!) chocolate chip cookies. Take them over the top by rolling the edges in mini chocolate chips, chopped nuts, or sprinkles (see “How to Decorate Ice Cream Sandwiches” at the bottom of the recipe page for instructions). Make sure to soften your ice cream in the refrigerator before you scoop it. The ice cream should be slightly softened but not soupy.
[GET THE RECIPE]
What You’ll Need
Vegetable oil spray
⅔ cup (3⅓ ounces) all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup packed (3½ ounces) brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons water
1 large egg yolk
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ cup (1½ ounces) mini semisweet chocolate chips
1 quart ice cream (homemade or store-bought), softened
As their ice cream sandwiches chill, get kids thinking about a delicious math problem: Ask them to imagine that they’re working on an ice cream sandwich assembly line. If they have four ice cream flavors, and three decorations—how many possible combinations of Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches can they (theoretically) make? Kids can create a chart like the one below to figure it out, filling in their ice cream flavors in the left-hand column and the three decoration options in the top row:
|Mini Chocolate Chips||Chopped Nuts||Sprinkles|
|Vanilla Ice Cream||
Vanilla Ice Cream + Mini Chocolate Chips
Vanilla Ice Cream + Chopped Nuts
Vanilla Ice Cream + Sprinkles
|Mint Chip Ice Cream||
Mint Chip Ice Cream + Mini Chocolate Chips
Mint Chip Ice Cream + Chopped Nuts
Mint Chip Ice Cream + Sprinkles
|Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream||
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream + Mini Chocolate Chips
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream + Chopped Nuts
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream + Sprinkles
|Peanut Butter Ice Cream||
Peanut Butter Ice Cream + Mini Chocolate Chips
Peanut Butter Ice Cream + Chopped Nuts
Peanut Butter Ice Cream + Sprinkles
In the example above, there were four possible ice cream flavors and three possible decorations, which makes 12 different ice cream sandwich combinations. Share with kids that if you multiply the number of ice cream flavors by the number of decorations, you can find the total number of combinations without making a chart (4 x 3 = 12). Challenge kids to use this method to calculate the number of possible combinations if they added a fifth ice cream flavor? (Answer: 15; 5 x 3 = 15.)
Take It Further
English Language Arts (Writing, Speaking and Listening):
After popping the ice cream sandwiches in the freezer (or while eating them), have kids imagine that they have their own ice cream sandwich truck. First, ask kids to brainstorm a name for their truck: Will they name it after themselves? Their favorite frozen treat? How about their number-one place to enjoy ice cream? Then, ask kids to come up with a menu for their ice cream sandwich business. Have them brainstorm some popular cookie and ice cream flavors . . . or they can invent their own! Encourage kids to find inspiration in their favorite ingredients and dishes, or have them browse the internet for ideas. Maybe they will invent a churro-flavored ice cream, with swirls of chocolate and dulce de leche. What about a sandwich inspired by movie theater snacks—both sweet AND salty? Encourage kids to share ideas with the group.
Keep kids’ brains churning by asking them what they would name their ice cream sandwich creations. Have them think about the flavors and textures going on, and the adjectives they would use to describe them. Is their sandwich crunchy? Spicy? Salty? Fudgy? Once kids have a clear vision for their imaginary ice cream sandwich truck, they can draw and write out their menu.