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ATK Kids

Kitchen Classroom 2021: Week 42

Week 42 of resources to help kids learn in the kitchen—and make something delicious along the way.
By Published Oct. 15, 2021

Welcome to week 42 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 that’s perfect for fall. Kids will make Spiced Applesauce Muffins that are full of warm spices and appealing apple flavor. In this week’s Learning Moment, kids will learn about the difference between spiced and spicy, then observe and smell the spices in this recipe. 

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.

Here’s what’s cooking for the week of October 18th through 24th, 2021.

Spiced Applesauce Muffins

Weekend Project: Spiced Applesauce Muffins

These simple muffins come together in a bowl, no mixer needed! They are packed with the warm flavors of fall and are great for breakfast or a snack. Kids will learn the difference between spiced and spicy and learn more about where the spices in their muffins come from. 
[GET THE RECIPE]

What You’ll Need
Vegetable oil spray
¾ cup (3¾ ounces) all-purpose flour
¾ cup (4⅛ ounces) whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
⅔ cup (4⅔ ounces) sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
¼ cup (2 ounces) apple cider or apple juice
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Learning Moment
Life Science (Plants):
This recipe is called “spiced” applesauce muffins because it calls for multiple different spices, but it’s not spicy. Ask kids if they know the difference between spiced and spicy. Then explain that spicy food usually incorporates some form of chile peppers, such as crushed red pepper flakes, ground cayenne pepper, chopped chile peppers, or hot sauce. Chile peppers contain a chemical called capsaicin (“cap-SAY-sin”) that makes us feel hotter than we actually are–that’s why we say our mouth feels like it’s “on fire” when we eat something spicy, even if the food is cold. To learn more about how we taste spicy foods, have kids check out this video.

There is definitely NO capsaicin in these muffins! They’re spiced, which means that they’re flavored using the power of spices. These muffins include 2 different dried, ground spices: cinnamon and nutmeg, and a spice extract, vanilla. These spices aren’t made from chile peppers, but from other plants.

While the muffins are baking in step 7, have kids smell the cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. How would they describe how each smells? Do the smells remind them of anything? Ask kids: Can you guess what part of the plant each one comes from? Explain that cinnamon comes from the bark of a tree, nutmeg is a seed, and vanilla extract comes from soaking a vanilla flower seed pod in a mixture of water and alcohol. The fact that cinnamon is tree bark may be surprising! To show them how cinnamon grows and how it’s harvested, you can share this video with kids.


Catching up on Kitchen Classroom? Find previous weeks using the links below: