Welcome to week 43 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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This week’s Kitchen Classroom is Cooking for You! Kids can cozy up as they sip on Spiced Hot Chocolate, a supersimple recipe from My First Cookbook. Our recipe is inspired by a type of hot chocolate that’s traditional in Mexico and often enjoyed during the holiday of Día de los Muertos. In this week’s Learning Moment, kids will practice their math skills as they measure out all the ingredients and then order them from least to greatest. Then, in Take it Further, they’ll learn more about Día de los Muertos and share what they learned with their family.
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Here’s what’s cooking for the week of October 25th through 31st, 2021.
Cooking for You: Spiced Hot Chocolate
Warm up with a cup of sweet and (just a little) spicy hot chocolate. Our version adds a little bit of cinnamon and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Kids start by making a batch of dry hot chocolate mix first, and then stir up individual mugs of cocoa. The hot chocolate mix can be stored at room temperature for up to three months.
[GET THE RECIPE]
What You’ll Need
1½ cups (4½ ounces) nonfat dry milk powder
1 cup (4 ounces) confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
¾ cup (2¼ ounces) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
¾ cup (4½ ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
⅛ teaspoon salt
1 cup (8 ounces) milk (per serving)
Before starting this recipe, have your young chef measure all of the ingredients into individual bowls. (Remind them that chefs always prepare their ingredients before they start cooking!) Then, ask kids to order the ingredients from least to greatest, using the volume measurements, not the weight. (Hint: There may be some ties!) If they get stuck, suggest that they take a look at the sizes of the measuring spoons and cups they used to measure each ingredient.
Ordered from least to greatest:
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper and ⅛ teaspoon salt (It’s a tie!)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (It’s a tie!)
- ¾ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder and ¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips (It’s a tie!)
- 1 cup confectioners’ (powdered) sugar and 1 cup milk (It’s a tie!)
- 1½ cups nonfat dry milk powder
Take It Further
Social Studies (World Cultures):
As kids enjoy their hot chocolate, they can learn about the Mexican holiday Día de los Muertos, which translates from Spanish to Day of the Dead. Día de los Muertos is not the same as Halloween, although it takes place around the same time: November 1 to November 2. It originated thousands of years ago with the Aztec, Toltec, and Nahua people. Mourning the dead was considered disrespectful, and death was seen as a new phase in life and during Día de los Muertos, the souls of the dead briefly returned to Earth. Today, it’s a celebration meant to honor and show love and respect for deceased family members.
People in Mexico celebrate Día de los Muertos with special foods, such as pan de muerto (“bread of the dead” in English), sugar skulls, atole (a sweetened corn-based beverage), and hot chocolate. Depending on the region of Mexico where they take place, celebrations include parades, all-night vigils, and special visits to local cemeteries to visit and decorate the graves of loved ones.
To learn more about Día de los Muertos, kids can watch this video from PBS Learning Media, or read this story from National Geographic Kids. Use these conversation starters to spark discussion with your young chefs as they enjoy their hot chocolate.
- Did you know what Día de los Muertos was before talking about it today? What did you think it was about? What part of this holiday are you curious to learn more about?
- Día de los Muertos is all about honoring the dead. What are some ways you would honor people important to you who have passed away?
On Sale October 2021 Say Cheese Box
The November edition of the Young Chefs' Club is all about cheese. Young chefs will find recipes for DIY Ricotta Cheese, homemade Cheddar Fish Crackers (use the cracker cutter included in the box!), and Stovetop Macaroni & Cheese. They'll learn all about the Science of Stretchy Cheese in a fun experiment, and participate in a surprising blind taste test activity. Make a sweet and salty cheese snack plate in this box's Make It Your Way Challenge. Then, play a few rounds of a cheesy card game.