Last weekend, I started up my baking project by going onto the internet with the express intent of going to a website to find out how to make reverse chocolate chip cookies. I quickly found two blogs that had instructions on how to make the cookies I was looking to make. I found that the first blog, The Pioneer Woman, was a little more enjoyable a blog, I found her descriptions humourous. But the second blog seemed to be more drawn out and detailed. So I was planning on using the second blog.
But then, like the clouds parting and the sun shining through, or however that simile works, I saw a link on the second blog. This is how most of my internet escapades go. And this is why I have seventeen tabs open perpetually on my computer. The link on the blog was to salted caramel dark chocolate cookies and I was like “Oh man” and so I clicked on it.
And so, in actuality, this is the blog I used, and the recipe I followed.
First things first, I had to buy ingredients, so I went on a magical journey to the Superstore in Yorkton (because they have a self-checkout so I can avoid any and all human interaction), bought my ingredients, got waylaid by a rouge bag of sour cream and onion chips because the bag was so full of air.
Well, after that adventure, it was time to bake.
The first thing I learned from the blog was that, in baking, one of her tricks is to make sure the butter is room temperature, the eggs are room temperature, and the dough is chilled. So the baking actually took a lot longer than I anticipated.
It went mostly easy. I made one error, I put some of the dry ingredients in the wrong bowl, so it was a sad moment. I took a picture to commemorate my mistake.
Which was unfortunate, but I don’t think it really affected things all that much. I accept the mistake, and the rest went off without a hitch. The dough was actually quite thick – at one point, I had to like, mix it with my literal, actual, real-life hand.
Then, I put them in the oven and there we go!
So, after I tried them, I determined one quite glaring failure.
As evidenced in this photo, there is no caramel in the salted caramel cookies. I think this is because the recipe called for rolos to be the caramel filling. But I don’t think the rolos had enough caramel in them for the cookies. I still have some dough, so I’m thinking I’m going to try again with actual caramels. But all in all, I found it was not the worst failure.
For the second part of my learning project, I found the caramel fiasco to be particularly interesting and inspiring for my lesson creation.
In Grade Eight there is an outcome in math dealing with ratios. In the school I was at, the way we were asked to mark the outcome was actually just to have students solve problems with ratios.
“Outcome N8.3 – Demonstrate understanding of rates, ratios, and proportional reasoning concretely, pictorially, and symbolically.”
I was thinking about the caramel, and how I didn’t have enough, and then it also made me think of a picture I’ve seen online before. I cannot find it, which is the most distressing, so if anyone knows what I’m describing, maybe they can tell me where to find it? It is a photo of a line of cookies, and each cookie is shown with a description underneath. Each description is showing what a cookie looks like with too much flour, butter, sugar, baking powder, etc.
So I think it would be interesting to have students be assigned a single, simple recipe. Perhaps like chocolate chip cookies, and, in groups, be assigned an ingredient. Then, they will have to explore what happens to the recipe when you adjust the amount of only that ingredient and report on their findings. Through this, students would learn about why ratios are important, why it is important to keep ratios the same, and what happens when you don’t respect the balance of a ratio.
Now, obviously, some students may not have the time or finances to make cookies, or multiple batches of cookies. But I think you could get around some of this in a few ways. One is for the teacher to buy the ingredients to share amongst the students. The teacher can also give them recipes that only make 10 or so cookies, so the batches are much smaller. It also brings about the opportunity for cross-curricular lessons. In Grade Eight in Yorkton, our students have one day every six days that they get to go to another school or the High School to go do other classes, like woodshop or home ec. to do those classes. If you wanted, you could work with the the home ec. teacher to help students make their baking, and that way you are not expecting students to do baking in their own time.
This is all I have for you today, I hope you enjoy, and I hope the basic lesson idea is interesting to some people!