Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Giant Solar System Sugar Cookie
The older children wanted to make a giant, solar system cookie for snack time, this afternoon.
Actually, I suggested they spend some time making solar system dioramas, like the ones from Claudia Mills' How Oliver Changed the World, prompting them to suggest the cookie concept.
Not wanting to be like the over-domineering mother in the story, I handed them my camera (in case they decided to do a guest post tutorial for me), our cookie recipe, with a few hints written on - like how much cocoa to add to the dough, after they had separated some out to make planets with, and a few suggestions as to what was in the cupboards, that they might like to use - sprinkles, M&M's, and so on - and left them to it.
Unfortunately, the children misunderstood a few of my helpful hints. I returned to the kitchen to find one batch of chocolate dough, partially patted out into a large circle, for a spacey background...
...and several bowls, with an additional, half batch of chocolate dough, they had tried to add food coloring to. That didn't work out so well for them.
At that point, it was time for the older children to walk to the library to meet up with friends. So, mentally adding, "practice following instructions", to things to work on this fall, I globbed all the dough back into one bowl, made another, quarter batch of vanilla dough, and called the younger children in to give me a hand.
We patted all the chocolate dough (a batch and a half) into one very large cookie, on a greased pizza pan, placing a yellow dyed ball of vanilla dough, in the center, for the sun, and moving out from there with an assortment of cookie dough, and M&M planets...
...on vanilla cookie dough "orbits".
We placed a small circle of cookie dough under our "Saturn" M&M, to suggest rings, and sprinkled chocolate candy bits between Mars and Jupiter, to form our asteroid belt.
We didn't have room left for Pluto to have a cookie dough orbit, but we did place a mini chocolate chip at the edge of our solar system, to mark the dwarf planet's domain.
We baked the whole shebang for about 25 minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit, until the center seemed firm, and then pulled it out to cool.
We didn't make it to scale, or try for a great deal of accuracy. Though, there was a lot of discussion among the younger children as to the proper color, and size of the various planets. And, they were quite happy to be able to jump in, and complete the job their older siblings had abandoned.
As for the older children - they showed a great amount of renewed interest in the project, upon returning home from the library to the smell of a freshly baked, sugar cookie, solar system.
It's great to be a homeschooler.