Baking Chocolate Cookies and Learning Words & Concepts

by Rashmie Jaaju on April 19, 2011 · 20 comments

in Cook & Learn

Kids can learn from cooking in ways that we cannot begin to fathom. From vocabulary to computer concepts to ofcourse – food, flavours, colours, textures and tastes – cooking sure means learning while having fun. So, dare yourself to let your child get messy in the kitchen and well… mess up your kitchen (winks!). The rewards will surprise you.

Of late, Pari’s love for cooking and baking is taking on the form of a passion. In the last few weeks, she’s made cakes and different type of rotis (Indian bread) and potato chips (at my mom’s place). And yesterday – chocolate cookies.

The cookie project has been on our list for sometime now. I just couldn’t get around to doing this with her either due to lack of time or the ingredients not being there at the time. But, in the meantime that I went shopping for our baking projects, I thought I could buy time by doing other related things before taking on the cookie project.

A video demo can add a new learning dimension to the child's cooking project…

So, together, we watched a few videos demonstrating how to make different types of cookies. Of all, we liked this recipe from www.joyofbaking.com. Pari watched the video a couple of times and by then the method had registered fully in her mind.

I believe there’s lot of value and fun in having the kid watch the video if possible before diving into the actual cooking project.

And here's why:

  1. When the child does the actual cooking/baking, she/he would have made a mental picture of how the whole thing would go about and turn out.
  2. She/he would have understood the process step-by-step rather than doing impromptu without knowing what comes next.
  3. The child will pick up a few words from the video demonstration that she/he would like using during the cooking process
  4. You can make her copy and paste the link into a notepad so that you can go back to it when you do the actual cooking. This means, the child learns a few computer concepts in the bargain.

Pari picked up these words and in the right context – beat, whisk, cocoa powder, white butter, unsweetened, preheat, temperature, baking powder, butter paper and some more.

Yesterday, when I had the ingredients in place, we got going in the evening. We followed the recipe and the method to the tee, except for the Dutch-processed cocoa powder that I could not find in the local market. We used the regular one.

Admire, eat, savour!

The cookies turned out really nice – crisp, flavourful and sumptuous.

Pari had them with a glass of orange-flavoured energy drink.

I also tried another version of serving them – with “mishti doi”.

For those of you who are not familiar with "mishti doi" (sweet curd), it’s a quintessential Bengali delicacy that is prepared by boiling milk till it thickens a bit; sweetening it with either jaggery, brown sugar, date molasses or caramelized sugar and then fermenting it overnight in an earthen ware.

Pari’s saved a bunch of links from www.joyofbaking.com onto a note pad and wants us to take up one recipe a day. An ice-cream is what she wants to make next.

Boy, does she know how to keep me on my toes…! But, do I mind? Not really!