I’m taking a sabbatical from my current university and teaching at a high school for a year. I am working with some AMAZING science teachers this year, which is so very invigorating. When I was talking about lab reports, one of the chemistry teachers said she taught lab report technique by having the students write a lab report on a cookie recipe. All the kids make the cookies at home and then bring them to class. I thought this was *brilliant*. For kicks, I thought I would write this post as a lab report.
The purpose of the experiment is to make thumbprint cookies with icing and to practice writing a formal lab report.
Ingredients for the cookies:
- Salted butter
- Cane sugar
- All purpose flour
- Vanilla extract
- Kosher salt
- Nonstick cooking spray
Ingredients for the icing:
- Powdered sugar
- Food coloring
1. The butter (1 cup) and ¼ cup of cane sugar were mixed together in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment on medium speed until a pale yellow color was achieved.
2. The mixer speed was reduced to low and 2 cups of all purpose flour, ½ teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract was added to the sugar and butter mixture.
3. The dough was mixed until it began to pull away from the sides of the mixer.
4. The dough was removed from the mixer and placed in the refrigerator for an hour.
5. The oven was preheated to 325°F.
6. The dough was removed from the refrigerator and formed into 1 inch balls.
7. An indention was made in the dough balls with a thumb and the balls were rolled in sprinkles.
8. The cookies were placed on a cooking sheet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray and baked for 10 minutes at 325°F.
9. After 10 minutes, the cookies were removed from the oven and placed on a wire cooling rack.
10. The milk (2 Tablespoons) and 1 and ¼ cups of powdered sugar were whisked together in a small bowl to make the icing.
11. Once a homogenous mixture was obtained, the icing was divided into four small bowls and 4 drops of food coloring in different colors (blue, pink, purple, and yellow) were added to each bowl.
12. A teaspoon of icing was placed in the thumbprint of each cookie.
The cookies were light yellow in color, with a buttery taste (Figure 1)
Figure 1: Thumbprint cookies with pink, blue, yellow, and purple icing.
Overall, 47 cookies were synthesized. Since the recipe predicted 50 cookies could be made, the percent yield is 94%.
Thumbprint cookies were successfully synthesized and a formal lab report was written. The recipe said that it yielded 50 cookies, however, the yield in this experiment was 47. The vanilla flavor seemed understated and in the future vanilla bean caviar or vanilla bean paste may be added to increase the flavor.
*If you used a formal reference, you need to include it here. However, this was a family recipe, so there is not a formal reference.*
Note: My mom’s recipe called for pecans, but due to nut allergies those were omitted.