Monday, February 6, 2012

R is for Raisin-Apple Muffins - ABCs of Homeschooling

This week from the Alpha-Bakery cookbook for children, Sophia made Raisin-Apple Muffins. We had all of the ingredients on hand which was nice. That's one good thing about this cookbook - all the ingredients are typically ones that you have in the kitchen. There aren't a lot of unusual or fancy ingredients.

These are very moist muffins. Both Sophia and Olivia would have preferred them without raisins, although I thought they tasted fine with the raisins.

Raisin-Apple Muffins

Raisin-Apple Muffins

1 cup Cheerios or Apple Cinnamon Cheerios cereal, crushed (about ½ cup)
1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup raisins
1/2 cup applesauce
1/3 cup of milk (we used dairy-free rice milk)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 egg

Heat oven to 400 and grease bottoms only of 12 medium muffin cups. Mix cereal, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl.

Stir in remaining ingredients just until dry ingredients are moistened. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake until golden brown 18-22 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.

Sophia asked: What's the difference between baking soda and baking powder? I knew that both would cause a product to rise, but beside that I didn't know the difference between baking soda and powder.

I found a good explanation on The Kitchn site (yes, there's an "e" missing in Kitchn). As the site said, "Both are white powders, odorless and nearly indistinguishable. Yet both help your baked goods to rise. Without them (or another leavener like yeast or beaten egg whites) all of our breads and cakes would be very flat and dense.

"Baking soda is also known by its chemist term: sodium bicarbonate. When heated, this chemical compound forms carbon dioxide gas - making your breads and cookies rise. That's not all it produces, though, which can be a problem.

"When heated, sodium bicarbonate also produces sodium carbonate, which doesn't taste so great. It leaves an unpleasant, alkaline flavor behind. But if you mix baking soda with an acid (like lemon juice or another citric acid carrier) then the sodium carbonate is partially neutralized and leaves behind less aftertaste. This acid also helps the carbon dioxide gas release more quickly.

"Baking powder is basically just baking soda with acid added in. It has just enough acid to use up the sodium carbonate. Shirley Corriher in her great book Cookwise says that 1 teaspoon baking powder contains 1/4 teaspoon baking soda. The other 3/4 teaspoon contains the acid and cornstarch."

The Kitchn site concluded its post about baking soda and baking powder: "Corriher says that baking soda is 4 times as powerful as baking powder, so use only 1/4 teaspoon baking soda for each teaspoon of baking powder in the original recipe."

So, there we have it. Home economics combined with science.  All part of homeschooling.

Link up to the ABC's


Kristy said...

I love that aspect of home-schooling - being able to teach skills and knowledge at the same time! Maybe God will bless us with a child one day so I can have those opportunities. Nice post. :)

Rita said...

I never knew the difference, either. They're both versions of the same ingredient--interesting! Thanks for that bit of info!
I have to say that I agree with the girls--no raisins! LOL! ;)