Age Range: 7 – 10 years
Grade Level: 2 – 5
Professional chef Andrew Schloss brings a culinary flare to kitchen experiments in this diverse and colorful recipe collection. It reads like a souped-up cookbook: Each project contains a list of ingredients and instructions, followed by a section called “How did that happen?” that introduces
the experimenter to the scientific principles behind the concoction. And the book doesn’t shy away from detail: Kids will learn that carbon dioxide released during an acid-base reaction aerates melted caramel into a crispy snack and that agar bubbles hold their shape in the mouth because their melting point is higher than that of gelatin.
Some recipes are old standards, like cornstarch-based finger paint and ice cream shaken in a bag of salted ice. Others are elegant and unusual, like cookies that model the phases of the moon using baking soda to darken the dough. And while some are merely nontoxic—a psyllium-based slime made palatable with lime juice and honey, for example—others could actually add up to a family meal, like the alfredo sauce that relies on pectin-rich cauliflower to replace the fat.
Those not yet skilled with the oven or stove will need an adult helper for many of these projects, and a few are downright ambitious. (One requires a whipped-cream siphon that runs about $100.) But a colorful key displays the cost, time, complexity, and safety of each recipe, so young scientists and their supervisors know exactly what they’re getting into.