The holidays are a time for spending time with family and friends. These gatherings are often centered around food, and in our circles, an abundance of sweet treats and fun- sometimes adult- beverages.
Holiday baking is a long family tradition, especially with my girls. From preparing for winter school events to family gatherings, there’s nothing like the smell of fresh baked desserts, with the scents of vanilla and warm spices filling the house. Sami right now is into baking large batches of chocolate chip cookies. So I decided to share with her a long-time favorite recipe of mine.
I found this as I was doing research for a chemistry project way back in my college days. The “Engineering Chocolate Chip Cookie” recipe was reprinted in a chemical journal whose title I no longer remember, and I couldn’t resist adding it to my collection. I nerded it up a bit from the original recipe and made a couple changes, but it is not far from what was first printed. I’ve shared this with my students over the years, along with a bag of fresh cookies, especially those I tutored in AP Chemistry. And now, it’s been fun to watch Sami put her math skills to good use as she bakes her own batches of cookies- nerdy or otherwise. To all my kitchen chemists and super-nerds, have a very happy holiday season!
Chocolate Chip Cookies
4.9 cm3 NaHCO3
4.9 cm3 NaCl
532.35 cm3 finely ground meal of Triticum fruited grain
236.6 cm3 partially hydrogenated plant-derived triglyceride
177.45 cm3 white crystalline granulated C12H22O11
177.45 cm3 partially refined brown crystalline C12H22O11
2 CaCO3– encapsulated avian ova
473.2 cm3 Theobroma cacao morsels
236.6 cm3 de-encapsulated meats of Juglans regia
5.0 mL methyl ether of protocatechuic aldehyde
1. To a large reaction vessel, preferably one of an alloy of steel or composed of silicon dioxide, add meal of Triticum, NaCl, and NaHCO3.
2. To a second reactor vessel, with constant agitation, add triglyceride, both sucrose-based reagents, and methyl ether of protocatechuic aldehyde. Add the internal substance of the avian ova, followed by three equal parts of the mixture in reactor vessel 1. Add T. cacao morsels and meats of J. regia slowly and while maintaining steady agitation.
3. Place the mixture piece-meal on a 300 x 600 mm sheet of aluminum or steel for transfer of thermal energy. Heat in a 460 K oven for 540-660 seconds or until cooked through.
4. Once the reaction has progressed to the desired state of completion, place the heat transfer sheet on a 298 K table, allowing the product to come to thermal equilibrium.
5. Ingest and digest!
We did try a batch that substituted the meal of the seed of Prunus dulcis. This is good for those who cannot have the protein found in Triticum and other related grains. We found through experimentation that the reaction temperature should be conducted at 450 K and for a shorter reaction time (we did 480 seconds and that seemed to work to get the lighter color shown in the photo above).
From Chemical and Engineering News, 1995, with some nerdier edits by me. I welcome edits to make it more chemically accurate, as well as science-related jokes. I hope you all have a merry Christmas, and a happy New Year. With love, the Nerdy Birdy and the Cranky Camper.