Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Week Fifteen -- Layered Liquids and Layered Bars

It’s odd how things line up this way. We found this VERY cool experiment online and had to do it. It’s from Steve Spangler Science, which is seriously the coolest site ever for kitchen projects. http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/ We decided to do the Density Tower, which is less sinister than it sounds. I’ll go through all the steps, but you can also just watch the video on Steve Spangler's site.
What You Need:

·         A tall, thin glass cylinder. This can be a flower vase, a graduated cylinder, or simply a tall glass.
·         A turkey baster
·         Honey
·         Karo syrup
·         Maple syrup
·         Dawn dish soap (important as this is a known density)
·          Water – colored with food coloring
·         Vegetable oil
·         Rubbing alcohol – colored with food coloring.
·         Lamp oil
·         (An optional addition is milk, which we didn’t use. We thought it might get gross.)

What You Do:

You must add the substances in order. First, the honey, then the Karo syrup, then the maple syrup. Pour slowly and try to keep the substances from touching the sides of the cylinder. Then, using the turkey baster begin adding the other ingredients in this order: dish soap, water, vegetable oil, rubbing alcohol, then lamp oil. For these ingredients, it’s best to also go slowly and let the substances slide down the inside of the cylinder. Then you’re done!

Magic Cookie Bars (or Seven Layer Bars)

Bring on the Magic Cookie Bars. Okay, to be truthful, the only magical thing about them is that they are so easy. Well, I guess they are also pretty darn good.

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 (14 oz.) can Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 cups (12 oz. pkg.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
1 cup chopped nuts
(You will notice that there are only six layers here. The optional layer can be 1 cup of peanut butter chips or a drizzle of caramel topping. We went with just six ingredients.

Our modifications: We (I mean Harrison) aren’t big coconut fans, so we omitted the coconut in favor of toffee bits. (1 cup). Then we increased the nuts to 1 ½ cups. We used pecans, toasted (duh).
  • HEAT oven to 350°F. Spray 13 x 9-inch baking pan with no-stick cooking spray.
  • COMBINE graham cracker crumbs and butter in small bowl. Press into bottom of prepared pan. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumb mixture. Layer evenly with chocolate chips, coconut and nuts. Press down firmly with fork.
  • BAKE 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Loosen from sides of pan while still warm; cool on wire rack. Cut into bars or diamonds. 
  • For perfectly cut cookie bars, line entire pan with foil, extending foil over edge of pan. Coat lightly with no-stick cooking spray. After bars have baked and cooled, lift up with edges of foil to remove from pan. Cut into individual bars.  (Sigh…. That’s the Eagle Brand method. We just pretty much scooped out what we wanted into a dish and ate it..)

Keep in mind that these are sweet! I mean, make your teeth ache sweet. And, I’m no baby, but whoa.

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