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Celebrate Spooky Season With 3 Not-So-Scary STEM Sweets

Some of the best memories are made in the kitchen — but did you know hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) lessons come to life here as well? It’s true! With a season full of spooky sights and chilly nights, we have a few tricks for cooking up some delicious treats. Keep reading to uncover three simple recipes and sweet science facts to explore along the way.


Wiggling Witches’ Brew

Even the pickiest eaters can often be persuaded to try a classic Jell-O® dessert. Start by preparing lime Jell-O according to the box instructions. As you do, you’ll notice chemistry in action. The powder dissolves into the water as it heats up, creating a new solution.

Once your Jell-O liquid is prepared, you can divide the liquid evenly into dessert cups and let them cool in the refrigerator. When you return, the mixture will have set into a wiggly, jiggly structure. This is called a colloid, as it falls between a solid and liquid.

To turn this into a holiday treat, allow each person to use their imagination to customize their dessert with festive toppings. Does your witches’ brew contain spellbinding gummy worms or squishy candy eyeballs? Perhaps it’s overflowing with a foamy whipped cream or fizzing from popping candy!


Popping Monster Munchies

Popcorn is a fun snack on its own, but by adding other elements, you can create a dish worthy of an awesome fall party! With ooey gooey caramel and apple chips on a base of stove-popped popcorn, this Caramel Apple Monster Munch recipe from the Food Network is a great example.

As you gather your supplies and prepare for popping, take the time to have a conversation about popcorn science. When you heat up popcorn kernels, the small amount of water inside expands and turns to steam. It continues to build pressure until bursting through the hard outer layer – giving us the soft and fluffy snack we love to eat.

Make sure to also visit one of our other blogs, Fall in Love With STEM Through Cooking, to learn STEM concepts from caramel.


Chilling Chocolate Ghosts

Do you have bananas that are starting to get too ripe? Turn them into sweet, frozen ghosts! This recipe from the Food Network explains how, step by step. By cutting bananas into four even pieces and freezing them, you can transform them into a spooky treat. Melted white chocolate chips give them a ghostly look and dark chocolate chips can be used for a face.

The banana you use could significantly impact the taste and texture of this hauntingly good dessert. Can you notice a difference in the taste of a green banana, a yellow banana and one with brown spots? As the fruit ripens, the starch within it breaks down and turns to a simple sugar – meaning bananas taste sweeter over time. However, bananas also become less firm as they ripen, so be careful not to wait too long or your ghosts might not hold up!


Keep Exploring

Want to keep the fun going? Check out our other blogs, STEM in the Kitchen – Mixtures and Solutions and Kid-Friendly Kitchen Science, for more hands-on STEM learning in the kitchen.

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