Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Sticky in the Kitchen - Applying Lubricant Activities to a Baking Problem

Tasty Tuesday is a weekly tradition in our house, and it means we spend a little time in the kitchen.  Usually, we bake cakes or cookies, but today, we are not baking anything at all.  We are going to make No-Bake Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Breakfast Bars.  They are easy to make and taste yummy!  I started thinking about the three ingredients (yes, only three) and realized how sticky they are.  Peanut butter is sticky, and honey is VERY sticky.  So, I thought this would be a great opportunity to show Jumping Bean and Jelly Bean how we can apply the ideas that we learn with our science activities (such as the slippery Jello in the lubricant BLAST) to a real life problem.   In this case, how we could efficiently get sticky ingredients out of our measuring cups or measuring spoons while baking.

Jelly Bean and Jumping Bean love to help measure out the ingredients- sometimes it makes some of our cakes and cookies a little too sweet or a little to dry, but it's all fun and a sneaky math lesson!

We started by having the girls add half the peanut butter and honey in unprepared measuring cups.  This gave the girls a chance to really see how sticky some ingredients can be!  The honey in particular was slow and difficult to get out of the measuring cup.

 To help the honey come out more smoothly, Jelly Bean poured some oil on a paper towel and wiped it all around the inside of our measuring cup.

We filled one measuring cup with the second half of the honey and another with peanut butter.  Then, it was poured into the pan.  It was easier!  The oil made the honey come out smoothly and quickly!  The peanut butter came out a little easier as well, but some was still sticking to the sides of the cups.  Unfortunately, there wasn't any extra honey for us to lick out, but we did get a little peanut butter.


  • 3 cups oatmeal
  • 1 cup honey- divided
  • 1 cup peanut butter- divided
  • measuring cups
  • bowls
  • sauce pan
  • 9x9 pan

  1. Measure out 1/2 cup honey and 1/2 cup peanut butter in clean measuring cups.  Pour into the sauce pan.
  2. Put oil around the inside of the 1/2 cup measuring cups.
  3. Measure the remaining 1/2 cup honey and 1/2 cup peanut butter into the oiled cups.  Pour into the sauce pan and notice how easily it comes out.
  4. Heat the honey and peanut butter until well combined.
  5. Add 3 cups oatmeal and stir until well incorporated. 
  6. Press into a 9x9 pan and let sit over night.

This recipe was adapted from The Joy of Cooking Everyday.  Additional steps were added to demonstrate how science can be used in real life problems.

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