Farmer Appreciation Day: Learning from a Failure

Since we were scooping cookies until the end of the day on Friday, I had to put some cookies in the oven to bake after students left.  When I took the pumpkin molasses cookies out of the oven, I knew there was a problem…

The recipe said the pumpkin molasses should crack on top and we expected a gingersnap-like cookie.  When deciding what to do after school on Friday, I figured their appearance could be forgiven if they still tasted good, so I sampled a small piece of cookie and… they TASTED TERRIBLE!!   I had to share the bad news with students Monday morning and we talked about two possible problems with the “failed cookies” – (1) the spices we used were too strong and made the cookies taste bad and (2) something made the cookies too watery – either an incorrect measurement of a liquid ingredient or the pumpkin being too watery.  Students were a bit disappointed, but I reassured them that we could try the recipe again.  Students came up with the idea to use less spices and I suggested we strain the pumpkin and measure VERY carefully.

On Monday afternoon, during our project learning time, a group of students volunteered to retry the cookie recipe.  While other students worked on different aspects of the project, I helped a small group make two new batches of pumpkin molasses cookies. We made both of the proposed adjustments and the dough looked much better.   We had to refrigerate the dough, so we did not bake the new batches until Tuesday afternoon.The new batches turned out much better.  They looked, smelled and tasted good!  We learned from our failure and made some delicious pumpkin molasses cookies for the farmers!

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About mrsobach

Teacher in Park West School Division in rural Manitoba, Canada. Working with students and fellow educators to improve teaching and learning!
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