Posts

The International Year of Pulses

69655578_2792ec56fa_o

Photo credits: (flickr/Jessica Spengler)

The 68th United Nations General Assembly has declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses. [1] Pulses – that throbbing sensation of your carotid artery after a workout or during a first date, right? Nope. The UN suggests we celebrate the pulses that are leguminous crops harvested solely for their dry seeds. All lentils, and all varieties of dried beans, such as kidney beans, lima beans, butter beans and broad beans are pulses, as are chick peas, cowpeas, black-eyed peas and pigeon peas. Seeds that are harvested green, like green peas or green beans are classified as vegetable crops, not pulses. Legumes used primarily for oil extraction, like soybeans, are also not pulses. [2]

Why are pulses getting a year-long, world-wide campaign?

A global push for pulse production would address many problems of our global food system. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’s campaign highlights these key benefits to pulse cultivation [1]:

  • Pulses are highly nutritious – they are excellent plant source of protein, and contain the B vitamins that our bodies require to convert food to energy
  • Pulses are economically accessible and contribute to food security at all levels – from farmers to consumers
  • Pulses foster sustainable agriculture, thus addressing agriculture’s role in climate change
  • Pulses promote biodiversity in agriculture

 

Now that we know the basics of pulses and why they’re important, let’s get scientific.

12529599075_9e8f9c4f29_o

Photo credits: (flickr/Kelly Garbato)

Pulses in the nitrogen cycle

Pulses are legumes, or plants in the family Leguminosae. Thanks to their symbiosis with many members of the diazotrophic, or nitrogen-fixing bacterial genus Rhizobium that live in their roots and feed them with nitrogen from the air, pulses have a particularly high protein content compared to non-legumes. [3] Within the bacterium, atmospheric nitrogen (N2), which is typically unusable to plants, is converted to ammonium (NH4+) via the activity of the enzyme nitrogenase. The nitrogen of ammonium is converted to other more complex compounds that are beneficial to humans, like amino acids – the building blocks of protein. In exchange for fixing nitrogen, the bacterium receives food from the plant — carbon in the form of glucose (C6H12O6).

 

This remarkable bacterial symbiosis also enriches the soil in which pulses grow with nitrogen compounds like nitrite (NO2) and nitrate (NO3), which is the preferred nitrogen source for other green plants. For this reason, farmers who crop-rotate with legumes don’t need to apply nearly as much fertilizer as farmers who don’t. [3]

Screen Shot 2016-02-18 at 10.18.42 AM

Pulses in a changing climate

Many pulses are also hardy and drought tolerant crops – lentils, broad beans, peas, and chick peas are all native to the Fertile Crescent of the Near East, and have adapted to sprout quickly and reproduce in the rainy season before the hot, dry summer [3].

Anatomy of the pulse

All food seeds consist of three basic parts: an outer protective coat, the small embryonic portion that develops into the mature plant, and the storage tissue that feeds the plant embryo. [3]The bulk of the seed consists of storage cells are filled with particles of concentrated protein and granules of starch, or organized masses of starch chains.

Cooking and starch retrogradation

When we cook pulses, hot water permeates the starch granules. As the water molecules work themselves between the starch chains, the granules swell and soften. When the pulses later cool down, the starch chains bond to each other again in tighter, more organized associations, resulting in firmer granules. (This process is called retrogradation.) [3] Consider leftover lentils or beans: they’re always harder and drier the next day, and they never get quite as soft as when they were first cooked. This is because during the process of retrogradation, some starch molecules form granules that are even more tightly associated than the bonds in the original starch granule. They form small crystalline regions that resist breaking even at boiling temperatures. [3]

Retrogradation of starch might foil your plans for leftover lentils, but it does do our bodies good: Our digestive enzymes cannot easily digest retrograded starch, so eating it results in a more gradual rise in blood sugar compared to the effects of non-retrograded starch. [3] Our intestines need help breaking down this tough starch, and the beneficial bacteria in our large intestines are happy to be of assistance. Just as the diazotrophic bacteria in soil work in harmony with leguminous plants, our intestinal bacteria digests what we cannot. Thus the retrograded starch functions as a prebiotics, or food for the probiotic bacteria in our guts. Well-fed gut bacteria make for healthy digestive tracks and happy bowels.

Will this pulse promotion save the world and fix the global food economy? Perhaps. We can all do our part by making a hearty spinach dal for dinner tonight, and sweet red bean paste for dessert.

 

Works Cited

  1. “”Save and Grow in Practice” Highlights Importance of Pulses in Crop Rotations and Intercropping.” Pulses – 2016 | 2016 International Year of Pulses. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, n.d. Web. 05 Feb. 2016.
  2. “What Are Pulses? | FAO.” What Are Pulses? | FAO. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 15 Oct. 2015. Web. 05 Feb. 2016.
  3. McGee, Harold. “Seeds.” On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen. New York: Scribner, 2004. N. pag. Print.

Elsbeth SitesAbout the author: Elsbeth Sites received her B.S. in Biology at UCLA. Her addiction to the Food Network has developed into a love of learning about the science behind food.

Read more by Elsbeth Sites


Freezer Burnt Meat

Photo credit: flickr/Steven Depolo

Photo credit: flickr/Steven Depolo

Freezing is an indispensable tool in modern cooking and eating. The biochemical processes that typically occur in meats cause decay, fat oxidation, and rancidity; the higher the temperature, the faster these reactions occur. Thus, we can largely thwart off these undesirable processes by keeping meat chilled. But tossing meat into the freezer rarely results in rainbows, sunshine, or perfect burger patties, because strangely enough we can also accelerate meat decay with cold. Freezer burn can take a beautiful filet mignon and turn its surface into a leathered, unappetizing slab.

Freezer burn is caused by water sublimation from ice crystals at the meat’s surface into the dry freezer air. Sublimation occurs when a solid substance undergoes a phase change and becomes a vapor without first passing through the liquid phase. The ice crystals on the meat surface sublimate, and leave behind tiny cavities. These tiny yet numerous cavities increase the surface area of the meat and expose more tissue to the air. This accelerates oxidation of fats, which causes the rancid flavors of old spoiled meat. We usually describe oxidized fats as simply tasting “off,” which is a vague term but seems apt if you’ve ever tasted lipids past their prime, perhaps by using shortening that has been in the pantry since you were a toddler.

Photo Credit: flickr/Marcus Ward

Here, solid ice crystals directly vaporize without first passing through the liquid phase. Photo Credit: flickr/Marcus Ward

In addition to the surface area increase caused by sublimation, the freezing process itself lends itself to fat oxidation. When the liquid water in meats crystallize in the cold, the concentrations of oxidizing salts and trace metals in the tissues increases. Unfortunately, oxidation can occur over time even in wrapped and frozen meats. Some oxygen will inevitably remain in contact with the meat, unless we create a vacuum seal.

Once meat has been damaged by the cold, there’s no undoing the oxidation. So either we plan our meals so that meats are cooked immediately after purchase, or we learn to prevent the sublimation that ruins both our pork chops and our days. We simply need to keep water crystals inside the meat and keep oxygen out. Using a vacuum sealer is our best bet for avoiding freezer burn, but for cheapskates like me who won’t shell out the $30 for the sealing device, a water-impermeable plastic wrapped tightly around the meat works well enough for most home chefs.

Thus meat is sealed away happily in plastic, free from villainous oxygen. Photo credits: flickr/Mike

Thus meat is sealed away happily in plastic, free from villainous oxygen. Photo credits: flickr/Mike

References cited

  1. McGee, Harold. “Meats.” McGee on Food & Cooking: An Encyclopedia of Kitchen Science, History and Culture. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2004. N. pag. Print.
  2. “Sublimation.” The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia. Columbia University Press, 2012. Web. 20 July 2015.

 


Elsbeth SitesAbout the author: Elsbeth Sites received her B.S. in Biology at UCLA. Her addiction to the Food Network has developed into a love of learning about the science behind food.

Read more by Elsbeth Sites


The Science of Pie 2014: Video Highlights

The Science of Pie 2014: Video Highlights

June 1, 2014

At the Science of Pie, the world’s first scientific bakeoff, the students of the Science & Food undergraduate course presented results from their final projects in poster format and their pies for taste testing. These pies had to be cooked in one hour and were the summation of all that the students had learned from their pie experiments in the class. Throughout the quarter, the students were challenged to perform a scientific investigation of apple pie and vary different features of the pie such as shape, butter size, and moisture.

The contest was judged by Lena Kwak (of Cup4Cup) and Dave Arnold (of Booker and Dax, the Museum of Food and Drink, and the Cooking Issues Podcast) who were our featured speakers for the 2014 Public Lecture Harnessing Creativity. They were joined by Nicole Rucker (Pastry Chef, Gjelina Take Away), Jonathan Gold (Food Critic, LA Times), Dr. Paul Barber (Associate Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UCLA), and Dr. Rachelle Crosbie-Watson (Associate Professor of Integrative Biology and Physiology, UCLA).

The judges had wise words for the students.

Lena Kwak described how she judged the pies.

“With each of the projects we saw today, there were a considerable amount of variables not considered, but the saving grace …was when I tasted their pies.”

Nicole Rucker talked about what makes an award wining pie

“Jonathan and I both know that from Judging Pie Contests, … that you can see a good pie from literally across the room.”

Dr. Paul Barber spoke to the balance of science and pie making:

“No matter how much scientific testing you do, there’s still just this underlying art to making a really good pie.”

Check out some our featured pies from the 2014 contest.

Honorable Mention Pie

Alexis Cary & Matthew Copperman (Team On the Road)

Perfectly Unsoggy Apple Pie

Best Scientific Pie

Christina Cheung, Tori Schmitt, and Elliot Cheung (Team Pretty Intense Pie Enthusiasts)

Beer Crust Apple Pie

Best Overall Pie & People’s Choice Pie

Alina Naqvi & Ashley Lipkins-Scott (Team Apple Queens)

Crumbalicious Apple Pie

Check out our written recap here !

See the whole Video!

Bar Stools and Molecules: Buttery Nipple Science

[Photo Credit: Vince C Reyes]

[Photo Credit: Vince C Reyes]

You may think a buttery nipple is just a fun shot to buy a friend on his or her birthday, but it’s more complex than that. It’s got layers… specifically two. For those not familiar with the bar classic, the buttery nipple is composed of a layer of Irish cream sitting on top of butterscotch schnapps.

Buttery Nipple Shot Recipe

½ oz. Irish cream
1 oz. Butterscotch schnapps

  1. Pour 1 oz. of Butterscotch schnapps into a chilled shot glass.
  2. Carefully pour ½ oz. of Irish cream onto the back of a downturned spoon so it rolls from the spoon and floats on the surface of the schnapps.
  3. Enjoy!

This and other layered shots like the American flag, the B-52, and the Alien Brain Hemorrhage, take advantage of the slight differences in density among spirits. As density, a substance’s mass per unit volume (Density = mass / volume), dictates the layering in these drinks; the most dense liquid is placed at the bottom followed by progressively less dense liquids. In the case of the buttery nipple, the less dense Irish cream floats on the more dense butterscotch schnapps. If you were to reverse the order with the butterscotch schnapps poured on the Irish cream, the layers would not form. The more dense butterscotch schnapps would sink to the bottom of the glass and result in a mixture of the two spirits.

For the home bartender looking to make new layered drinks, the absolute density of a spirit is not always easy to measure. However, a different quantity, specific gravity, is often available online1. Specific gravity is the ratio of the density of substance to water (specific gravity = density of a substance / density of water). Water has a specific gravity of 1.0. More dense liquids have specific gravities greater than 1.0 and less dense liquids have specific gravities less than 1.0. In the case of the buttery nipple shot, butterscotch schnapps (Dekyper’s ButterShots) has a specific gravity of 1.12 while Irish cream (Bailey’s) has a specific gravity of 1.06.1 The specific gravity is often available online for alcoholic beverages because it is important in the fermentation and distillation process, and different beers, wines, and spirits have characteristic specific gravities.

If the specific gravity of an alcoholic beverage cannot be found, some recommend using proof or alcohol by volume (ABV) to layer drinks. Both are mandated on all alcoholic beverages sold and therefore easy to find. In general, proof is the amount of alcohol in a beverage. Specifically in the US, proof is defined as twice the percentage of the alcohol by volume. The alcohol in any beverage you drink is ethyl alcohol, also called ethanol (C2H6O).

Figure 1: Molecular Formula of Ethanol [Image Credit: Vince C Reyes]

Figure 1: Molecular Formula of Ethanol [Image Credit: Vince C Reyes]

At room temperature (77°F or 25°C), ethanol has an absolute density of 789.00 kg/m3 and a specific gravity of 0.7872. As many alcoholic spirits are primarily a mixture of ethanol and water, which has an absolute density of 999.97 kg/m3 and specific gravity 1.0, greater alcohol content can often correspond to a smaller density. For example in the case of the buttery nipple, Irish cream (Baily’s) is 17% ABV, while Butterscotch schnapps is 14.8% ABV. Therefore, the higher alcohol content and corresponding lower density of the Baily’s Irish cream allows it to sit on top of butterscotch schnapps. This shortcut, however, is not always correct as many spirits have ingredients other than water and ethanol. Many spirits contain cream, sugars, or other flavoring agents, which can change their densities, making alcohol content an imperfect proxy for density. For example, Smirnoff’s flavored vodkas all have 35% ABV, but have varying specific gravities: citrus vodka has a specific gravity of 0.96, while the more dense watermelon vodka has a specific gravity of 0.981.

Figure 2: Layering in a Buttery Nipple.  *ABV is not always an indicator of density. [Image Credit: Vince C Reyes]

Figure 2: Layering in a Buttery Nipple.
*ABV is not always an indicator of density. [Image Credit: Vince C Reyes]

Lastly although other factors such as altitude affect density, temperature is the other most relevant factor for an aspiring bartender. Liquids are denser when cold. Temperature is an indicator of the speed of molecules within a substance. At low temperatures, liquids have slower moving molecules that pack closer together resulting in greater mass per volume. In contrast, at higher temperatures, molecules in liquids move around more quickly and take up less space resulting in a reduced density. For example, water near room temperature (70°F [21°C]) is less dense (0.998 g/cm3), than water near freezing (1.000 g/cm3 at 39.2 °F [4.0 °C])3. This is why using chilled spirits, glass wear, and spoons when making a layered shot can ensure that spirits remain at their densest and form layers.

Ultimately, a great layered shot is one that is not only effectively layered, but also delicious. If you don’t enjoy the buttery nipple, you now have the scientific knowledge to experiment with your own concoctions!

Learn more

  1. Specific Gravity of Different Spirits from GoodCocktails.com
  2. Specific Gravity of Other Liquids from Engineering Tool Box
  3. The Density of Water at Different Temperatures from the US Geological Survey

Vince ReyesAbout the author: Vince C Reyes earned his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering at UCLA. Vince loves to explore the deliciousness of all things edible.

Read more by Vince Reyes


David Kinch

David Kinch is Chef-Proprietor of Manresa, a restaurant located in Los Gatos, California that has been awarded two Michelin stars for eight consecutive years. Kinch is a winner of the Best Chef in America award from the James Beard Foundation as well as dean of The International Culinary Center. Having studied the culinary arts in France, Spain, German, Japan, and the U.S., he is known for his French, Catalan, and Japanese-influenced California cuisine that has been lauded as simplistic yet creative.

David Kinch

What hooked you on cooking?
I became enamored with the restaurant business which led to being enamored with cooking. My first restaurant jobs were as dishwasher and front of house staff. In those roles, I got close to the kitchen and became fascinated with how the cooks worked. After that, I became interested in the idea of being creative and working with my hands. It was really inspiring to watch people enjoying the fruits of their labor through cooking.
The coolest example of science in your food?
Ice cream because it keeps things frozen on a hot day!
The food you find most fascinating?
I find Japanese food fascinating because of the complex simplicity of it.
What scientific concept–food related or otherwise–do you find most fascinating?
Fermentation
Your best example of a food that is better because of science?
One of my favorite examples is making chicharones by first cooking them sous vide so the collagen (and flavor!) don’t leach out into the water, creating a whole new, interesting and satisfying texture.
How do you think science will impact your world of food in the next 5 years?
Cooks are becoming more understanding of basic science and chemistry principles than ever before. To fundamentally understand basic principles will benefit the industry as a whole in understanding “how things work.”
One kitchen tool you could not live without?
Cake tester – I use it for testing the doneness of meat, fish, and vegetables.
Five things most likely to be found in your fridge?
Chez Pim jam, good butter, Champagne, Japanese pickles and yogurt
Your all-time favorite ingredient?
My favorite ingredient changes all the time. I can be a farm chicken to fennel bulb to an herb.
Your standard breakfast?
Good coffee and usually yogurt and honey. If I’m splurging, it is toast with Manresa’s butter, and Chez Pim jam. If I’m going out, it’s always huevos rancheros.

How We Taste

How We Taste

Featuring Dr. Dana Small, Chef Wylie Dufresne, & Peter Meehan

May 14, 2014 

As part of our 2014 public lecture series, we explored the concept of taste from the perspectives of a scientist, a chef, and a food writer. Dr. Dana Small described how our brains respond to flavors. Chef Wylie Dufresne of Wd~50 presented his creative approach to generating surprising food flavors and textures.  Peter Meehan shared his experiences with food and taste and how they have shaped his writing, both as a cookbook author and former writer for The New York Times.

Check out the highlights or watch the full lecture below

Wylie Dufresne on Science in the Kitchen and It’s Impact on WD~50

“Cooking is a lot of things and one of the things we discovered was that cooking is a science. There’s certainly some biology. There’s certainly some physics. There’s an awful lot of chemistry at play all the time when you’re cooking… One of the main reasons I opened up WD~50 … was to create a space where I could continue my culinary education, where my staff could continue their culinary education, and where you as a diner, if you so choose, could continue your culinary education.”

Wylie Dufresne on his Aerated Foie Gras 

“How could we, using some very modern technology, walk the idea of a mousse down the road? … Part of the problem with a mousse is that it usually has a lot of stuff in it besides the main ingredient… So what we wanted to do was to figure out if we could create a mousse of foie gras, or if we could aerate foie gras without adding or taking too much away from the flavor.”

Peter Meehan on Developing Taste and Eating Everything

“The first step in developing the taste to become a restaurant critic: Eat … I tried to just each everything… the more I ate the more I understood about food and the more I could draw connections about one thing and another… You start to make these mental points on a map of where flavors are in relation to each other.”

Dr. Dana Small Defines Taste

“There’s molecules and ions in the foods that we eat and they bind to cells on these elongated taste receptors [tastebuds]. When enough binds, the cells get excited. They send a signal to the brain that the brain then interprets as a taste … Taste evolved to detect the presence of nutrients and toxics … You’re born knowing that you like sweet and dislike bitter … because you don’t want to have to learn that sweet is energy and bitter is toxin.”

Dr. Dana Small Defines Flavor and How It’s Different from Taste

“Flavor, on the other hand, preferences and liking for flavors is entirely learned. This has the advantage of allowing us to learn to like available energy sources and learn to avoid particular food items … The flavor allows us to identify a particular item that was associated with a particular consequence that we need to remember… whereas the taste provides just a signal about whether an energy source as in the case of sweet is present.”

Watch the Entire Lecture

The Science of Sushi

The Science of Sushi
Featuring Dr. Ole Mouritsen and Morihiro Onodera
April 23, 2014

To kick off our 2014 public lecture series, Dr. Ole Mouritsen joined Chef Morihiro Onodera to satisfy our craving for sushi-related science. The duo explained everything from sushi’s early history to the starchy science of sushi rice. Watch the entire lecture or check out some of the shorter highlights below.

Ole Mouritsen on the history of sushi

“The history of sushi is really the history of preservation of food. . . . Throughout Asia, in particular in China and later in Japan, people discovered that you can ferment fish – that is, you can preserve fish – by taking fresh fish and putting it in layers of cooked rice. . . . After some time the fish changes texture, it changes taste, it changes odor, but it’s still edible and it’s nutritious. And maybe after half a year you could then pull out the fish and eat the fish. That is the original sushi.”

Ole Mouritsen on the science of rice

“If you look inside the rice, you have little [starch] granules that are only three to eight microns, or three t0 eight thousandths of a millimeter, big. . . . When you cook the rice, you add some water and the water is absorbed by the rice and [the granules] swell. And the real secret behind the sushi rice is that when they swell, these little grains are not supposed to break.”

Morihiro Onodera on examining the quality of sushi rice

“First what I do is I soak uncooked rice in water. . . . Sometime after 20 minutes it will start to break. . . . I take a sample to check to see if there are any cracks. . . . With good rice, which has less cracks or breaks, you’re able to feel the texture of each of the grains in your mouth, whereas with the lower quality rice you’re just going to get the stickiness [from the starch].”

Anyone Can Be a Kitchen Scientist

If anyone can cook, then anyone can do science! (Photo credit: Pixar)

If anyone can cook, then anyone can do science! (Photo credit: Pixar)

“Anyone can cook!” declared Chef Auguste Gusteau in the classic animated film Ratatouille. We’ll go a step further: with a little cooking know-how and access to a kitchen anyone can do science. Each spring the students of the Science & Food undergraduate course prove us right as they research and experiment their way toward apple pie enlightenment.

But you don’t have to be a student in our course to be a savvy kitchen scientist. One of our younger readers, Vincent, recently won his local seventh grade science fair by carefully crafting and conducting his own kitchen experiment. By baking cookies with different temperatures of light (reduced fat) butter, Vincent determined that frozen butter creates a chewier cookie than melted butter. His scientifically proven chewy chocolate chip cookie recipe appears at the end of the article.

Vincent’s project is a great example of a successful kitchen experiment. For those of you who are avid kitchen experimenters or are thinking of dipping a toe into the world of kitchen science, we’ve summarized the key features of Vincent’s project that will help make any (kitchen) science experiment a success.

Vincent’s winning science fair project.

Vincent’s winning science fair project.

A close-up of Vincent’s project. Note the number of cookies baked for each butter condition.

A close-up of Vincent’s project. Note the number of cookies baked for each butter condition.

Keys to a successful (kitchen) experiment

A questionScientific research has to start somewhere, and it almost always starts with a thought-provoking question. Why is the sky blue? Why do apples fall from trees? In this case Vincent wanted to know how the temperature of butter affects the chewiness of chocolate chip cookies.

A testable hypothesis – Once researchers have a question in mind, they need to come up with a testable hypothesis. The key word here is testable. Having a testable hypothesis guides researchers as they design effective experimental procedures. Based on a bit of background research and a dash of reasoning, Vincent hypothesized that cookie chewiness would be directly proportional to the temperature of the butter (hotter butter = chewier cookie). Vincent knew he could directly test his hypothesis by baking cookies with different butter temperatures and having a panel of tasters rate the chewiness of each cookie.

A carefully controlled experiment – When designing an experiment, it’s crucial to only change one variable, or component, at a time. Vincent was careful to only test one factor—butter temperature—and keep everything else in the experiment constant.

A large enough sample sizeOnce you’ve perfected your experimental design, repeat, repeat, repeat! Mistakes happen. And even the most thoughtfully executed experiments can go haywire because of factors beyond our control. Ovens have hot spots. Humidity can change the moisture of dough. To help avoid these potential pitfalls, Vincent made eight cookies at each butter temperature and had five different taste-testers rate the cookies.

A thoughtful analysis of the results – At the end of it all, what good is a bunch of data if it doesn’t actually mean anything useful? Based on his taste test, Vincent found that frozen butter produced the chewiest cookies, the exact opposite of his hypothesis! Like a true scientist, Vincent discounted his original hypothesis and offered up some pretty insightful ideas to explain his observations:

“The cookies with melted light butter were the least chewy, almost crunchy. I think this happened because, since there was more moisture in the batter with the melted butter, the cookies spread out more and got flat, exposing more surface area. This caused more water to evaporate quickly.”

A follow-up experimentThe work of a scientist is never done. Answering one question inevitably opens the doors to many more. As for Vincent, he’ll likely be back in the kitchen repeating his experiment with regular butter instead of light butter. “Doing this again,” he wrote in his report, “would not be a problem at all since I love baking and eating cookies!”

Do you experiment in the kitchen?
Write to us at scienceandfooducla (at) gmail (dot) com and tell us about your best kitchen experiment. We’ll feature our favorite feats of kitchen science on the site!

 

Vincent’s Scientifically-Tested Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Café

Ingredients

1 cup light butter, frozen and cut into cubes
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3 1/2 cups flour
2 cups chocolate chips


Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and both sugars together until well mixed. Add eggs and mix for 2-3 minutes, until the batter is light in color. Add salt, vanilla, baking soda and mix. Add flour and chocolate chips together and mix until combined.

Drop cookie batter by rounded tablespoon onto parchment paper or silpat lined baking sheets and bake for 10 minutes until lightly golden around edges but still soft in the center.

 


Liz Roth-JohnsonAbout the author: Liz Roth-Johnson earned her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at UCLA. If she’s not in the lab, you can usually find her experimenting in the kitchen.

Read more by Liz Roth-Johnson


Desk Nachos & High-Tech Cocktails

DeskNachos

Dave Arnold will be joining us on June 1st for our final 2014 public lecture, Harnessing Creativity (and the Science of Pie). Get a taste of Dave Arnold’s creatively unconventional approach to cooking with these videos. Read more

Science of Sushi & Sushi in Space

spacesushi

Dr. Ole G. Mouritsen discusses his book Sushi: Food for the Eye, the Body, and the Soul, and astronaut Soichi Noguchi prepares sushi aboard the ISS. Read more