Fortunately, my children have the opportunity to attend a Montessori based school. In the classrooms are a group of amazing teachers that really care and are willing to spend their own time to incorporate Art and Music into the daily schedule. In addition to great teachers, the parents donated time and money to build a separate kitchen (with all the kitchen necessities) for the kids to learn the basics of cooking. When learning the basics of cooking we also incorporate math and science into the lesson! After all, baking is a science and cooking is primarily composed using math. ( i.e. ratios in the form of measuring, cups and spoons, liquid and solid measurements)
Once a month I donate my time to the kitchen. I really enjoy this time spent with the kids, teaching them a valuable life skill and seeing the excitement from them in the finished product! Plus, it doesn't hurt that the kids love me and it makes my son feel extra special that day!
This week the teacher requested that I tie in " Horton Hears a Who" to the cooking lesson. Hmmm, what to do? This took a little thought on my part. I remembered a dessert that i'm sure anyone who grew up in the Midwest will remember; from summers at the state fair! Elephant ears, delicious fried dough served hot, topped with butter, cinnamon and sugar. Mmmmmm, so good yet so bad for you.
In my search for recipes I found a simplified version that did not require frying, it's a familiar recipe with a french twist. The recipe gave me the same affect of an Midwest elephant ear but on a smaller scale and with no frying required.
The kids did a great job, enjoyed the process and all went home with a recipe to make for their families!
Palmier (elephant ears)
4 sheets puff pastry (pepperridge farm)
1 cup sugar
4 tsp. cinnamon
4 tbsp. butter
Thaw out sheets of puff pastry in fridge. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place thawed pastry on counter and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Flip over and sprinkle other side with sugar. Roll short end halfway in, then roll other end until the two rolls meet in the middle. Pinch rolls together in center where they meet. ( so they will not come apart in the oven) Cut into 1 inch slices, place 12 on greased baking sheet. Chill at least 30 minutes. Continue process with remaining puff pastry sheets.
Bake 10-14 minutes until sugar caramelized and pastry is lightly browned. Remove and cool.