samantha liz

Making fossils. {take one}

As you know it’s dinosaur week, and you can’t talk about dinosaurs without bringing up fossils. Today was our first soiree into the world of making our own, so we discussed how they form and about several different kinds of fossils. How did we do this you ask? Well that’s easy; by making fossil cookies of course!

Full disclaimer: I had originally taken photos with the intention of doing a little tutorial of sorts. You see, I had gotten the idea of making fossil cookies from Martha Stewart, however I did not follow the recipe. I had the wonderful idea of using my mother’s amazing time tested peanut butter cookie recipe; because 1. I knew they were tasty, 2. We hadn’t had them in awhile and I was craving some peanut butter, and 3. I didn’t have a whole ton of walnuts on hand.

I modified it ever so slightly to include some flax to make the cookies a little more rocky {shh… that’s what I told the kids when I added it, I didn’t tell them about the Omega-3 essential fatty acids, protein, and good fibers}. I arranged out my ingredients on the counter and meticulously photographed them like any good Pioneer Woman wannabe would.
The cast of characters.

I then followed with a quick witted statement about how there are unusual attendants to todays baking…
The dinosaur guests.Giggles and merriment ensued.

Of course, I photographed the kids measuring each ingredient and looking adorable while doing it.
Obligatory cute kid photos making.

And finished it all up by including some mixing action.
Additionally obligatory mixing photos.

However, that’s all you’ll see of the actual cookie making, and I won’t be including my recipe, because, well, it didn’t exactly work out as planned…

We did have fun measuring and mixing, and we did make some shapes that we thought best resembled rocks. I even told the kids about different kinds of fossils. For example trace fossils; where we looked at the feet of the dinosaurs and determined that they actually looked different.
Talking about identifying dinosaurs by tracks alone.

We then came to the conclusion that we could “trace” their tracks back to identify which dinosaur had made them.
Making trace fossils.

**There may have also been talk about other trace fossils such as eggs and dinosaur poo, but we agreed that it was best to keep any sort of fossilized poo off our cookies.

Then, we talked about mold fossils. We took the smaller dinosaurs and replicated what it would be like to have cavity shaped fossil.
Making mold fossils

I have to say that it was all very fun and educational, and smiles were all around…
And they looked like this when we were done.

That is… until we put them in the oven…

And I remembered why there was a 2. on my list before…

I had blocked out the memory.

Turns out, Mom’s tried and true peanut butter cookie recipe was for lovely Jiff peanut butter, with it’s ever so lovely partially hydrogenated oils, keeping it’s lovely self together…

Unfortunately, this is not so true of the stir and refrigerate peanut butter that we use now. After googling, I found out that they are NOT interchangeable and the natural counterparts tend to spread and flatten…
And baked.
Yeah, I probably didn’t need to google to know that.

But we are not discouraged! Molly even said, “Well they are yummy, even if they aren’t fossils!” As she and Thomas both ate two straight from the oven. Also, as I typed this, I went back downstairs to check on the kids and found that bowl up there? Gone.

Tomorrow, we are on to discussing body fossils. {I’ve heard that there might be potting soil and pasta involved, but it may just be a dirty rumor.} Stay tuned.

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