These winter months are a perfect time to be exploring kitchen science. Kids Kitchen Instructor, Paige led Gateway Elementary students though a process of discovery by demonstrating how cooking changes the properties of food. Using a recipe for Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies which is safe to eat both raw or cooked, students sampled the cookies both before and after cooking to compare. They noticed the heat of cayenne pepper intensified once cooked. Paige explained this effect is called “blooming a spice.” Start off your new year exploring in the kitchen with a kick of cayenne. Trying this recipe as a rolled and chilled no-bake cookie, and or cook for a warm winter chocolate treat.