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10 Science Experiments to Do in the Snow


9
Make Like "Little House" and Create Molasses Snow Treats
The next time you're at your log cabin, make like Laura and go whip yourself up some snow-spun deliciousness. sodapix sodapix/F1online/Thinkstock
The next time you're at your log cabin, make like Laura and go whip yourself up some snow-spun deliciousness. sodapix sodapix/F1online/Thinkstock

Speaking entirely objectively, there is nothing better than making candy using snow. Not only do you get the fun of tromping around nature to collect the white stuff, but you're rewarded with food. If you can incorporate science into the mix, it's almost too good to be true.

That brings us to molasses snow candy, otherwise known as Laura Ingalls Wilder snow candy. As many children who grew up on her books can attest, her description of making candy in the snow was a revelation. It meant you, too, could become a pioneer in your own backyard, free of the bears that surrounded Laura's snowy house in the woods, with the same sweet payoff.

And it really is simple. Just heat molasses and brown sugar on the stove until it reaches about 245 degrees Fahrenheit, or 118 degrees Celsius, which is the ball stage of candy. You can always use a candy thermometer to check the temperature. If you're adventurous, you can venture right into the backyard to pour the mixture onto the snow, where it almost freezes in about five minutes. You also can collect the snow in pans and bring them in as soon as the candy's ready to pour.

Ask the kids to predict what will happen to the molasses and snow once the two meet. Explain why the candy mixture doesn't simply melt the snow, but stays on the surface.