Monday, April 19, 2010

Fractions in Cooking

I posed the question to my math group this morning: What is an everyday example of when you need to multiple fractions by whole numbers - in other words, make a fraction twice as big or three times as big? The answer was given immediately - cooking!

The children who were ready for the concept were given a cookie recipe that they had to convert into measurements for three times as many cookies. Other children, those who are just beginning to understand about fractions, were given the usual recipe and had to find the appropriate measurement tool. Each group got a chance to make delicious thumbprint cookies! We are having them for afternoon snack.

Cooking and baking are great ways to practice fractions in a real-life way. This recipe was perfect, because it used a lot of different fractions:

Jam Thumbprints

1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla

1/3 cup strawberry preserves

Oven 350 degrees

Stir together flour and salt. In another bowl, beat butter for 30 seconds. Add sugar and beat well. Add egg yolks and vanilla: beat well.

Add dry ingredients to beaten mixutre, beating until well combine. Cover and chill one hour. Shape into 1 inch balls, and press down centers with thumb. Bake in preheated oven for 15 - 17 minutes. Cook, and fill centers with preserves. Makes 36.