I haven’t started my holiday baking yet, but that time is just around the corner. Today, I bring you a post from last year, Cookie Exchange Math, in which I look at the fractions involved in tripling my cow cookie — yes, I said cow cookie — recipe. If you need to feed the masses, check out an easy way to manage those pesky and sometimes strange fractions that come from increasing a recipe.

Ah, the cookie exchange!  What better way to multiply the variety of your holiday goodies.  (You can always give the date bars to your great aunt Marge.)

The problem with this annual event is the math required to make five or six dozen cookies from a recipe that yields three dozen.  That’s what I call “cookie exchange math.”

Never fear! You can handle this task without tossing your rolling pin through the kitchen window. Take a few deep breaths and think things through.

To double or triple a recipe is pretty simple — just multiply each ingredient measurement by the amount you want to increase the recipe by.  But it’s also pretty darned easy to get confused, especially if there are fractions involved.  (And there are always fractions involved.)

The trick is to look at each ingredient one at a time.  Don’t be a hero!  Use a pencil and paper if you need to.  (Better yet, if you alter a recipe often enough, jot down the changes in the margin of your cookbook.)  It’s also a good idea to collect all of your ingredients before you get started.  That’ll save you from having to borrow an egg from your neighbor after your oven is preheated.

Read the rest here — and you’ll avoid fractions-related, messy kitchen mistakes.

While you’re at it, check out this interview I did with fantastic candy-maker, Nicole Varrenti, owner of Nicole’s Treats. (I love her chocolate mustaches, personally.) It shouldn’t be any surprise that she uses math daily.

Finally, if you have some holiday-related math questions, would you mind sharing them with me? What trips you up — mathematically — at this time of year? Comment below!

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