I am happy to present this guest post by Ann McCallum author of Eat Your Math Homework. Ann inspired me to incorporate the math and science angle during mealtime and cooking. Here is her guest post and a bonus cupcake recipe!
Pop quiz: Would you rather a) do an unappetizing worksheet to learn about shapes and patterns, or b) bake up a batch of delicious Tessellating Two-Color Brownies? Here’s the scoop: math should be fun. And, it is fun—and educational—when you bake and discover your way through it.
I became interested in math and cooking several years ago. I was teaching elementary school. Not a case of love at first bite, the interest in math was more an awakening of the senses. I wasn’t a math-lover as a child. I learned math through drill and practice, workbook page followed by, well, workbook page. It was certainly nothing special. That all changed with my first batch of Multiplication Meatballs. Followed by Fibonacci Snack Sticks. And Fraction Chips. Here was a sure-fire way to turn toil into tasty—and to get kids to love math. I felt so strongly—and still do—that kids who love math at an early age, who see pattern and logic and connections early on, will persevere with math their whole lives. There is something wonderful about understanding math. (And, now something delicious, too!)
Here is a bonus recipe for Common Denominator Cupcakes. In a fraction, the top number is called the numerator and the bottom number is the denominator. These oh-so-yummy treats have a tasty common denominator : an Oreo cookie.
Recipe→ Common Denominator Cupcakes
Before baking, place an Oreo cookie in each cupcake cup, and then spoon the dough on top. Bake, bite in, and work out approximately what fraction of the cupcake is the Oreo cookie.
½ cup butter softened
1 ¼ cups white sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup rainbow sprinkles
Oreos (one for every muffin cup)
1. Cream butter, sugar, vanilla, and eggs.
2. In a separate bowl mix flour, baking powder and baking soda. Mix flour mixture into butter-sugar mixture alternating with milk.
3. Stir in the colored sprinkles.
4. Grease a muffin tin (or use cupcake papers) and place one Oreo cookie in every muffin cup. Pour dough on top so that each muffin cup is ¾ of the way full.
5. Bake for about 30 minutes in a preheated 350° F oven