Math: Fractions &
Fraction Action With a
Cheese Sticks Recipe
recipe takes over an hour to make, but will be worth the wait. Pair cheese
sticks with a glass of ice-cold milk.
3 T. (40 ml) butter or margarine, softened
1½ C. (375 ml) all-purpose flour
½ tsp. (2 ml) baking powder
½ tsp. (2 ml) salt
¼ C. (50 ml) milk
Parmesan or Romano cheese
Large mixing bowl, wooden spoon, measuring spoons and cups
(great if they show milliliters as well as teaspoons, tablespoons and fractions
of cups), greased cookie sheet, a little extra flour, rolling pin, knife (with
adult supervision), basting brush, milk or water, wire rack
While you're waiting for the dough
to rise after the first few cooking steps, do a little math work based on this
recipe. You will be converting fractions into metrics - milliliters, in this
case. Use either paper or a whiteboard:
If there are 40 milliliters (ml) in 3 tablespoons, how many milliliters in 1
tablespoon? (40 ÷ 3)
If there are 375 milliliters in 1½ cups, how many
milliliters in one cup? (375 ÷ 3 and multiply that times 2 - you are figuring
how many milliliters in ½ cup, since there are three ½ cups in ½ cups, and
doubling it to find out how many in 1 cup)
If there are 2 milliliters in ½ teaspoon, and 3
teaspoons in 1 tablespoon, how many milliliters in 1 tablespoon? (2 + 2 = 4
milliliters in 1 teaspoon and 4 x 3 to find out how many milliliters in 1
tablespoon, since there are 3 teaspoons in 1 tablespoon)
If there are 50 milliliters in ¼ cup, how many
milliliters are there in 1 cup?
If 375 degrees Fahrenheit is the same as 190 degrees
Celsius, is the measurement of Fahrenheit about twice as big as Celsius, three
times as big, or four times as big? (take 190 x 2, 190 x 3 and 190 x 4, and see
which is closer to 375)
If ½ inch equals 1 centimeter (cm), how many inches
equal 10 centimeters?
Can you think up any more math questions on your
own, based on these ingredients?
OK, now let's cook! This recipe makes about 20
In the large mixing bowl, combine the softened
butter or margarine and the flour, baking powder and salt. Use the wooden
spoon. Keep mixing 'til it crumbles.
Add the egg and milk. Mix until it forms a soft
dough. Let the dough rest in the bowl for 30 minutes. You can cover it with a
damp towel if you wish.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a cookie
(During this half-hour wait, you can do those math
problems listed above!)
Sprinkle flour lightly on a clean countertop. Put
the dough on it. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin to ½ inch (1 cm) thick.
If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour with your hands (washed!)
and try again.
Cut the dough into sticks or rectangles, ½ inch wide
and 2 inches long.
Brush the dough sticks with milk or water, using the
basting brush. Sprinkle lightly with Parmesan cheese and paprika.
Bake for 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Then eat!