Using averages to find the best cookie recipe

We like to make variations to our basic cookie recipe. We like to add chocolate chips, raisins, walnuts, and other things. Some variations are better than others, but we wanted to know which cookie our family liked best. So, the recipe was made 4 different ways: 1-chocolate chips only, 2-chocolate chips with oatmeal, 3-chocolate chip oatmeal raisin, 4-chocolate chip oatmeal raisin walnut. Four family members (a,b,c, and d) rated the cookies on a scale of 1-4 with 4 being the favorite cookie. Then we found the total, mean, median, and mode of the scores for each type of cookie.


It turned out that the recipe with the chocolate chips, oatmeal, raisin, and walnuts were the overall favorite using all three average methods: mean, median, and mode. The chocolate chip only cookies were the least favorite using the mode, but the chocolate chip oatmeal cookies were least favorite by the mean.


Here’s how to calculate each average.

Mean: add the votes and divide by the # of voters.

Mode: take the score given the most.

Median: Put the scores in order and take the middle number. If there are two middle numbers, find their mean.


Chocolate Chip-Oatmeal Cookies

1 ½ c. sifted flour

1 tsp. soda

1 tsp. Salt

1 c. shortening (we use butter)

¾ c. brown sugar, packed

¾ c. white sugar

2 eggs, unbeaten

1 tsp. hot water

1 c. nutmeats (we use walnuts or pecans)

2 pkg. chocolate chips (6 oz.) (we use 1)

2 c. oatmeal, quick

1 tsp. Vanilla


Sift flour before measuring, then sift the soda and salt. Cream shortening until soft. Add sugars gradually, creaming until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each. Add hot water, then sifted dry ingredients. Add nutmeats, chocolate chips, oatmeal and mix thoroughly. Add vanilla. Drop by teaspoon on cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.


Recipe from A Taste of the Valley, Hager & Eberle (Eds.)


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