# Size Matters

Not only do I have to be creative, I also must be on my mathematical toes.  Which, for me, is quite a stretch.  For whatever reason, the formulas I employ on a daily basis are the ones that I filed away in a special corner of my brain after learning them in 8th grade math class.  Like quickly figuring out the circumference of a circle so the ribbon that adorns the cake board gets measured and cut to perfection.

Or, the subject of today’s post: what to say when a prospective client asks about the price difference between a 2.5 inch cookie and 1.5 inch cookie.

So what, who cares, you say?  A little bigger, a little smaller, it’s not that big a difference.

I’m sorry to say this to you, but your assumption is incorrect.

Allow me to show off my one math trick illustrate.

The square on the right looks a lot bigger than the square on the left.   We’re talking square inches now.

[cue the formula 'l x w = a']

Each side of the square is 2.5 inches.  Multiply 2.5 x 2.5 (the height and the width) and you get 6.5, according to my trusty calculator.

Now, multiply the smaller square’s stats.  1.5 x 1.5 equals 2.25.

6.5 square inches is a far cry larger than 2.25 square inches.  It’s not quite 2.9 times larger.

It works the same way for rectangular cookies.

Circles are a little different:

The circle on the left has an area of  .78 as opposed to the circle on the right which has an area of 3.14.  And, yes, we’re talking about the difference between a 1 inch circle and a 2 inch circle.

Consider this when figuring out the quantity of ingredients for your cookie dough and royal icing.  Be mindful that it’s going to take more of everything, including the most mystifying of all pricing factors, labor, to make and package these cookies.

Size does matter, especially when it comes to your bank account.

Size Matters
1. March 24, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Look at you, Miss Mathematician! You know, I’d never thought of size this way. Love it.

2. March 24, 2012 at 1:17 pm

God I really hate math but when you put it this way, it makes complete sense.
Thank you )

3. March 24, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Impressive! I never was good at math, and am so glad you took the time to share this. Off to share! xo

4. March 24, 2012 at 1:24 pm

I love this!!
My husband used this math on me when showing me the 70 inch tv was worth the huge price difference over the 50 inch tv.
good thing i get to brush up on my math skills with my kids homework.

5. March 24, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Good point about size… but I would say with COOKIES size matters the opposite way, too. It takes a lot of work to design on a smaller COOKIE. For me, it is not the size but the work that matters

6. March 24, 2012 at 9:34 pm

Oh I just LOVE this post. I love facts and figures and learning all about the differences, no wonder math was my favorite subject

7. March 24, 2012 at 11:10 pm

You should email a link to this post every time a customer wants an explanation for why the price increases accordingly to the size of the cookies they order.

I wish my Grade 7 Math teacher used cookies and cookie cutters to explain mathematics to me. I probably would have had *the lightbulb* go on a lot quicker and been able to avoid the embarrassing moment in class when he yelled at me because I couldn’t solve a problem. I broke down and cried in front of the entire class. Do I hate Math today…no but I am grateful for calculators LOL

• March 25, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Paula, it’s amazing how people like that can want to teach kids. Chastising a student publicly is so cruel, and only points out the inability of the teacher. Boo on him I say.

8. March 24, 2012 at 11:46 pm

What a great post Gail! Thanks for sharing. I like big cookies because I can add in so much more detail, but you’re right all that extra detail, not to mention all the ingredients equal up to a lot of extra time and extra cost. I still like big cookies though

9. March 25, 2012 at 6:26 am

It is true that it makes a difference in the quantity of ingredients, but not so much in the time it takes to decorate the cookies. I find that it takes almost as long to decorate, especially if you have a lot of details.
When you make decorated cookies, do you know how much royal icing you need to decorate say 20 cookies ? Does it make a difference if you use many colors or just a few.

• March 25, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Julie, if I could pinpoint the exact amount of royal icing I’d need for ANY number of cookies, I’d be thrilled. Yes, the details take time, but once you’ve figured out the order in which you do them, and get the whole process down, it begins to go quickly. I have to say, I kind of ‘eyeball’ how much I need, but, for really big jobs, I’ll fill a small bottle with icing, and fill cookies until the icing runs out. Knowing how many ounces you need for x number of cookies can be helpful, but not always fool proof.

10. March 25, 2012 at 8:10 am

Brain cramp! Gotta say, I’ve had this conversation with folks about their wedding cakes too. It was hard to explain that a 12-8-6″ square wedding cake was quite a bit larger that the same round.

• March 25, 2012 at 11:46 am

Gail, I have had similar conversations about cake with clients, too. One such conversation was particularly painful.

11. March 25, 2012 at 8:33 am

You always post things that make me hit myself on the forehead! I never looked at the size of a cookie this way before but you are so right!! If you have an order for 100…HUGE DIFFERENCE!! Thanks for doing this and not making me do math!!

12. March 25, 2012 at 11:33 pm

Intelligent humor, or rather humorous intelligence, LOL! This is need to know stuff! Off to tell Facebook!

13. March 26, 2012 at 12:07 am

Would it be weird if I said “I Love You” LOL. I think now I am going to show this to my clients instead of trying to painfully explain it to them. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU

14. March 26, 2012 at 1:27 am

Youd better believe I’ll be thinking of this post the next time I’m looking at my set of 10 circle cutters. Next time I’ll be choosing to go a size down instead of a size up! Thanks!

15. March 26, 2012 at 9:42 am

My goodness you are smart!! It seems like I should know this, but this whole post was a ‘light bulb’ moment for me! Thanks Gail!

16. April 28, 2012 at 8:37 am

Wow…for a film major this is heady stuff! But gosh, it really makes you think twice. Thanks for doing the hard part!