Cookie bake off

By John Toczek


Historically, baking has been considered an art rather than a science. As a contestant in a cookie bake-off, your attempts to create the perfect cookie have failed. For your final attempt, you decide to use your analytical skills to analyze your past attempts to see if you can find the recipe for the perfect cookie.


Table 1 shows your past 15 attempted recipes, each with varying amounts of sugar, flour and butter and a corresponding judge’s score for each recipe. The judge’s scores range from 0 (worst) to 100 (best). None of your recipes so far have achieved the coveted perfect score of 100. All recipes sum up to eight cups total of the three ingredients.


Given your past recipes and scores, which of the following recipes has the best chance of achieving a perfect score of 100?

a)     1 cup sugar; 2 cups flour; 5 cups butter
b)     2 cups sugar; 4 cups flour; 2 cups butter
c)     3 cups sugar; 1 cup flour; 4 cups butter
Send your answer to by March 1, 2013. The winner, chosen randomly from correct answers, will receive an “Analytics - Driving Better Business Decisions” T-shirt. Past questions can be found at

John Toczek is the manager of Decision Support and Analytics for ARAMARK Corporation in the Global Risk Management group. He holds a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering at Drexel University and a master’s of science degree in operations research from Virginia Commonwealth University.