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The Big Question: Burn the Cookie Infidel! Edition | Manolo for the Big Girl

The Big Question: Burn the Cookie Infidel! Edition

Back in 1681 –which happens to be the year the dodo went the way of, well, itself– our pal Jackie Dryden wrote “Absalom and Achitophel”, a tremendous piece of satire containing the sage advice “Beware the fury of a patient man.”

That little bit of wisdom –aside from being in list of mottoes I want if we ever redo the Plumcake family crest,  right below Miss Noxeema Jackson’s “No no no, this is FRINGE!” but right above “Psycho Killer qu’est-ce que c’est“– is particularly apt in my case.

See, it’s hard to get me really worked up. My heart may be warm but my sang is totally froid. If I ever get to the point where I’m Telling You Thing About Yourself it’s almost always after months, sometimes years, of letting things go.

However.

Once I’ve finally had enough, that’s it. I go from zero to Alexis in 2.6 seconds and there’s no turning back until I’ve had my head. This would explain why on Monday, I yelled at some cookies until I cried.

Things have been stressful at Château Gâteau  as of late and this stress has manifested itself in weird ways. First there was the waking up with my ceramic owl umbrella stand in my bed, then there was the sleep cleaning I did on Sunday night and then The Cookie incident.

See I always forget that I don’t like cookies.

I like biscotti if I make them, gingersnaps, lemon snaps, the occasional amaretti and of course most all Stella d’Oros although they’re infuriatingly harder to get in Austin than cocaine –no one has ever sidled up to me and surreptitiously asked if I wanted a lightly sweet Italian breakfast cookie– but in general cookies, particularly store-bought ones– are Highly Objectionable.

breakfast_treats.jpg

I’m a hopeful-type gal though, so when I saw the Knott’s Berry Farm Boysenberry jam shortbreads I took a chance.  They were AWFUL. They sucked with a magnitude I didn’t believe possible. They very nearly outsucked the entire state of Oklahoma, those disgusting things were crumbly and way too sweet and the jam wasn’t jam, it was High Fructose Boysenberry-Colored Product.

Well, I just lost it. I yelled at the cookies.

Or rather I didn’t yell, but I Told It Things and how they should be ashamed of themselves and how if anyone wants to have anything nice they have to do it themselves, which is a pain in the neck because I work what is essentially an 80 hour week and I JUST DON’T HAVE TIME to bake decent, God-fearing, appropriately-jammed cookies, especially since my oven is wonkity and WHY CAN’T ANYONE DO ANYTHING RIGHT THESE DAYS AND WHY DOES EVERYTHING HAVE TO BE SO HARD????

You get the picture.

Cookies, in my opinion, should be crispy or occasionally crispy and chewy. They should not be mushy or grainy with sugar or half-cooked.

Ideally there should be jam involved and not raw jam either, but nice chewy baked jam, the way the Lord and my grandma intended it. Jammie Dodgers before they screwed with the recipe and made the cookie all soft and crumbly, were the ideal jam-affiliated store-bought cookie.

The Original Jammie Dodger

Oat cookies should be crispy and thin and devoid of unnecessary paraphernalia except the occasional bit of  currant and maybe if we’re going hog wild, some toffee or coconut.  Chocolate may be incorporated in pre-approved Hobnob fashion ONLY. No chunks or chips unless they are in fact chocolate chip cookies, which may be chewy as long as there is a sufficient crisp-factor around the edges.

plainchochobnobs.jpg

Cream fillings are an abomination although chocolate filling can be okay IF AND ONLY IF they are thin and thus covered under the HobNob Milano Act.

White chocolate chips are only acceptable in otherwise undefiled crisp dark chocolate cookies and macadamias are crap nuts which should be seen as acts of aggression on behalf of the Hawaiians for taking Magnum P.I. off the air and should not be tolerated.

Sprinkles and the frosting or icing of any non-traditional European cookie are straight out.

I’ve got other rules, really a cookie manifesto, but for some reason the government and I aren’t seeing eye to eye on listing the Keebler Elves as enemy combatants so I’m not supposed to publish it.

Today Miss Plumcake Wants to know:

What’s your favorite cookie? Do you prefer crispy cookies or do you hate freedom and happiness and thus prefer gooey ones? What rule would you add to my Cookie Manifesto?

46 Responses to “The Big Question: Burn the Cookie Infidel! Edition”

  1. slownews August 26, 2009 at 1:46 pm #

    This is major. MAJOR. (accidental caps lock hit, but decided it was a propos.)

    I have entirely forsaken major store cookies. The only store bought cookies allowed in my house are from Trader Joe’s. Those people get it. Currently, my cupboard contains Vanilla Joe Joe’s (puts Golden Oreos to shame), Triple Ginger Snaps (spicy, hard crunch), Cinnamon Schoolbook Cookies (mellow perfection and play Scrabble!), and Chocolate Meringues (strong chocolate hit and crisp, 120 calories for four). My freezer contains double chocolate Joe Joe’s (as the chocolate cream is very melty, which is bad when you’re 40, but worse when your twin boys are 2). I understand the chocolate wafer/vanilla cream Joe Joe’s come in a chocolate covered version, but I have thus far avoided them as I would not be responsible for my actions.

    Goodness, I wish Grandma had been around long enough to appreciate TJ cookies. She insisted on cookies in her last few years, saying old ladies liked sweets because those taste buds still worked. Her working daughter and granddaughter just didn’t have time to keep her in Peg Bracken’s oatmeal spice cookies and Joy of Cooking’s benne seed wafers, which were her delightfully crispy favorites.

    Since her passing, I’ve been lucky enough to gain a mother in law who can bake a killer kamish bread (Jewish biscotti), which disappears as fast as her kugel does.

  2. moxie August 26, 2009 at 2:08 pm #

    I have only two hard and fast rules regarding cookies:

    1. Raisins are the droppings of Lucifer’s rabbit and should never be eaten under any circumstances, cookie or otherwise.

    2. Any cookie that comes out of the deli/bakery area of a grocery store, in a clear, hardshell plastic box, should be avoided at all costs.

    The best cookies are either homemade or Mrs. Fields. They should be rich, rich, rich in order to make up for their small size.

  3. Comment Fairy August 26, 2009 at 2:28 pm #

    Macadamia nuts, apparently, really come from Australia. I’m not sure what it is the Australians are getting their revenge on though.

  4. Evie August 26, 2009 at 2:36 pm #

    I’ve also forsaken the sugar bomb seizure cookies, which eliminates most mainstream store cookies.

    Plumcake will probably never acknowledge my existence after I admit this, but I am a big fan of the hippie cookie. Not the kind with oatmeal in places where oatmeal does not belong, but the whole grain, raw sugar, dark chocolate, gluten free, occasionally vegan, fancy pants cookies that cost like four dollars for one of them and were made in some earth mother’s carbon neutral kitchen in rural Oregon. Those people have figured out how to make cookies taste like actual food again.

    In a pinch, though, TJ’s does make a mean cookie.

  5. gemdiva August 26, 2009 at 2:39 pm #

    Cookies are my absolute favorite food in the world!!! Clarification…Good Cookies. There is nothing in life more disappointing than a crappy cookie. It’s a total betrayal. It promises so much and then fails to deliver (kinda like my ex-husband)Anyway, my favorite cookies (and there are many) include Pignola cookies and Italian Flag cookies (which may actually be classified as petit fours) from the worlds best Italian bakery, Randazzo’s on Rt. 202 in NJ. My own oatmeal lemon coconut cookies (thin crisp and can be reheated in the microwave for a real treat). The Mexican wedding cake snow ball cookies and any kind of biscotti and Italian breakfast cookies (I agree that Stella Doros are good, but you can’t beat the Italian bakery ones). I’m sure there are many that I have left out, but writing this has made me really hungry so I now have to forage through the office and see what everyone is hiding in their desks.

  6. Lilly August 26, 2009 at 2:53 pm #

    Considering that I am a pastry chef, I have DEFINITE & ABSOLUTE opinions on cookies. But, even prior to culinary training, I had my opinions. Cookies should definitely be crisp!! I DESPISE gooey cookies (and while I’m at it, I think befouling ice cream with cookie dough should be punishable by death).

    I have to say that my favourite cookie – the one that will instantly transport me to my childhood & make me smile stupidly for days, the one that makes me think of my grandmother, and my great-grandmother, etc. – is the Hungarian Kifli cookie. The recipe is extremely easy, but it is time and labour intensive to make. What I find odd is that every time I’ve found them in a bakery, they are NOTHING like my grandmother’s. And HER recipe was from HER mother, who was born in Debrecen, Hungary, so I am quite sure of the authenticity of the recipe.

    If I had to pick another favourite, one that more people are familiar with, it would be the Spritz cookie (basically a butter cookie, but better)…Especially if topped with a halved maraschino cherry (they get all chewy from baking…yum!!). Or possibly gingerbread, but that would be it on favourites. (Thank heavens fall/winter is coming…I could use a gingerbread fix!! lol)

    I agree with all of your rules & would add just one more to your manifesto…Peanuts do not belong in or on any cookie other than a Peanut Butter cookie!!! I’m generally of the opinion that nuts in (or on) baked goods is just…NUTS! However, I make exceptions for pecans (b/c they’re just so yummy) and almonds (hello creme d’amandes!!)…Peanuts, being the faux-nut that they are, get no such love from me…And honestly, even then, I do not add them to my Peanut Butter cookies…

    I could go on for days, but I better stop here ;)

  7. Sara Darling August 26, 2009 at 3:16 pm #

    I am of the opinion that cookies are fine (I do like ’em chewy though) but biscuits are better. I’m guessing it’s the focus on tea and tea-appropriate snacks that has prompted the UK to such heights of biscuit-y achievement.

    Favorite is the McVittie’s Hobnob though I am strongly of the opinion that they should be eaten unadorned as the chocolate is gilding the biscuit lily. The plain Digestives however, are sufficiently simple that chocolate is a welcome addition.

  8. Karen August 26, 2009 at 3:27 pm #

    I despise freedom and happiness – gimme gooey cookies! Bake them just barely enough to kill the salmonella and hold them together long enough to reach my mouth.

    I don’t like nuts except peanuts, and find the practice of putting nuts into cookies an abominable act of discrimination against non-nut-eaters. I have rights!

    The First Law of Cookies: chocolate + cookie = yum. (Note: “white chocolate” is a misnomer. White chocolate + cookie = yuck.)

    Our family favorite is cream cheese cookies, which most notably contain cream cheese and chocolate chips. We collectively enjoy these so much that I feel a bit traitorous for snarfing snickerdoodles in the quantity that I do.

  9. Geogrrl August 26, 2009 at 3:27 pm #

    Shortbread. But specifically, scottish shortbread. The storebought Walker’s is acceptable, as well as my own. It should consist of rice flour, sugar, butter, and all-purpose flour. That’s it. Chopped preserved ginger (in syrup) or ground ginger are acceptable additions. Chocolate is NOT. The final product should be buttery, crisp, and a little grainy depending on the fineness of the sugar used. Lord save me from the abomination that is whipped shortbread.

    My second favourite is digestive biscuits. Those should be the Scottish McVitie’s. Most others are a poor second. I’ve tried the chocolate-covered digestives, but dont’ care for them. I think they go against the raison d’etre of a digestive.

  10. Chad August 26, 2009 at 3:30 pm #

    1) Raisins are an excellent addition to Cape Cod oatmeal cookies if, and only if, the raisins have been soaked in a premium Rum for at least a week. The last time I made them I soaked light and dark raisins in a 12-year-old Tortuga Dark. I can’t make those cookies again. I will die of diabetes. All other raisin cookies are wasted carbon.

    2) I admit in this public form that I have made alterations to the Fannie Farmer ginger-snap recipe. It is the cookie I rely on when I must bring something to a party and it is not a thin snap. I am most satisfied when they come out 1/4″ thick, 2-1/2″ across, crispy and crackled on the outside and quite soft and chewy through the middle. The “snap” comes from the combination of ginger products applied so that its pungency can be experienced in waves.

    The espresso cookies, and the hazelnut cream cookies which I derived from that base recipe were…a disappointment.

    3) I do not like Snickerdoodles. I make them…but I don’t like them.

  11. TropicalChrome August 26, 2009 at 3:43 pm #

    I am SO glad to hear so many people don’t like gooey cookies – it means more gooey cookies for me. Especially Double Chocolate Toffee Cookies hot out of the oven with toffee or coffee ice cream melting on top.

    Sorry, but crisp cookies have never seemed like they’ve had any flavor to me. They’re all texture. And I’m all about the flavor. Which is why biscotti are good – eaten alone, they’re cardboard, but they absorb the flavors and moisture of coffee just fine.

    But yes, I agree, raisins are not food. Ever. They’re one of the very few things I will not choke down, not even to be polite. Same with cherries. I hate it when a good butter cookie is ruined by a maraschino cherry on top.

  12. Olivia August 26, 2009 at 3:53 pm #

    My favourite is a simple thin and chewy chocolate chip cookie. I don’t like fruit or jam or anything like that in my cookie. Save for raisins in an oatmeal raisin cookie.

  13. Cheeky August 26, 2009 at 4:00 pm #

    Coconut Macaroons. Norwegian Krumkake (crispy, delicate…yum). Brown Butter Cookies with Jam (http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Spoon-Cookies-233297). I like crispy cookies but not hard (I’m talking to you, biscotti). I like chewy cookies but not soft. I will eat anything that has frosting on it, however!

  14. Sabayon August 26, 2009 at 4:15 pm #

    Have you tried World Market? As I recall the one near Gateway had Amaretti.

  15. Suz August 26, 2009 at 5:13 pm #

    Re: chocolate chip cookies that are chewy in the center but crispy around the edges.

    Last year the NYTimes did a piece on this phenomenon, specifically, why are bakery-bought chocolate chip cookies frequently like this, while home-baked ones generally are not. Turns out it is because bakeries make huge batches of dough and then stick it in the fridge for a long time. The waiting period allows the gluten in the flour to become fully hydrated, and etc etc a whole lot of other vaguely sciency stuff I no longer remember. But the takeaway was: make your cookie dough and then refrigerate it for 24-36 hours before baking.

    Good luck!

  16. dcsurfergirl August 26, 2009 at 5:36 pm #

    I have no ironclad rules regarding cookies. Both chewy and cookies can be terrific.

    I don’t like cookies or pastries with an obvious chemical taste but I do make exceptions for Oreos and Pop Tarts.

  17. Plumcake August 26, 2009 at 5:49 pm #

    Slownews: Cruelty of cruelties, there are no TJ’s in Austin. I bake for my grandparents and I wish they were as grateful sounding as your grandmother. They’ve been quite pleased with these peppery butterscotch snaps I made last week though.

    Moxie: I’m with you on the raisins (ask me about the time I tried to plump a brand-new box of Sunmaid with hot brandy and dozens of wriggling worms rose to the top) but I disagree on Mrs Fields, they’re both too big and too rich for my delicate sensibilities.

    Comment Fairy: maybe it’s their revenge for not providing Paul Hogan with a suitable film role in 2 decades?

  18. Holly August 26, 2009 at 6:04 pm #

    When I studied abroad in Wales I first discovered the chocolate biscuit and fell in love. The Safeway generic dark chocolate were my mainstay, the Hobnob a treat. (I was very poor when studying abroad). I also loved the old Jammy Dodger, and mourn with Plumcake for their sad fall from grace.

    I then discovered the ginger biscuit, which was a nice spicy diversion, until I found the ULTIMATE cookie – the dark chocolate ginger biscuit. When I went to Britain a year later they had vanished. I’m still sad about it.

  19. B.S.A.G. August 26, 2009 at 6:44 pm #

    I’ve gained weight in the last 2 years since moving to the UK because of all the exciting exotic cookies and other junk foods that I didn’t have the chance to grow up with and become blasé about. Digestives. Hobnobs. I think I ate nothing but Jaffa Cakes for a month last summer. And flapjacks, OMG flapjacks. (Nothing like a pancake – think of a very dense, chewy oatmeal bar loaded with butter, and insert Homer Simpson donut noise here.)

    While chocolate-covered Hobnobs and digestives are okay (dark chocolate, please), I must admit I like the plain versions better.

    The best cookie I ever had, though? Well, many years ago I saw a TV show with Pee Wee Herman and Carl Reiner. I swear I’m not making this up. Carl Reiner had a cream cheese & walnut cookie recipe he said was so good, you could only use the F-word to describe it.

    He carefully detailed the recipe and then brought out some pre-made cookies. The audience member he picked to sample them was a gorgeous Big Girl named Camille (later in the show, Pee Wee “hypnotized” her with a puppet).

    My sisters and I copied down the recipe and made them, and they were indeed f-ing good cookies…but for some reason we only made them once, and I haven’t had them since.

  20. Melissa August 26, 2009 at 8:04 pm #

    My absolute very most favorite cookie on the planet is my own apricot pecan rugelach. The tender cream cheese/butter pastry is an absolute delight, and in a pinch you can roll it out in little rounds, fill with a dollop of cajeta or dolce de leche, folded over and baked off with delectable results.

    For market bought cookies I love the Central Market chocolate cake cookies. I need a frosty glass of milk just thinking about them.

    For prepackaged delights I love ginger lemon creams.

  21. Madam August 26, 2009 at 8:09 pm #

    You MUST try the oaty sandwich cookies that they sell at Ikea. The chocolate layer is very thin, and they’re crispy with perhaps a miniscule amount of coconut in them… I’m not sure. But even though I don’t normally like crispy cookies, I LOOOOOOOOOOVE these. You can nibble them off bit by bit or just gobble them all at once, and they dunk wonderfully. OMNOMNOMNOMNOM.

    Also, I simply can’t get by without the snickerdoodles from Noodles and Company. They’re made with pudding, and I can never manage to save them for AFTER the meal. Come to think of it, I can never even make them last until the meal gets to the table.

    And my mom makes wonderful Christmas cookies that I’ve never seen duplicated anywhere else. One is a soft pumpkin cookie with cream cheese icing that has orange zest in it; another is a sandwich of double chocolate cookies with chips that is filled with a dark chocolate frosting with a hint of brandy. Oh, how delicious.

  22. ChristianeF August 26, 2009 at 8:13 pm #

    I like chewy cookies best, though crispy cookies are perfectly acceptable. However, there are certain types of cookies that should be chewy and NEVER crispy. Like chocolate chip. Chocolate chip cookies, in all their incarnations, should be soft and chewy in the middle and slightly crisp at the edges.

    My new favorite cookie is a toffee/chocolate chip concoction the cafeteria at work makes. But I can only buy them on Mondays, when they’re fresh. They’re divine. The toffee melts in the oven and makes little extra chewy spots throughout the cookie once it has cooled.

    I also love my pumpkin, cranberry and white chocolate cookies. They’re quiet cake-y and soft. My family eats them by the bucket-full when I make them around the holidays. I’m not keen on white chocolate in general, but they work well with the pumpkin and the slightly tart dried cranberries.

  23. Leigh Ann August 26, 2009 at 8:52 pm #

    Just baked chocolate chip…or rather, chocolate chunk. And they should be very chocolately and gooey in the middle.

    I don’t like many pre-packaged or grocery deli made cookies, but I do like chocolate Newman Os. The chocolate ones with chocolate filling. Yum.

  24. Ripley August 26, 2009 at 10:07 pm #

    Cookies! Cookies Cookies Cookies! I am NOT a cookie snob. I pretty much love ’em all. Except chocolate chip cookies with nuts in them. That’s just an abomination.

    My favorite cookies ever were a recipe I made up that had a maple walnut cookie with maple icing. Oh, they were so tasty, and I’ve never made them again.

  25. Sarah August 26, 2009 at 10:40 pm #

    Lord have mercy. I am so right there with you on the chewy-baked-jam point. I’ve had one decent jam-cookie from the store, and I’m pretty sure it was some Pepperidge Farm creation. But one cannot subsist on PF cookies alone.

    Luckily, I have the type of boyfriend (ahem, fiance) who likes nothing better than to sit around all day testing cookie recipies in search of the holy grail. We have found the perfect chocolate chip cookie – a full, buttery flavor, crispy around the edge, and progressively less-so toward the center until it’s it’s the type of chewy that pushes back.

  26. Sarah August 26, 2009 at 10:47 pm #

    My absolute favorite cookies are a chocolate sable cookie with chocolate chunks that I have seen dubbed “World Peace Cookies” since they’re just that good. I tend to favor chewier cookies because of the superior flavor. Especially chocolate crunchy cookies taste too diluted for me, but make no mistake. These cookies mean business in the chocolate category.

    And several people I’ve made them for have proposed marriage on the spot. ‘Nuff said.

  27. Kate August 27, 2009 at 12:07 am #

    My favorite cookie is a freshly opened bag of ready salted potato chips. Then I am okay with my grandma’s molasses crinkles, then a good biscotti, amaretti, or otherwise low-key not over the top cookie. Oh. Hob Nobs and McVities Digestives are also totally acceptable, especially when there is a cup of tea in hand. Lastly, JAM TARTS… the cookies without a cookie!

  28. g-dog August 27, 2009 at 12:34 am #

    I think you hit all my cookie rules! Amazing what a bond that seems to create. I prefer crispy or crispy/chewy and completely eschew cakey/soft cookies and cannot abide underbaked cookies. Sorry, if your cookie has not browned the littlest bit – your cookie taint done yet! This is especially noticeable in a plain cookie like shortbread or a sugar cookie – when the flour still has that raw taste. From Alton Brown’s “Good Eats” I have a wonderful chocolate & peppermint pinwheel cookie which is based on one simple sugar cookie dough. I have also used the base dough to make jam-filled thumbprint cookies – the jam bakes into a chewy layer. Totally yummy! I typically use apricot or seedless raspberry jam – neither are quite as sweet as some of the other flavors. I also have an orange ginger cookie with the most amazing texture of crispy edges and firm chewy middle – and it stays that way for days!

  29. chachaheels August 27, 2009 at 6:26 am #

    Pignoli Cookies from New Jersey (I’m thinking of one very busy Italian bakery in Bloomfield)!! We Canadian Italians from Toronto did not experience these while growing up–you American Italians knew a different, enviable, cookie life. Chewy and pine-nutty and almondy…sigh.

  30. De August 27, 2009 at 8:37 am #

    1) Raisins are a blight on this earth and do not belong in anyone’s mouth or digestive track, much less amongst my cookie ingredients. Foul little beasties. (Why would you RUIN a perfectly good grape that way?!)

    2) Nuts, also, do not belong as an ingredient in any baked good. They don’t belong in cookies, cakes, pies or brownies. Not in tarts, or tortes, pastry nor bread. If I could banish them as an ingredient in MOST foods I would. Nuts are to be enjoyed alone.

    3) Fruit should never be baked. Why would you ruin the sweet nectar that is naturally given to us…by….cooking it. Ew. That’s wrong. Don’t disrespect perfectly good fruit by applying heat.

    My first baking success (outside of my amazing easy-bake cakes naturally) was with cookies. I still make an average cake, a tolerable cobbler, and a shoddy pie. But cookies? I can wow you with some cookies. My signature cookies have been mint chocolate chip; I generally make them for Christmas each year.

    My favorite cookies of all time, however, are my father’s peanut butter cookies – made without a recipe; he just added ingredients until he had a peanut butter dough. And they were CRAZY tasty.

  31. Eva August 27, 2009 at 10:06 am #

    Y’all need to lighten up. I never met a cookie I wouldn’t eat and find something in it to appreciate. I will even eat those fruitcake cookies with citron in them or those dry as dust powdered sugar balls. (Though I will admit that my own are better . . .) In grade school I would get extra desserts by telling the gullible that their cookies had raisins or dates in them – so go ahead suckers, give me your rejects.

  32. ChloeMireille August 27, 2009 at 10:44 am #

    Chloe’s Cookie Commandments

    1. Chloe likes reasonably soft cookies.

    2. Don’t use chunky or crunchy peanut butter in peanut butter cookies. Chloe has already deigned to eat your peanut-flavored concoction. Do not ruin her cookie-eating experience by allowing her to encounter an intact peanut.

    3. Chloe will not eat the tea cakes of someone who is not a blood relative.

    4. Chocolate is an abomination in all its manifestations, including cocoa butter.

    5. Cookies must be presented to Chloe with as little festoonery as possible. An ideal cookie should be made with the simplest of doughs with no added chunks, bits, flakes, chips, sprinkles, icings, frostings, or glazes. Oats do not count because they are integral to the oatmeal cookie, but Chloe will jack you up if you put raisins in it.

    6. There is no logical reason to ever use plain Crisco or liquid vegetable oil in a recipe. Neither of these things has a neutral taste to Chloe. If Crisco must be employed, please use the butter-flavored kind.

  33. slownews August 27, 2009 at 10:47 am #

    Oh! It’s not that we’re snobs — it’s just that we can appreciate the full range of cookie wonderfulness! And, I have to say, recipe links? Please?

    And rugelach! Raspberry or apricot! I’m starting a Jewish Christmas cookie tradition in my dual culture household. I even found menorah and six sided star cookie cutters.

    And don’t forget Gourmet/epicurious. See especially the cardamom butter squares with espresso icing and dark chocolate. To. Die. For.

  34. La Petite Acadienne August 27, 2009 at 11:40 am #

    I’m not fussy about cookies, but if they’re a “standard” cookie, like a peanut butter or a chocolate chip, then they have to be moist. A dry, crumbly chocolate chip cookie is an affront to society.

    As far as store-bought cookies go, we hoard packages of Tim Tams. They are from Australia, and just recently arrived here, and they are beyond delightful.

  35. Lisa August 27, 2009 at 2:45 pm #

    I’m your basic lover of the madeline.

  36. Jen Hughes August 27, 2009 at 4:42 pm #

    My favorite comedian in the whole world, Patton Oswalt, has a really funny rant about Stella Doro breakfast treats.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-oxsMl3iCA

  37. the misfit August 27, 2009 at 5:09 pm #

    I recognize that thin mints (and their non-racket analog, Keebler’s Grasshoppers) are a congenital weakness, and I avoid their vicinity in the stores because I am not strong. I am too ashamed to discuss the number of Oreos that I will eat if a carton should be opened in my vicinity, but I do have a strict policy under which I do not buy them.

    However, my perspective on good cookies – the homemade kind – is diametrically opposite Plumcake’s. Ideally they should be somewhat raw in the middle. This applies to brownies (without which I could not go on), chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies (to a slightly reduced degree), snickerdoodles, peanut butter cookies, really all the good standard fare. I accept frosting and sprinkles only under duress and do not put them on my own cookies, and I do not bake cookies with nuts. I do on occasion make FANCY cookies (pfeffernuesse and ginger snaps, for example), but I prefer that even those be soft. Oh yes. I also make truffles (which are famous among all who have consumed them). Truffles are perhaps the omega point of the axiom that a good cookie should be soft in the middle.

  38. AmazonAngelle August 28, 2009 at 1:58 am #

    Oh Lady Plum, why must you bring up one of the Amazon’s biggest weaknesses. To be completely honest I’ve never met a cookie I didn’t like however I do have some delicate suggestions on how a cookie that I must consume should be.

    1. NO RAISINS!! They are what evil tastes like, frankly that goes for just about any dried wrinkly bits of things that use to be plump, ripe, juicy bits of delicious fruit.

    2. BUTTER! You know we are in a recession and what everyone has against the dairy farmers of America I do not know but geez people use butter.

    3. Now I am not particular one way or the other on gooey vs. crispy. I love the soft fudgy brownie cookie sort of thing and I love a buttery shortbread. It’s all good in my hood.

    I do enjoy the cinnamon sugar cookies from Mrs. Fields as well as the cashew crunch cookies from Trader Joes. As I have “matured” I find I am not as much into chocolate as I used to be so a spicy oatmeal or a buttery sugar cookie suits me just fine.

  39. leymoo August 28, 2009 at 8:02 am #

    My secret pleasures:
    Butter on ginger nut biscuits/cookies.
    Nutella (hazelnut spread) on digestive or rich tea biscuits/cookies.

    Chewy can be good if the cookie is very big and has such things as ginger, brown sugar, wholemeal flour, apricots and general “dusky” flavours, but in my head they’re “cakes” or nearer to a flapjack type (golden syrup + oats = nom) thing rather than a biscuit.

    These are crunchy and divine:
    http://nicecupofteaandasitdown.com/biscuits/previous.php3?item=125

    Also, I prefer “snappy” shortbread rather than crumbly, which is *always* cheaper than the so called luxury crumbly shortbread!

  40. Plumcake August 28, 2009 at 8:03 am #

    Evie, while I object to gluten free mostly because I never met a gluten free person in my not-especially-sheltered LIFE until about two years ago and now everyone and their dogs are gluten free. I deeply suspect wheat intolerance is to this decade what cocaine was to the 80’s: it’s a problem, but most people just do it for show. Still, there’s nothing wrong with carbon-neutral kitchens, although if someone tries to slip me some carob, I’m going to kill them.

    Gemdiva, you are clearly a right-thinking individual.

    Lilly, loved your blog. I also love spritz and make thousands of almond spritz during Advent. Not to brag, but a Norwegian made me give the recipe to his pastry chef wife (who, incidentally went to HS with Sarah Palin).

  41. Amy August 30, 2009 at 4:13 pm #

    Ah cookies…I agree with the store bought complaints, with one exception Oreos. They are a food group.

    As for my fave cookies…Pumpkin cookies with browned butter icing. So good. Nice and soft, but be careful with the icing a little goes a long way. And I always need to make sure the dogs stay out of the kitchen while cooling, because I have lost several batches due to puppy tummies.

    And I will basically eat any cookie, soft, crunchy…bring it on! Exception nuts and fruit. Bleh

  42. Sebastian September 24, 2009 at 4:29 am #

    Just one word: great recipe!

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