Ranking cookies like the monster that I am
If you were to diagnose all of those furry characters on Sesame Street, Cookie Monster certainly wouldn’t be placed in the “obsessive-compulsive disorder” category (that would clearly be reserved for The Count). Instead, the googly eyed, intellectually stunted blue monster would definitely be labeled as a “binge eater.” This doesn’t make Cookie Monster a bad individual—after all, it’s not his fault. He doesn’t gluttonously hog all the food in an exercise in greed the way Oscar the Grouch might approach mealtime. Instead, Cookie Monster’s need to furiously gobble cookies most likely either comes from genetics, a chemical imbalance of the brain or some sort of severe emotional or physical trauma.
Or maybe he’s just a sweet, innocent monster who just really, really loves cookies. To avoid further psychoanalyzing a puppet—or the man who made the puppet—let’s just go with the theory that he just loves cookies so much, that it borders on monstrosity.
And for those of us who were prone to latching onto any television character that we perceived as even vaguely caring about us, Cookie Monster’s love of cookies became our love of cookies. We wanted to gobble cookies just as monstrously as he gobbled cookies, with cookie shrapnel flying out of the sides of our mouth as we stared into the soft glow of our replacement guardian.
Anyways, all those years of eating cookies and watching Cookie Monster eat cookies has made many of us cookie experts. We all have our favorites for an array of different reasons—but just as all cookies have a shred of good in them, all cookies also have a touch of not-so-good. Here’s a list of our definitive list of the most popular cookies, along with what to love—and hate—about each one.
When you hear the word “cookie,” this is likely the variety of cookie you picture in your head. There’s something to be said for that. The chocolate chip cookie is also the baseline product, the “original” flavor of the majority of your local supermarket’s cookie brands. Either chewy or crisp, gooey or dry, if there is a plate of chocolate chip cookies any where near your vicinity, you’ll likely eat more than a few out of sheer habit alone. Are those factors enough to make these the world’s greatest cookies? No. Chocolate chip cookies have their downside—and the most prominent downside is the chocolate chip. I’m sorry, but I don’t want a tiny, hard marble of chocolate to impeding my mouth’s journey through a soft, salty-sweet cookie. And when I opt to eat my cookie dough raw, those rat dropping-like pellets offer an even worse eating experience. The chocolate in a truly great chocolate chip cookie should be warm and melty—anything else is acrid garbage.
Oatmeal mixed with raisins and presented in a cookie form? Eh, I guess. You have to enjoy oatmeal in the first place to really give this variety of cookie a chance. I, for one, have a hard time getting down with oatmeal because—and this is just my opinion—it feels closer to horse feed than actual human food. And then there’s the raisins, which are grapes that have had the soul sucked out. Raisins are sweet little nothings with an OK texture—they certainly aren’t strong enough to prop up this poor excuse for a cookie. I guess the one good thing you can say about oatmeal raisin cookies is that they’re packed with fiber. But so is asparagus and I don’t see that on any cookie lists, do you?
Here’s where things get interesting. The snickerdoodle is like a hot and spicy version of the humble sugar cookie. Blessed with invigorating bursts of cinnamon, snickerdoodles are the warm blanket covering you as you sit in front of a fire. Or maybe they are the fire—either way, they are damn good. Snickerdoodles are like the mulled wine of the cookie world, with a complex flavor and texture that warms you from the inside out. They are delicious on their own for sure, but do yourself a favor and mash one up into a bowl of vanilla ice cream for a real adult experience. Meanwhile, a quick internet search reveals that the one ingredient crucial to the tang and chewiness of a snickerdoodle is cream of tartar. That ingredient has been in the back of my spice cabinet for nearly 40 years and now I finally know how it should be used.
Peanut butter cookies have the most amazing melt-in-your-mouth texture, with crisp edges and a creamy, rich peanut butter middle. Fitted with a randomized pattern on top, peanut butter cookies are roughly hewed and sometimes feature jagged peanut butter fragments sticking out in various directions. The hash marks have a purpose though, as peanut butter cookies are quite dense and if they weren’t pressed down, they might not cook evenly. But don’t concern yourself with how they look—it’s all about that sweet-salty combination.
These Are Not Cookies
And just for your own education, here’s a list of impostors that have inappropriately been labeled as cookies through the years. These are not cookies:
• Fortune Cookies
• Animal Crackers
• Wafer Cookies
• Digestive Biscuits
• Fig Newtons
• Rum Balls