On Cooked Cookies


In appreciation of cooked cookies

Cookies are cooked. It's right there in the name. Any object that is in all other respects like a cookie (i.e. a sweetened, slightly risen flour-and-fat concoction) that has not been cooked is by definition not a cookie.

If you and I can't agree on that, I'm not sure we can agree on anything else.

Cookie dough is delicious. However, cookie dough is to a cookie as lumber is to a house. If you find yourself eating a squishy, pale, cookie-like object that has merely been warmed, don't also claim to be enjoying a cookie. You are eating warm dough.

Tiff's Treat lovers, I'm sorry… you've been doing just that all this time. And it's fine! They're delightful. It's just that they're missing one of the essential prerequisites to be awarded the name “cookie”, which, I may have mentioned, is cooking.

So when does a disc of baking dough graduate into cookiehood? When does a growing pond become a lake? I dunno, but there is some size beneath which it's definitely the former, some size above which it's definitely the latter, and some gray area (but not too much). When it comes to cookies, you don't have to love them at the medium-firm zone of the crispiness spectrum as I do, but there is inarguably a temperature at which caramelization and the Maillard reaction conspire to create cookie from dough. (Don't take my word for it… it's science.)

And that brings me to an appreciation of this specific example: the Easy Tiger chocolate chip masterpiece. It's pliant without being wimpy: hold it at one end and it doesn't sag, yet it is still chewy. The surface has a crunch to it, but the middle is a little cakey and never dry. In short, it's an actual cookie, baked and everything, and it may be the finest example of its class in the Hill Country—if not the world.