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Hot or Not Holiday Cookies

Christopher Shea and Kyle Orens

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Christopher Shea
Chocolate Chip-

CHRIS: Chocolate chip cookies are the bedrock of the cookie industry. When you think cookies, 99% of the time you’re thinking chocolate chip. What’s not to like, after all? They possess all the usual deliciousness of chocolate, but are also lovingly shoved into a delicious ball of butter, sugar and carbs. Chocolate chip cookies serve only to solidify the lead chocolate has over everybody else, kind of like the kid who would always unnecessarily outlap me during the mile run in 3rd grade gym class. Maybe that’s because I eat too many chocolate chip cookies, but in that case it was all undoubtedly worth it. (You can’t eat that gold track and field medallion, Josh!) In summary, chocolate chip cookies are the foundation of democracy and will one day gain sentience and rule the earth. That is all.

TEMPERATURE RATING: HOT CHOCOLATE

KYLE: The chocolate chip cookie is to cookies what George Washington is to the United States. The chocolate chip cookie is the original cookie, the OG. They are the cornerstone of the cookie world. The chocolate chip cookie is to cookies what Babe Ruth was to baseball. The chocolate chip cookie is to cookies what Muhammed Ali was to boxing. The chocolate chip cookie is greatness in a cookie.  When made correctly, they are soft and chewy with a sweet taste and are made even more amazing by the addition of the delectable chocolate chip. According to CNN (not really.) If it weren’t for the chocolate chip cookie, 35% of people wouldn’t be alive today.

TEMPERATURE RATING: THE COOKIE KING

Sugar Cookie-

CHRIS: Often hailed as “the boring cookie for boring people,” the humble sugar cookie often fails to get the respect it deserves. Despite its thorough deliciousness and mellowly sweet flavor, people generally overlook the sugar cookie for its more attractive sister, the chocolate chip cookie. However, the sugar cookie is the unsung hero of cookie-dom. The versatility of the sugar cookie knows no bounds, playing nicely with just about anything you can think to cram in there. M&M’s? Sure! Candy bars? Why not! Pecans? Yes, please! A sugar cookie is essentially a chocolate chip cookie without the chocolate chips. Let’s not forget that sugar cookies are also the only cookies you can buy with a big happy design literally printed on them. Whatever the mad scientists at Pillsbury are doing, they better not stop anytime soon.

TEMPERATURE RATING: FRESH-BAKED

KYLE: This is the cookie that keeps it simple. With a rather bland taste, sugar cookies would often be the last choice for me, if it were not for their flexibility. You can do pretty much anything you want with them. You can make them into Christmas trees around the holidays, and top them off with some red icing and green sprinkles. They can be made into delicious vanilla flavored snowmen with cinnamon flavored buttons. If made into the right shapes with the right frosting, the bland sugar cookies can become a five star meal fit for a king!

TEMPERATURE RATING: HEIR TO THE THRONE

Snickerdoodles-

CHRIS: In addition to having the most adorable name ever, snickerdoodles are also delicious. Imagine a really good sugar cookie that’s super soft, smothered in cinnamon sugar and made out of rainbows. The snickerdoodle is a recipe that is simple to make, but difficult to master. Speaking as a self-proclaimed snickerdoodle master (it’s on my business card,) I can confidently say that snickerdoodles are probably the messiest cookie you can make. The dough pretty much melts in your hands while you’re rolling it, and then you have to toss it around in a bowl of powdered sugar and cinnamon. In the end, you’re lucky if your kitchen doesn’t look like the inside of Pablo Escobar’s house, but the result is so worth it. Snickerdoodles are the kind of cookie that somehow disappear before you’ve even taken them out of the oven, and severe burns to the mouth and dry-cleaning bills are simply the price you pay for deliciousness.

TEMPERATURE RATING: DOODLEICIOUS

 

KYLE: When it comes to the great taste of a cookie, all hail the snickerdoodle! Crispy edges, a chewy center, and the extraordinary combination of the cinnamon and sugar. The snickerdoodle is an upgraded version of the sugar cookie. It’s on a new level of greatness. (Still below chocolate chip… stay modest snickerdoodle.) It starts with the incredible mixture of sugar, butter, and flour, and is then rolled in the power couple of cinnamon and sugar. Like said before, a sugar cookie can be bland, or it can be turned into something unthinkable to the human mind.

TEMPERATURE RATING: COOKIE KNIGHT

Gingerbread-

CHRIS: Ok, this is where we start to lose a few passengers on the cookie train. Gingerbread cookies can either be soft, chewy and incredible, or so hard that you end up paying more in dental bills than you do on presents this Christmas. I have found the worst offender of “cement cookie syndrome” to be those pre-made gingerbread house kits you can buy at Michael’s in the middle of August. I’m assuming that the folks behind those are secretly testing a method of rapid fossilization for public consumption, since I can’t imagine any other physical possibility for how the things get so tooth-shatteringly solid. Every year, my family excitedly buys one, with visions of a happy, utopian gingerbread dream house dancing about in their heads. Then we open the box and very quickly realize our mistake. After about 3 hours of swearing and wrestling with off-brand frosting from Cambodia and sheets of stale gingerbread cookie that resemble petrified cardboard more than anything else, we end up with a house haphazardly spackled with frosting and gumdrops that looks as if it’s just been run over by an 18-wheeler. If you’re craving a cookie, there are better options out there.

TEMPERATURE RATING: FROZEN DOUGH FROM 1982

KYLE: The gingerbread cookie has to be the most fun cookie to make. You can decorate them with frosting and several different types of candy. The only problem is it then becomes this huge, kind of crappy cookie monstrosity that is impossible to eat. When not being made into a cookie, gingerbread has another way of making the holiday a little more difficult. Welcome to the walkway, the gingerbread house. Just like its cookie cousin, its super fun to make and has the possibility of deliciousness, but often gets a 1 out of 5 on the taste test. It just seems like the gingerbread is too hard, and feels like you’re trying to bite into a hockey puck rather than a cookie.

TEMPERATURE RATING: ROYAL JESTER

Mincemeat-

CHRIS: Mincemeat… cookies? I’m no flavorologist, but ground beef and spiced fruit aren’t the two things that immediately come to mind when I think about cookies. In fact, it’s almost as if a panel of experts were actively trying to come up with the most disgusting combination of cookie ingredients possible. A mincemeat cookie sounds about as appetizing as a tunafish cookie, or maybe a drano cookie. I discovered the concept of mincemeat cookies a few months ago, and ever since I have been searching frantically for someone else who has heard of the wretched things. Are these even real? Am I hallucinating them? According to Google, these horrific creations are a holiday staple in the United Kingdom. Leave it to the Brits to ruin something as infallible as cookies. No matter which side of the pond you’re on, the mincemeat cookie sounds like a great way to spend Christmas on the toilet.

TEMPERATURE RATING: IMMINENT SALMONELLA

KYLE: I would love to meet the person who decided that putting meat in a cookie was a good idea. They clearly were not thinking straight. They clearly had absolutely no taste buds, or functioning ones for that matter. Meat is good with a side of mashed potatoes, not a cookie. Mincemeat is a mixture of chopped dried fruit, distilled spirits and spices, and sometimes beef suet, beef, or venison. Let’s take a second to think about those ingredients. The absurd and insane ingredients. Meat and fruit= terrible. Meat, fruit, and a cookie= nuclear holocaust.

TEMPERATURE RATING: PEASANT 

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Hot or Not Holiday Cookies