Monday, December 19, 2016

Rating the Christmas cookies.

All cookies are good cookies, right?

"Me say yeah!"
Well, you'd be WRONG, Cookie Monster!

W is for WRONG! That's good enough for you! Wrong Wrong starts with W!

Cookies, even those associated with the world's most cookie-associated holiday, Christmas, are of varying quality. In fact, the glut of cookies at Christmas guarantees that some bad actors will sneak in.

Here's our ruling on cookies you may see at Christmastime, cookies strongly associated with the American Christmas celebration. The fact that these are ridiculously personal judgments doesn't stop them from being 100% correct.

Sugar cookies: There's such a wide range of quality even in the most iconic form---rolled iced cookie. Sometimes you get a beautiful, colorful cookie that tastes like the box; sometimes you get a horribly iced cookie that tastes like angels baked it; sometimes you just get a doggone mess. Cookie cutters are fun (I made my own football helmet and football shaped cutters years ago for Super Bowl snacks) but I really hate rolling dough and icing cookies. I suck at it, frankly. I know that's my own incompetence speaking but I'm taking it out on the cookie. C

Gingerbread men: Some people don't like ginger cookies, but I do. And they're much easier to ice than sugar cookies because traditionally they don't get much more than some white drawn-on designs. A-

Gingerbread house: Not a cookie; a construction project. N/A

Pizzelles: Buttery and light, these Italian delights are wonderful---when made well, which seldom happens. You have to develop a good hand with the ol' pizzelle iron, which takes a lot of time and practice. And you have to get a pizzelle iron. B-

Pfeffernusse: These "pepper nuts" are excellent if done right. They are never done right. It should be a solid cookie with some heft, about walnut sized, not hard, and glazed, not just doused with powdered sugar. Strong flavors of cardamom and cinnamon, undernote of pepper. Anything less than this should be thrown out the window. Some dingdongs will tell you that the Germans who invented this brilliant confection have a tradition of dipping it in wine. If true it would explain why they lost both world wars. B+

Cheesecake bars: Not all bar cookies are cheesecake bars, but don't you think they ought to be? Docked a grade for scarcity and also their not-quite-Christmassy-enough-ness. C

Canned Danish butter cookies: Are you crazy? Lovely box, cookies that taste like rancid cardboard. If you can't imagine that cardboard could go rancid, try one of these. F

Chocolate chip cookies: Not specifically a Christmas cookie but my wife's favorite, and she's my favorite everything, so it is a Christmas cookie now. A+++++++++

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