22 Comments

  1. Bill, I agree with you. And I disagree with Paige: even without chocolate chips, cookies are delicious.

  2. I know it is not a CIDU, but let me ramble on anyway. I suppose the point of the cartoon is that no-one buys a packet of cookies (or as we call them in Engerlaland, biscuits*), branded simply as cookies (or biscuits). They are custard creams or garibaldis or hobnobs or digestive biscuits, or nice or chocolate bourbons or rich tea biscuits, and so on. If there are a lot of different ones in a box, they are assorted biscuits, not just BISCUITS.

    Therefore, a biscuit/cookie that has lost its defining USP cannot really be just a “biscuit” but will have to be assigned some other name to be known by, no doubt relating to whatever its secondary characteristic (or colour, or famous Italian unifier, &c) is. For instance, we have chocolate digestive biscuits, and without chocolate they are digestive biscuits, and without the digestive they would be sweet-meal and without that… nothing. Digies are, btw, 180 years old this year.

    *Apart, oddly, from the subject of this cartoon, chocolate chip cookies, which are called just that and not chocolate chip biscuits in the UK.

  3. Paige is right.

    Bill, there’s a difference between “cookies” and “..cookies”.

  4. “They are custard creams or garibaldis or hobnobs or digestive biscuits, or nice or chocolate bourbons or rich tea biscuits, . . .”

    I read a LOT of British mysteries; just finished the entire Bryant & May series by Christopher Fowler, and am currently re-reading (again) the Martha Grimes Inspector Jury series. ALL of the above-mentioned (and more) biscuits have been mentioned; the only one I know ’cause I used to eat them was rich tea biscuits. They all sound delicious, tho . . . are they? And Fairy Cakes . . . what a visual that name evokes.

  5. A representative of the Cookie Relations Umbrella Media Business Society had this to say:

    “‘C’ is for ‘cookie’, and that’s good enough for me.”

  6. larK, by any chance, did the representative go on to say “ME LIKE COOKIE! NOM! NOM! NOM!”

  7. Regardless of what those sites say, ‘Chocolate “chip-less” cookies’ is what Ms. Wakefield was trying to make when she ended up with chocolate chip cookies. I’d agree to “chocolate chip”-less, though.

  8. The cookies so described are a specific type of cookie and as such should have a name you can refer to them by. So no you can’t simply call them “Cookies”.

    However simply referring to them as “chocolate chip cookies without the chips” or any variety (such as “chocolate chip-less cookies”) is not really that awkward or mysterious. This discussion is nowhere as amusingly ontologically paradoxical and Jason thinks it is.

  9. I posted too soon…

    I love sugar cookies. Paige is being a bit melodramatically harsh. Cookies are cookies. Plain cookies go great with ice cream or other things.

    Now I want a cookie…

  10. Kevin’s first link initially seems like enthusiastic nostalgia, but then it turns out to be a product placement ad for butter, complete with customized advertising (implemented with cookies, of course, and with no opportunity to opt out: accept or be damned). Nevertheless, I’m still going to try baking them.

  11. The traditional mix for a chocolate chip cookie is not the same as a sugar cookie, it’s got brown sugar and sometimes molasses, but it’s a recipe that isn’t really seen without chips. “Cookie” on its own is insufficiently specific for Jason’s needs.

  12. Chocolate chip cookies without chocolate chips are Butter Drop Do cookies. You can make them plain or you can add cocoa to make them chocolate. Ruth Wakefield of the Toll House restaurant tried to make a batch of chocolate Butter Drop Do cookies but found she was out of cocoa so she chopped up a chocolate bar and mixed it in. She didn’t get the result she expected, which was that when the heat of the oven melted the chocolate it would permeate through the cookie. Instead she got what we now call Toll House cookies or chocolate chip cookies.

  13. Andrea — fairy cakes are such a more evocative name than cupcakes. I mean, I love cupcakes, don’t get me wrong, but maybe I would love them even MORE if we called them fairy cakes?

  14. My podcast feed for some reason resurrected my subscription to Sowerby And Luff, which I had thought abandoned a year or more ago, and played for me a recent episode. They had a bit from a short-term continuing feature, “Name that biscuit”, reminding one of the old long-running “Name that bird”. They play an audio clip of somebody (probably Brian) crunching down on a biscuit, and Georgina narrating her guessing process. The list she tried included many of those mentioned by narmitaj and Andrea, and revealed to me a taxonomy I has unaware of, e.g. how many named types of their own are still considered to be “shortbread”. (The target type to be guessed, however, was ruled “not a shortbread-based variety at all” .)

  15. Re: ‘fairy cakes’ – are they the same SIZE as our ‘cupcakes’, or those bite-size ones I’ve been seeing more and more (yesterday at WalMart bakery, for example)? The character in the Grimes novels ‘pops them into her mouth’, and altho I know she’s a gourmand around the tea table, I can’t imagine her ‘popping’ a cupcake into her mouth.

  16. And don’t get me started on all the (old-timey) candies Arthur Bryant manages to find throughout the ‘Bryant and May’ novels; they sound fascinating, too.

  17. narmitaj’s comment that the UK calls them ‘cookies’ instead of ‘biscuits’ made me go look up the history of the chocolate chip cookie. It’s generally unremarkable as a Wikipedia entry, except for one thing: most Wikipedia articles have just one photo; this one has several. I envision the Wiki editor creating that entry with just a hint of drool.

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