Cookies vs. Cake.

Worthy Dessert Adversaries.

The Phillies play the Red Sox in Fort Myers today.  There are articles in the paper talking, “World Series Preview.”  The trouble is, even if these two teams were guaranteed to be in the World Series, it wouldn’t be much of a preview.  It’s March 3rd.  Take a moment to realize a World Series might not be concluded until November 3rd.  You could practically have a kid in that time, so to call today’s game a preview of any kind of epic confrontation is just forcing the issue.  That’s not to say we can’t break down a titanic battle, though.  What about dessert?  I try to limit my dessert intake, and the only way I can do this is by keeping no dessert items in the house, because if they are around it is swarm of locust time.  Sometimes I get angry there is no dessert and I have to take a deep breath and move on.  Other times I think about what I wish I had sitting around to devour.  What would be better?  Cookies or cake?

I was going to start by assigning categories to borderline desserts.  Where do brownies go?  What about the fabled whoopie pie?  These are key desserts, and probably shouldn’t be left out of the discussion.  My gut instinct, the only thing to listen to in this instance, said that brownies should be lumped in with cookies and whoopie pies, because of their association with icing, should go with cakes.  Sounds rational, right?  Well, then I started thinking about other desserts.  What about fudge?  It’s a total outlier.  That’s when I realized I had to take a hard line on this.  No exceptions. Cakes are cakes and cookies are cookies.  We can’t have brownies swaying the vote.  That’s a battle for another day. Let’s break this down…

Variety:

My first reaction is to give the nod in variety to cookies, but we have to go deeper.  I’m trying to look at this as democratically as possible, which means trying to ignore my own biases.   Personally, I would never dabble in a carrot cake and I think a cookie is awful use of peanut butter, but I know some people love those desserts like they would love a child.  I have to open up my mind to coconut and cheesecake and everything else.  Judging by the menu at the Cheesecake Factory there is approximately 143 variations of cheesecake alone.  It’s almost like a Blizzard at Dairy Queen.  You can put anything in there.  Cookies have the same general premise, though.  If you are creative enough, anything goes.  As I am writing this I think of something that could swing the balance in favor of cake…coffee cake!  I love coffee cake, but as a breakfast food I think I am going to have to say, DISQUALIFIED.

Outcome:  Draw.

Partnership With Ice Cream:

Cake and ice cream.  That is like Bonnie and Clyde.  Gin and Tonic.  DA and Pick-6s.  There is something pure about a piece of chocolate cake with some vanilla ice cream.  It’s magic.  When pairing cookies with cake, you have to think about frequency.  Would it be delicious?  Sure, but how often do you just grab a cookie and eat it solo?  The cookie rests pretty much all their hope in this category on one item.  The Chipwich.  Of course, that is like saying you only have one pitch, but it happens to be a 110 mph fastball.  If there is a heaven, the walls may be made out of Chipwiches.  It’s hard for me say how delicious they are, especially if you make them at home.  But, I’m afraid that’s too much personal bias.

Outcome: In the end, slight edge to cake.

Accessability/Convenience:

I think I once did a post about my favorite types of store-bought cookies.  Oreos, E.L. Fudge, Double Stuf Oreo, Thin Mints…you get the idea.  There is no topping that convenience.  If you walk into a grocery store, you should get the pack of Oreos over their generic sheet cake every day.  Next up, you have the pre-made mixes.  Those sleeves of cookie dough?  The tubs that they sell it in now?  That’ll make you a decent cookie if you don’t shovel it all into your yammering void on the way home.  Store bought cake mixes?  Eh, not so great.  Sometimes you can jazz them up a little bit, and they are decent, but it’s no comparison to the real thing.  Also, cakes require icing.  I know how some people loves their cans of Duncan Hines or whatever, but my response to those people is usually, “oh, so you’ve never had real icing?”  Bottom line, if you want a great cake, you have to make it or have someone make it.  A decent cookie is much more readily available.

Outcome: Advantage Cookies.

Best on Best:

It’s about the superstars, right?  Does it really matter if you’d prefer your 8th favorite cake over your 8th favorite cookie?  Probably not.  We’re talking a last meal kind of battle here.  Two gunslingers walk into the room, which one are you putting your money on?  I have to talk about my favorites, here, because it is the only way I can get into the proper frame of mind.  Thinking about carrot cake isn’t going to create the proper kind of brain activity.  For me, this comes down to Chocolate Chip Cookies about 18.5 minutes out of the oven vs. Chocolate Cake with chocolate icing on the 2nd day.  A lot of people probably don’t know there is a moment on the 2nd day of a cake’s life where it will be at its best.  It is a little like wine in that way, sneaking up on a peak before losing its punch.  This is an incredibly hard decision, but in the end I have to take the chocolate cake (see what I did there?)  The icing, the perfect vehicle for chocolate, it’s a winner.

Outcome: Advantage Cake.

Overall Verdict:

This is obviously a 7-game series.  But, as you can see in the last section, I am, in the end, a bit of a cake man.  Despite the fact that it takes a bit of extra effort, that is what makes the cake special.  Birthdays, or some other occasion, when you see a cake you know there is an event.  Hell, having a cake is an event in itself.  Cookies are great, but they don’t have anything extra to put them over the top.  In the end, it’s just my opinion, but I gotta go cake.

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13 thoughts on “Cookies vs. Cake.

  1. Really nice analysis here, lots of passion for the topic. I vote cake for many of the reasons discussed above. Cookies can be really really good, but cakes can take it to their own special level of amazingness.

  2. yeah, plenty of passion.

    in unrelated news:

    the US Open broke out at the Honda Classic.

    and, Cole Hamels was throwing seeds today.

  3. I think the funniest part is the guys laughing at it and then rewinding to watch again.

    they don’t mess around in Memphis.

  4. I tried posting this earlier. I have several objections here.

    So with the best on best, an overlooked fact here is that there’s no opportunity once you’ve missed that “2nd day window” with the cake, whereas with the cookie you can rewind the clock to a degree with a microwave. Is it the same? No, but it’s still warm. And the shelf like of a cake is ridiculously short, compared to the longevity of a cookie. 3rd day cake? Toss it. 3rd day cookie? Toss it…in my mouth. Maybe this should be it’s own category. Sustainability?

    The Chipwich was not given enough weight, it flat out dominates that category. Ignored is the fact that cake is only good with ice cream if it’s warm, cookies go both ways. Additionally, other than “vanilla” and maybe a few cakes, you can’t change up the variety. A cookie can be hammered with different ice creams and vice versa. Oatmeal Raisin and vanilla? Yes please. Carrot and vanilla? Nope. You can also mix up the ice cream to get an added flavor for the cookie, like peanut butter ice cream w/ oreos or pumpkin ice cream w/ oatmeal or cinnamon cookies. I don’t think you explored the versatility here to it’s full degree. Lastly, the pretentious nomenclature of “a la mode” should knock cake down several notches. Note: i removed “pie” from this argument, since if we’re taking out coffee cake (personal favorite) then pies as a whole i assume were removed.

    • well, i appreciate your analysis. My responses:

      1. I’m not on board with the microwave. That yields a hot/stale cookie. It’s like spraying air freshener in a dirty garbage can. You smell the air freshener…and the garbage. I think the shelf life on some cookies (especially chocolate chip) is pretty short. I’d give a cake a solid 3 days (it just happens to be best the 2nd day), and honestly, if your cake is lasting 4 days get some friends or eat bigger pieces.

      2. I am a huge fan of the chipwich, I can’t really argue against it in any way. But, I would introduce the actual ice cream cake. Very popular in some circles, and a similar theory.

      3. Pumpkin ice cream?

      4. Pie is, as you assumed, out. F pie. But, I think you are being harsh on a la mode, we’re just talking about the end game. but, i do like the term, pretentious nomenclature.

      5. Shouldn’t the cake get credit for some utility like holding candles and ability to be decorated?

  5. 1) I agree, i’m not a proponent of the microwave, just pointing out that the cookie has a longer “shelf life” in general than the cake. Neither is AS GOOD as the ultimate moment, but 3 days later i’d rather a chocolate chip cookie than a cake.

    2) Hmmm….I don’t adhere to the “ice cream cake”, for several reasons. The more germane to our discussions is it’s blatantly not a “cake” on both ends. You couldn’t pull apart those chocolate flavored cardboard pieces and eat them. So that’s my answer to that.

    3) Merely for arguments sake. You prefer lamb and tuna fish? No? How about Mint chocolate chip?

    4) I’m like a white, less douchey Al Sharpton.

    5) Yeah, that’s a good point, it has ancillary benefits. But these days people sprinkle and decorate cookies too. Shouldn’t the cookie get added points for being easier to transport? You can’t wander with 4-5 pieces of cake in your hand or whatever. Well….maybe if you were determined you could.

  6. Megan voted that on most days and for most purposes her choice would be cookie, but if you are talking about something exceptional like a triple chocolate truffle cake then cookies have to make way.

  7. STARBUCKS RUN!

    dude,

    i just wanna say, we have “gross”ly forgotten about the drinkable dessert option immortalized by starbucks.

    okay. so. yeah. i was pretty unproductive this morning. long line at starbucks. so i went generic next door cafe.

    at lunch, i announce “starbucks run, order up.”

    i sacrifice 1/2 mile of gas. manage to get a tall coffee to drink on the way back, and now i am slow sipping a high calorie treat that my coworker introduced me to this week: white peppermint mocha latte.

    thanks a latte. now i can pretty do anything for the next four hours.

    if you put all the cards on the table, i betcha i could probably deduce world peace.
    viva the coffeeeeeee dessert. Q

  8. so, you had a coffee this morning.

    then a “tall” coffee on the drive back to work.

    then a peppermint mocha latte.

    enjoy the crash.

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