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…
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.
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.
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.
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.