I believe I've stated my opinions on fruit, but just in case you've missed it there is one overriding rule to which I hold dearly: fruit has no business being in, or anywhere near, cookies. I would broaden that rule to encompass all baked goods, if not for the total deliciousness of cherry tarts, banana bread, and pizza.
Pizza, you ask? Yes, pizza.
Tomatoes are fruit. Pizza sauce is made out of tomatoes. Pizza is a delicious baked bread with pizza sauce spread liberally on top of it. Therefore, pizza is little more than a baked good with fruit on it, very much like cherry tarts, only covered with gooey cheese and enhanced by the addition of pepperoni and mushrooms. End of argument.
The primary violator of the no-fruit-in-cookies rule is the raisin. I enjoy raisins as much as the next man, but they are best when performing solo. A handful of raisins scraped off the cardboard walls of those tiny red boxes makes for a tasty treat. Heck, you can even mix them with nuts and M&Ms to create a handy dandy trail mix. I ate plenty of that this weekend on the long drive to and from Disney World. Nothing wrong at all with trail mix. But trail mix isn't baked, is it?
The raisin's worst offense is when it pretends to be a chocolate chip. You know what I'm talking about. You're at a party, perusing the dessert buffet, and you spot a tray of chocolate chip cookies. You realize the mistake you've made in cookie identification only after you've chomped off a chunk the size of your fist. What should have been chocolaty goodness is instead a slimy smear of baked raisin goo, and you're left with two options: (1) keep chewing and politely finish what you started; (2) drop to your knees, gag like you're dying and spit it out on the carpet.
I would not fault any of you for choosing Option #2.
Some people think you can skirt around the no-fruit-in-cookies rule by making a cookie that tastes like fruit rather than baking actual fruit bits into the cookie. The Girl Scouts are guilty of this trick with their Lemonades. I realize the Lemonade contains no lemony chunks or chewy shards of candied lemon rind, but that's just part of their evil plot.
To make matters worse, this year the Girl Scouts unveiled a new violation of the rule by rolling out the Mango Creme.
I have never in my life experienced a desire to taste a mango-flavored cookie, and I have no intention of allowing a harassing gang of badged hooligans to pressure me into to trying this new abomination.
Described as "crunchy vanilla and coconut cookies with a mango-flavored creme filling," the Girl Scouts add insult to injury with their everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach. Coconut, fruit and crunchy? Each of those factors on its own is enough to ruin a cookie. Throw them all together with vanilla and all you end up with is a shameful waste of some perfectly good vanilla. In the next few weeks, when the Girl Scouts start hawking their wares at storefronts and malls across America, I will protest the Lemonade and the Mango Creme.
But I won't protest all their cookies. Homemade chocolate silk ice cream is so much better with crunched up Peanut Butter Patties mixed in. Too bad My Lovely Wife doesn't like bits of cookie in her ice cream.
Some people have way too many rules about food...
© 2013 Mark Feggeler