This I Believe

Carol - Alto, Michigan
Entered on March 20, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

Theccc I Believe

I believe in chocolate chip cookies. In baking them. In eating them. In eating them before baking them. Even though you’re not supposed to do that.

Life has few pleasures as perfect. While an Oreo has the same light-dark color contrasts, a chocolate chip cookie mixes the dark and light together in a characteristically egalitarian American way. Sometimes, the cookie dough and chips clump together, isolating themselves, but most often, the chips and dough happily spread out and joyfully mingle into a sweet concoction. Best of all are those cookies that feature both milk and semi-sweet chips. That’s a melting pot treat that’s a taste of perfection.

But a chocolate chip cookie is more than just two parts existing together, more than just dough and chips. It is also a subtle blend of sweet and salty, a pleasingly round taste of life’s good times and tears. Chocolate chip cookie dough has been happily mixed up in kitchens all over America, formed into heart-shaped pans to celebrate years of love, stacked onto paper plates to welcome new neighbors, and tucked into sandwich bags to herald first days of school.

But dough also has been whipped up sadly at midnight to mend a wounded heart, sent in boxes to give lonesome college kids a taste of home, and eaten in silence to soothe a finish-line defeat. Chocolate chip cookies are the perfect accompaniment for the best of times and for the worst.

Of course, chocolate chip cookies aren’t only about looks and taste. Sometimes, just the smell of them baking is enough to induce an irresistible desire for the feel of that cookie in your hand and mouth. All it takes to create one of the most powerful aromas in the universe is a combination of eggs and soda, flour and sugar (brown and white), chocolate of the chip variety, butter and salt and vanilla—all spun into it a dough that sparkles and crunches with sweetness.

Drop that dough in irregular globs onto a cookie sheet, slide those mounds into the warm embrace of an oven, an d wait just about a dozen-plus-a-few minutes. The resultant smell has brought many a warring child to peaceful treaty. The only crying heard in a kitchen where chocolate chip cookies are being born is crying over spilled milk.

I believe in chocolate chip cookies. Does that mean I believe in all of them? In every variety? The store-bought? The sliced-and-baked? The ones made with creative additions like coconut? That’s a complicated question because I really love cookies in just about any form. But since you’ve asked, here’s my answer: The truth is, if I have to choose between a counterfeit chocolate chip cookie or some other variety of cookie like, say, peanut butter or oatmeal, I’ll go for the chocolate chip every time. Even if is wearing a disguise. Call me a chocolate chip cookie snob, but this I believe.