If you were a cookie, what kind of cookie would you be?
I posed that question to a group of co-workers some years ago and surprisingly they actually gave it some serious thought. It’s a different question than ‘what’s your favorite cookie’ or ‘if you were a cookie, what kind of cookie would you choose to be’. I could ask the question in a different way: Comparing yourself to all of the different types of cookies with which you are familiar, which of those cookies would best reflect your personality?
Tricky question. It takes a measure of self-reflection. The day I asked that question of my co-workers, there was a 17 year old teenage boy at work. He was not an easy person with which to work; he did not understand people or appropriate social interaction. This young man was prone to sulking, prone to very egocentric concepts; prone to getting people really upset with him. Most of us either did our best to avoid him because to interact with him was a gateway to conflict, or when we were feeling up to it, we did our best to logically explain why it was wrong to indicate to a customer that they were stupid.
My cookie question got everyone thinking about themselves, really and truly taking a look inside of themselves. Mostly we were having a lot of fun analyzing each other and our individual answers. I told my boss that I thought he was a snickerdoodle. I’m pretty sure that he didn’t take kindly to my observation.
The kid with the social problems challenged the whole concept that people could be compared to cookies. He became cross with us for engaging in something he considered ridiculous and inconceivable. After one of his little tirades, I said, “Fine. So don’t be a cookie. You’re obviously not ready for the cookie challenge.” He really came unglued and slumped into a chair to pout and sulk and sling the occasional verbal barb at the rest of us as we carried on merrily. His comments and behaviors finally became so insulting that our boss sort of had to separate him from the rest of the group. The boy countered back with, “Tell me what kind of cookie I am!!!” Since I had been the one to introduce the cookie concept, I said, “I’m sorry, but you don’t get to be a cookie. Not until you treat the rest of us better.” It was a turning a point for this young man. From time to time during the rest of the day he would come to me and ask if he could be a cookie. His behaviors improved and he worked towards controlling himself that day. Finally I told him he could be a cookie.
In all honesty, I don’t remember what kind of cookie he chose. What started out as a lighthearted funny question, turned out to be a significant social experiment. At the time, I felt that a peanut butter cookie best represented me…a little bit salty, a little bit sweet, imperfect with hash marks, made from goobers (no comment intended on my parents), simple, unpretentious, comfortably ordinary. I’d like to think that I am still probably best represented by a peanut butter cookie–probably somewhat overcooked, with crispy brown edges. However, upon close personal reflection, it is probably nearer the truth that in reality I am most like a lemon cookie with a powdered sugar coating. A hint of sour with a sweet side, sweet with a hint of a sour side. Disturbingly confusing Deliciously complex.
Anyway, these are really good lemon cookies. The first time I made them I inadvertently used 1 1/4 cups flour instead of 1 3/4 cups flour. It made a lovely, thin chewy, lemony cookie. It didn’t take long to figure out what I had done ‘wrong’, but it was a delicious mistake. When I re-made them the ‘right’ way, they were still delicious, but of course looked completely different. They were thicker, not thin, but were still somewhat chewy in the middle and the powdered sugar coating heightened the lemon flavor. The most remarkable thing about these cookies, though, is the fact that they don’t have any eggs. So, yes, you can eat the dough if you want! Very, very tempting.
PS–Yes this is the last installment of my three lemon crazy recipes. Actually, I have one more, but I might have to save it until next week. I don’t want you to think me too hyperfocused–sort of like a two year old that fixates on one food for weeks and won’t eat anything else.