The way the cookie crumbles

There were 58 entries in the Onmnivore cookie contest yesterday, a prospect that instantly filled me, as a taster (to say nothing of a contestant), with despair. If you had asked me before that moment which would be physically harder, a punch tasting or a cookie tasting, I would have said punch. I would have been wrong. Ten punches, served in shot-sized paper cups, have nothing on the sick-making potential of 58 cookies.

We tried valiantly, but fatigue was quick–and it showed in the results. The two winning entries both featured salt prominently which, aside from being trendy, set them apart from the butter-and-sugar overload at large. (To be fair, the chocolate-toffee-salt winner was quite good; the runner-up had peanut butter, so I refrained for J-P’s sake.) Most of our troupe also thought that a good, tart lemon cookie might have done the trick, but yesterday’s lemon entries didn’t stray far enough from sweet to shine.

Our chocolate-spice-cherry cookies had four or five direct competitors, and I think ours would have swept the category. Taster fatigue worked against us, I’m sure: Not another Mexican chocolate cookie!

Our prospects looked up once, when J-P arrived with our last few batches, making his way through the crowd like a gum-and-cigarettes girl. “Number 29, number 29 here…” One taster fawned, “Omigod, they’re still warm!”

Showmanship was not enough, alas. But, as J-P pointed out, losing was still a win: if you’re beaten in a fair fight, you know that you then have a recipe that’s even better than the cookies you already thought were awesome.

Even so, we’re plotting to make procsciugelach if there’s ever a rematch: prosciutto wrapped in rugelach dough. How’s that for a sweet and savory stand out?


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