‘Over-eating season’ calls for baked goods

Columnist Caitlin Weigel says the most important culinary aspect of the holiday season is cookies. It’s the last column of the semester and I’m finding myself with a slight tear in my eye, but a

Caitlin WeigelColumnist Caitlin Weigel says the most important culinary aspect of the holiday season is cookies.

It’s the last column of the semester and I’m finding myself with a slight tear in my eye, but a definite rumble in my belly. If it’s OK with you, I say we skip the crying about the friendships we’ve built through this biweekly column and instead focus on the beauty of my favorite time of year.

We’re officially in over-eating season. It starts to come out a little during Halloween with the insane candy binges, but things really pick up at the official kick off holiday of Thanksgiving. From then on, we are plunged into a beautiful world of socially acceptable gorging. Any other time of the year, if I choose to eat cookies for all three meals of my day–plus snacks–people might consider it “unhealthy” or “indulgent.”

But if I choose to take part in this behavior between the last Thursday in November to Jan. 1 –I’m just being festive. As soon as the holiday season rolls around all the haterade people are normally sipping on is zapped up and hidden away in the pointy tops of Santa hats. I highly suggest maximizing this golden window of time and seriously get your grub on before people start talking about New Year’s resolutions.

My recommendation is to eat as many cookies as possible. Baking your own batch is essentially like making yourself meals for the next three days. You’re an adult and if you choose to live on a steady diet of Christmas cookies, I say more power to you. But if baking isn’t your bag, or your inner cookie monster is demanding “me want cookies now,” you can always hit up Insomnia Cookies. The soft and warm little discs of goodness cost $1.25 a pop, with special deals for larger orders.

If you’re in Center City, you could also hit up the Famous Fourth Street Cookie Company. Located right inside the 12th and Filbert streets entrance of Reading Terminal Market, Fourth Street features all the classics as well as a few chocolate-dipped numbers.

And if you’re completely strapped for cash but still want in on the cookie action, I’ll let you in on a secret. Again, this is totally top secret–or as top secret as it can be when published in a university newspaper–but the Double Tree Hotel has a policy of handing out cookies when guests check in: warm, delicious cookies with hunks of chocolate and something nutty on top.

That same policy dictates that they have to give you a cookie if you ask for it. So even if you come in off the street and ask politely for a cookie, they have to give it to you. Again, be nice, and it wouldn’t kill you to maybe act like you’re staying at the place. I’ve tried this a few times with total success so if you’re near the Avenue of the Arts it’s definitely worth a shot.

If you give a man a cookie, he eats for one snack time. But if you teach a man to make cookies, he can gorge on them freely to his heart’s content for the rest of his days. If you wish to be the second man in that scenario, check out the “Oh, You Bake?” classes taught by former Jose Garces pastry chef, Adriane Appleby. Sign up for single classes or full semesters and learn the ins and outs of cookies, pies, cupcakes and more. Prices for a single three-hour class start at $50, all supplies are included, and you get to take what you make home.  For more information, check out addymaes.com.

And if you should–heaven forbid–find yourself growing tired of cookies, consider consuming them in new ways. Slap some pumpkin ice cream between two snickerdoodles. Drop a chocolate chip cookie in your hot chocolate and eat that melty mess with a spoon. Dump the crumbs from all your leftovers into a bowl with some milk and call it homemade Cookie Crisp. Don’t be a fool and waste this glorious season snacking on salads. Get your cookie on –it’s what Santa would want.

Caitlin Weigel can be reached at caitlin.weigel@temple.edu.

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