This one is for the cookie makers, and the caterers who make boxed lunches.
Pull the unbaked gobs of sweet dough out of your ears, take a knee and listen up.
Chocolate Chip Cookies.
That’s it. That’s all you need.
Everybody likes them. There’s nobody on the planet who—upon realizing they are about to receive a cookie—becomes disappointed when said cookie turns out to be chocolate chip. That’s what they expect, it’s so synonymous with “cookie” that it doesn’t even need the modifier of “chocolate.”
But I have been a part of many catered lunches in which each person receives a premade boxed lunch. The caterer is kind enough to note what type of sandwich is in each one, so you can pick from a standard variety of Turkey, Roast Beef, Veggie Thing, and Chicken Whatever. When that box is opened up there’s a sandwich, a pickle, a bag of chips sometimes, and a cookie.
So what kind of cookie are we expecting?
NOBODY IS EXPECTING AN OATMEAL COOKIE.
Are there people that like Oatmeal cookies? Of course. Am I one of them? Sometimes. But given a choice, I would always prefer a chocolate cookie, based largely on the fact that chocolate cookies are made with chocolate while oatmeal cookies are made with the shattered hopes of innocent refugee children.
Listen. If you want to open up a cookie shop and sell a wide variety of cookies to people, be my guest. I’ll come and enjoy, and I have a thousand recommendations on ways not to screw up the coveted cookie-ice cream sandwich. But when you do so, be sure to track how many cookies of each type are sold. I think you’ll notice that the majority of people want a chocolate chip cookie. Yes, some will elect to eat oatmeal, which is a good way to identify who to trim from your social media friends. But most want chocolate chip. It is guaranteed to please the most number of people.
So if you’re shoving a cookie into a boxed lunch, go with the cookie that has the greatest chance of success. The standard. The cookie people think of when they hear the word cookie.
Nathan Makaryk is an author and comedian, follow him on Twitter to hear him complain about other stupid things.
His debut historical fiction novel NOTTINGHAM retells the legend of Robin Hood from viewpoints of multiple people on both sides of the conflict. Published by Tor/Forge, available here.