Friday evening, a simple online conversation between a couple of friends (Mike, Kelly and I) took a strange turn. We went from a mundane topic like working late to cookies (maybe we were all just hungry?). Anyway, none of us planned it but the next thing we knew the three of us had a short debate with cookie ingredient preferences falling in line with our favorite cookie makers. Mike was absolutely certain that lard makes the best cookies cause that’s how his wife makes them. Kelly & I were firmly in the camp of our mom’s made the best cookies and they used butter so butter must be the ingredient of choice. What ensued… well, I’m still a bit baffled!
I’ve tried to recreate the timeline… it extends across several social media channels and several users. It was totally hysterical at the time and quite frankly, I’m still laughing!
I guess maybe my inquisitive side made me post this “Janice Person is running a poll…. Cookies…. Best ones you’ve had? Did they use lard, crisco or butter? Debate is ready.” to my Facebook status knowing friends and relatives would chime in on cookies. The first to reply was a friend we joke about cooking with and she offered up this “Oreo and i don’t care what they are made with!! They are damn good! LOL.” I explained we meant homemade and said “This started from a debate with a friend who said the best cookies are made with lard… I said unh uh cause my mom never made cookies with lard! Now I’m trying to figure out if it’s a city thing cause mom said she never remembers having lard in her house. You are a good city girl, you’ve never baked your own cookies at all!”
A couple more comments popped up and Mike said “ok, that’s it, lets have a real poll http://bit.ly/dxBzuS.” And from there it was on! Mike started eliciting the support of lard users and I went out with a dairy cry (great timing for National Dairy Month I must add)! Kelly was smart enough to let us fight it out mano y mano.
Dozens of people commented on Facebook pages, replied to tweets etc. It was unbelievable how many people wanted to join me in expressing the love of good butter-based cookies!
My Facebook page drew lots of personal and humorous comments from cookie makers!
- “never touched or seen LARD!! Butter all the way!”
- “My families favorite Chocolate Chip recipe is all butter. And, Milk Chocolate chips but you didn’t ask that :-}”
- “I have never (to my knowledge) had cookies made with lard. However, I make my cookies with butter…real, creamy butter. Best cookie? Could be the chocolate chip, or the oatmeal raisin, or the snickerdoodle, or the pecan ball, or the old fashioned butter…you get the picture!”
- “Mike, it is butter cause it’s better – Yeah, this is Janice’s mom”
- “It’s all about the butter baby! Margarine and crisco are tools of the devil himself whereas god’s glory is shared through nature’s gift of BUTTER!!!”
- ‘Haha…Janice, ya crackin’ me up, chile. Goin’ to the poll. Buttah baby!”
- ‘Butter butter butter. Never heard of a lard cookie, but I have heard of butter cookies.”
- and one of the outliers — “Butter flavored Crisco! THE ONLY WAY to make cookies!”
And the comments are easy to catch that are on the poll page itself! They included:
- “Butter. Sorry pork producers. Mother in law uses lard and she can’t figure out why she likes my cookies better!”
- When a silent force of lard voters emerged out of nowhere “I think somebody’s ‘fattening’ up the lard votes! 😉
- “Butter is the only way to go I like my cookies to have a little crunch to them that way they hold together well in milk. Yum, dairy products!”
- “Baked goods made with lard taste savory to me. So lard would be a good choice for crackers and meat pie crusts. I worship at the altar of Julie Child, so ‘rich creamery butter’ for cookies and pastries for me.”
Mike’s enthusiasm for lard never swayed (despite the rising tide of butter voters, some who professed a preference for lard in pie crusts or other pastries). And he found others to support his cause. I think the first self-professed lard voter may have said it best replying to Mike with “ohmygosh! I use lard and never see it mentioned anywhere – lol, it’s like my dirty little secret!” But there were other supporters as well:
- “I say lard… I rendered my own for the first time this winter. AWESOME! Sounds like it’s healthy…in moderation”
- “Of course, Lard, unless of course you want cookies that are flat and have burnt edges”
- “First, I prefer Lard in most cookies. Second, Mike – Be very, very careful when questioning “momma’s” cookin. Them is fighting words & I’ll have no part of it!”
- “Butter for everything, but Molasses cookies, and those are better if you use lard.” Mike pointed out that this person should clearly vote for lard then. LOL.
There were also some folks out there who gave more info:
My self-identified brother — “Lard is definitely the best for pie crusts and a variety of other things. In fact, I render my own. However, I prefer butter in cookies and cakes. Never Crisco. I try to avoid hydrogenated fats.”
But the best result came from Zach who proclaimed “We’re getting ready to make some cookies with lard so we can make an informed decision on the poll.” He tweeted the results “We tried the cookies tonight. Lard=better texture, butter=better flavor. I’d say both are good.#fencerider.” Later he followed up on Facebook with “The recipe we used actually called for half lard and half butter, so we just made two batches containing 100% of each. We’re also more used to working with butter, so maybe we just need more experience with lard to see (taste) things Mike’s way.”
We characterized it as a cage match, a friendly debate gone wild and all sorts of other things. The reality is it was fun talking about something we all hold dear — things baked fresh in our kitchens. And several of us were motivated to do some baking just thanks to all of the buzz! By Saturday, I had changed my Facebook status to say I was “impressed that the love of cookies supercedes self-interests! It seems not to matter if you have a dairy farm, produce pork or love cotton…. there is a resounding feeling of butter love in my world.”
Still want in? Feel free to share cookie thoughts here in the comments, vote and I highly recommend baking & sharing your favorite cookies with your favorite ingredients no matter which you choose! (Just be sure you vote butter & support National Dairy Month! 🙂 )