Thursday, April 10, 2008

No, not even figs...raisins.

Chocolate-covered raisins. I can't decide whether I like them or not. I just ate a whole bag of them (non-branded), and I am no closer to a decision. What do you think? Are they a foul attempt to upgrade raisins, or a ridiculous but necessary ruse to justify the consumption of chocolate?

The husband and I had an argument recently about oatmeal cookies and the desirability of raisins in same. My position is that an oatmeal rasin cookie is basically a breakfast item masquerading as a cookie. A non-bar-shaped granola bar -- boring and never more than forgettable. Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, on the other hand, are a credit to the entire cookie family. Like ordinary chocolate chip cookies (i.e., delicious), but with more texture and personality. And then we have the treat that tries to have it both ways: oatmeal cookies with raisins and chocolate chips. These are an abomination and an insult to the name of cookie. I will eat an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie (or five) any time I'm offered one, and be grateful for the opportunity. I'll eat an oatmeal raisin cookie if I'm looking for something to pair with tea (ugh) or as a breakfast substitute on the go, or if I get to the lunch table late and it's the only thing left on the cookie tray. But don't try to trick me into thinking I'm getting a chocolate-chip cookie and then sneak in some raisins. Because biting into a fleshy, tangy raisin when you're expecting sweet, melty chocolate is enough to ruin the whole dessert experience. Once in a while the kitchen staff at my college dining hall would sneak some raisins into what appeared to be oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and after we got wise to them my friend V. and I used to keep each other informed on the status of the cookie bin. I well remember one dinner when V. picked out an oatmeal chocolate-chip cookie, bit into it, and wailed, "There are raisins in this!" He studied the cookie. "Golden raisins! The most devious of all the raisins!" And so we shook our fists at the dining hall staff and vowed not to be fooled again.

My husband, on the other hand, thinks raisins and chocolate chips are much closer together on the oatmeal cookie toss-in desirability scale, and he has no problem with the heresy of raisins and chocolate chips side-by-side in a single oatmeal cookie. Who's right? And should I stop tormenting myself with the bite-sized confusion of chocolate-covered raisins? Please advise.


The Husband said...

While I do like oatmeal raisin cookies, I certainly never suggested that I liked raisins and chocolate chips together! I don't think I've ever tried it, but it doesn't sound like a terribly appetizing pairing.

I would also point out that there is a big difference between an oatmeal cookie and oatmeal for breakfast - unless you usually pour an entire bowl of sugar into your oatmeal!

Susan Rose, CSJP said...

My cookie taste buds agree with yours.

(Peanut butter chocolate chip cookies are also delicious!)

Katney said...

I thinkk that you should try throwing some butterscotch chips into those oatmeal cookies. Yummmm!

Sarah said...

One of my biggest food pet peeves is finding a raisin in my mouth when I wasn't expecting it. Raisins that have been baked into something are highly offensive to me -- the sticky, squishy, wimpy, semi-fruity tang of them, ugh -- but once or twice a year I will actually choose to eat an oatmeal raisin cookie (during fall or winter months, of course, and only if the raisins look like real raisins, and not like insect pupae). Cinnamon raisin bagels, however, gross me out completely and are to be avoided at all costs. If Eddie Izzard's "Cake or Death?" skit were actually "Cinnamon raisin bagel or Death?", well, now, that would be a choice I hope I never have to make.

Raisins covered in chocolate belong in their own category, as they are neither unpleasantly surprising nor baked to the point of mushification. I find them delicious and satisfing, and would suggest that you try Trader Joe's brand before making your final decision on the matter.

Amy said...

two words: trail mix. Raisins give the chocolate legitimacy. Take a handful of chocolate chips, add some raisins, and your indulgence has just become healthy! Hike-enabling, even!

Mollie said...

So, as you see, the husband remembers this conversation differently (I would say not very clearly). It is possible that he takes this subject a little less seriously than I do.

I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who has given this thought. (Also: does anyone else want cookies right now? Oatmeal peanut-butter chocolate-and-butterscotch-chip cookies?) Sarah, I will have to disagree with you on the bagels -- cinnamon-raisin bagels are my favorite! I had one this morning, in fact. (Certain other kinds of bagels should never present themselves as breakfast foods, in my opinion. But that's a whole other post.) I forgot all about that till you mentioned it, though. Because as often as I eat them, I never think about the fact that I am eating raisins, I guess because I know they're there, and they seem to belong there.

I think that may be the key to successful deployment of raisins in food: You have to be expecting them. You have to consent to their presence. A raisin in your mouth should never be a surprise.

Amy, great call on the trail mix. You are so right. I'm still not sure I want raisins to be *inside* chocolate, but bless them for making M&Ms healthy.

(I accidentally deleted this comment, originally left April 11, when I was getting rid of some spammy stuff. So I'm reposting -- for the record!)