I bit into a perfect peanut butter cookie today: with a diameter spanning from the tip of my thumb to pinky, it was light for its 10in^2 surface area as I balanced it gingerly between two fingers. A delicate nibble at the crisp edge yielded brittle brown sugar crystals. Farther in, softer rounded beads of caramel, and even farther in, toothsome stickiness punctuated by rogue pieces of nuts.
For a brief window of time, I forgot myself- the aromas, textures, and tastes built upon each other harmoniously, like a major triad. I thought about cookies (as I tend to do fairly often) and about how eating them has been thoroughly villainized in the past few years. Nowadays, even Cookie Monster says that cookies are a sometimes food, but for me, that's because I am always thinking about what could make them even better.
It is easy to dismiss the simplicity and lowly reputation of the humble cookie, but a perfect balance of sugar, salt, fat, flour, and character can be very difficult to come by. What do you think makes the ideal cookie?