If you’re looking for me on a Monday around lunchtime, you’ll find me in West guzzling down cookies and chasing them with milk (it’s not as unattractive as it sounds). Please note that I only do this in West. Not Redifer, or Pollock, and certainly not Findlay.
I only eat West cookies because, as we all know, West cookies are the best cookies. Or so I thought. Recently, a friend revealed to me that we’ve been fooled. As it turns out, every dining commons at Penn State uses the same cookie dough. There’s no secret ingredient, no dash of something special. Brandon Hendricks, the manager of West Food District, confirmed that the dough for the famous chocolate chip cookies comes from the central Penn State bakery, just like every other cookie on campus.
Is this simply a case of the placebo effect? One person made a big deal about West cookies and we suddenly convinced ourselves they were better than the average cookie? More likely, what we find so delicious is not in the dough itself but in the fact that the cookies are warm and slightly undercooked. Hendricks credits the popularity of West cookies to a dedicated staff. They keep their cookie-baking on a tight schedule in order to constantly turn out fresh batches.
So, don’t be embarrassed if you over-hyped the cookies of Waring commons. We all did. No matter what, there’s still something comforting about a midday milk and cookies combo.