Since we are all on a cookie kick lately, I thought today I would go a bit farther than just giving you a recipe. Instead we are going to revisit an experiment done in 1975
related to, you guessed it, cookies. I am going to start you off with a question; would you rather eat a cookie from a stocked cookie jar or take the last one from the very bottom? Just keep that answer in the back of your mind while I go through the rest of the study.
Ok so in 1975 researchers at both the University of Virginia and the University of North Carolina wanted to investigate the impact of supply and demand on people’s ratings of object value. Their object of choice was cookies (I like these researchers already). They had participants come into the lab and on the table sat a jar of cookies. In it there were either 2 cookies or 10 cookies. After eating the cookies, participants had to rate them on taste, liking (would you eat more of it?), attraction (how attractive is the consumer item?) and cost (how much should the item cost per pound?). In the 2 cookie (scarce) condition, not only did people have higher liking of the cookies, they also found them more attractive and said that they should cost significantly more than in the 10 cookie condition. Oddly enough though, there were no significant differences in taste ratings.
So what is the explanation for these results? Well it ties back to the basic principles of supply and demand. When supply goes down, demand goes up and vice versa. It did not matter that the cookies were identical in taste, the fact that they had the potential to run out in the 2 cookie condition made them more elusive. People want what they cannot have and are willing to pay more for things that are in short supply. What surprises me is that this principle applied to something as simple as chocolate chip cookies. I don’t know about you but personally I would rather eat a cookie from a full cookie jar. Who wants to get the last, mangled, broken cookie at the very bottom? Not to mention, if the jar is still full then it probably means the cookies are more fresh. Clearly these participants were not knowledgeable cookie connoisseurs!
Anyways, just something to think about as you bake (or eat) batch after batch of Christmas cookies this holiday season. If you happen to make a batch that does not turn out so well, just put a couple in an empty cookie jar and hope for the best!
White Chocolate Ginger Cookies
Makes 25-30 small cookies
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup applesauce
2 tbsp. vegetable oil (or other neutral flavoured oil)
1/4 cup molasses
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
50g (1/2 bar) Green and Black’s white chocolate, chopped
about 1/3-1/2 cup turbinado sugar (or as needed)
1. Heat your oven to 350F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a bowl, mix together the brown sugar, egg, applesauce, oil, molasses, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, black pepper and vanilla.
3. Once smooth, stir in the flour, baking soda, salt and chocolate. Mix until the dough sticks together and forms a bowl.
4. Put the turbinado sugar in a separate bowl. Using a cookie scoop, portion out the dough and roll it in the sugar. Place the sugar coated cookie dough on the parchment lined cookie sheets, about 12-15 per.
5. Bake at 350F for about 10 minutes or until golden and cracked.
6. Cool and enjoy your white chocolate ginger cookies!
These cookies can be made vegan by substituting 1 flax egg for the egg in the recipe. To make a flax egg, mix 1 tbsp. ground flax seed with 3 tbsp. of water and allow it to sit for 15 minutes or so to absorb the moisture. Also, you will need to substitute the white chocolate for vegan dark chocolate. Otherwise follow the recipe as is.