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Why are chocolate chip cookies so addictive?

By Lisa Drayer

Published December 5, 2019

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In honor of National Cookie Day, which is celebrated Dec. 4, let's explore what makes chocolate chip cookies universally craved.

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1. Emotional attachment

Eating chocolate chip cookies can be associated with a range of emotions.

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I think a lot of it has to do with the connection to our past, whether it was a grandmother, a mother, a place visited, a summer home or family time. It's also usually the first cookie every child learned how to make.

Kathleen King,

founder of Tate's Bake Shop in New York

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2. Addictive ingredients

Courtesy America's Test Kitchen

Some research suggests that ingredients in chocolate chip cookies may have addictive properties. Evidence shows that sugar and sweetness can induce rewards and cravings comparable in magnitude to those induced by addictive drugs.

Courtesy America's Test Kitchen

3. Texture and flavor are key

The simplest explanation for why chocolate chip cookies are so delectable may have to do with the mix of ingredients.

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Some secrets to making delicious chocolate chip cookies include using butter instead of shortening or margarine; brown sugar, which has a molasses-like quality to it; and pure vanilla, according to King. A high-quality flour and a really good chocolate chip are also important.

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4. Personal preferences

Courtesy America's Test Kitchen

Although there are some universally appealing qualities of chocolate chip cookies that make them so addictive, specific preferences may vary. One person may crave chocolate chip cookies that are soft and gooey, and another may long for crispy, crunchy cookies.

Courtesy America's Test Kitchen

5. A happy indulgence

Whether it feels like a true "addiction" or not, indulging in a chocolate chip cookie or two should be a happy experience.

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