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Sweet stress busters: Holiday cookies deliver more than taste

Debbie Arrington, The Sacramento Bee on

Published in Entertaining

You look like you need a cookie.

Nothing quite buoys our spirits like a sweet little treat. During the holiday season, we like to give cookies almost as much as we like to munch, spreading some edible cheer. According to a study by OnePoll.com, three out of every four Americans would consider giving cookies as a holiday gift. And even more expect to eat some.

Why? Besides the obvious appeal to our national sweet tooth, cookies pack some emotional extras, triggering fond memories and feelings of well being. Nearly four out of five Americans say a good cookie definitely can make them feel happy. According to the same study, almost two-thirds of adults associate cookies with a sense of comfort; even more say that a good cookie is an automatic mood lifter. One out of every three people say a cookie break helps them relax.

Doesn’t that sound like a good excuse for a cookie right now?

The holiday baking season gives us more proof that we are a cookie nation. Less than 1 percent of Americans say they don’t like cookies. What other gift ideas have that kind of baked-in appeal?

Be it basic chocolate chip or delicate macaroons, cookies rank as our favorite quick dessert or snack. An average American will consume roughly 19,000 cookies in adulthood. That’s about a cookie a day from age 18 to 70.

 

And if you guessed that cookie consumption tends to peak in December, grab another snickerdoodle. That combination of gifting and needed stress relief puts us in a serious baking mode for something that brings smiles.

Looking for some fresh ideas for your cookie tray? Here are a selection of old and new favorites, compiled by The Washington Post for its 13th annual holiday cookie collection.

So, what are you waiting for? Preheat that oven and make someone happy – starting with you.

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