The True Cookies
A List from the Fella’s Father



Chocolate Chip Lighter


Almost immediately after posting last Friday’s post, which made a quick reference to the fella’s father’s list of  “true cookies” I began to get comments requesting this list of true cookies.  Right on cue I got a moderately irate message from the fella’s father demanding I print a list of the true cookies in an attempt to keep any holiday mayhem at bay.  A world without knowledge of the true cookies is a world on the brink of disaster apparently.

So …  I have for you right now, at this very moment, the much anticipated “list” of true cookies.  If you aren’t familiar with “the lists of true things”, please refer to the list of true pies from July 7th, 2011.  The following is a verbatim copy of the message sent to me by the fella’s father.  It has not been altered or edited in any way.  All opinions expressed therein are those of the originator of the content.


The List


“There are four true cookies and, from Hallowe’en until New Year’s, one honourary true cookie. All other cookies are faux, jumped-up pretend confections not worthy of the name cookie.

The List:

#1.  A two-piece white sugar cookie with a hole in the top so you can see the red filling. Filling can be raspberry jam from the E.D. Smith Co. of Winona, Ontario OR Smuckers crabapple jelly. Icing sugar on top allowed but not mandatory.

#2.  Chocolate chip. Must be real chocolate.

#3.  Peanut butter: with fork marks on top

#4.  Oatmeal raisin.

Honourary:  Ginger bread people, must be anatomically correct.

Shortbreads are pretentious, look-at-me-I’m-a-shortbread, for snooty people. Rumballs are NOT true cookies. They’re not even cookies. They are lumps of dough infused with cheap liquor.

At Christmas you may feel an urge to make Christmas cookies in the shape of stars, bells and evergreen trees. Resist that urge.
The Nanaimo bar is a worthy confection but IT IS NOT A COOKIE. It is one of the true squares.
Would you build your own car? No. It’s too complicated. For the same reason do NOT attempt to bake anything with marshmallow and coconut and pass the result off as cookies. Let Christies do it. They have factories for that sort of thing.”


And there you have it.  The reason behind why the fella is the way he is.  And proof the apple pie doesn’t fall far from the tree.


  1. mimiindublin says:

    This has the makings of a wonderful series, maybe even some movies!!
    Say “ta” to The Fella’s Father!

  2. coyote says:

    Ma’am, my Great Aunt Mary Coyote would have a word (or six) to interject, regarding the absence of her trademark ginger snaps from that allegedly complete list of alleged true cookies…

  3. Amy in StL says:

    I have to mostly agree with this one. Although, like Lisa, I think that a sugar cookie is a true cookie and the ones with a jam window are simply a tarted up version of that cookie.

  4. Another Karen says:

    I had to search out the Nanaimo bar. Wow — they sound incredibly rich, holiday perfect, and I’m going to be making this delightful *square* treat!

    And I love the idea of anatomically correct Gingerbread cookies. I just hope Santa won’t be offended…

  5. Hello you Fanciful One!
    It was just few days and moments ago that I found your blog ( sads that it took me so long in life ) and now that I´ve read thorugh every. Single. Post ( I actually have a life, well almost, but I have a mental PhD in procrastination ) I must tell that you made me stay up for the majority of the night, messing with my bookshelves. It was invigorating, in the loss of other stuffs invigorationg that would be preferable in the midst of darkest hours. As a result, I have a plan for my foyer readily, I now only must wait for the demolition to stop and the animals to repaire what they´ve torn.

    Being allergic to almost anything I can not comment on the topic of True Cookies. But I can comment that I adore both your Fella and his Father person. They sound highly entertaining.

    Oh, and I absolutely needed to link your blog and home featured on the glossy magazine, to my blog. Because good deeds are meant for paying forward. Such as treetrunk tables and fluffy kitties and frozen youghurt tampons. Thogh I still shiver at the notion of ” frozen “… that just sounds so beastly and… cold.

  6. Shauna says:

    I’m no baker, and I certainly don’t want to get the Fella’s Father in a rumple, but I’m pretty sure that the number 1 cookie (which is my favorite btw) is quite often made as a shortbread/jam cookie. The components of a shortbread/jam cookie are similar to a sugar/jam cookie and I would venture to bet he couldn’t taste the difference. Although the shortbread ones usually have more butter and thus are better.
    Here are some more differences:

    Okay, let me have it – I’m ducked and covered;)

  7. Elen says:

    I’m sorry. That would have to be The True Cookie Knockoffs. Bwahaaha.

  8. Ellen says:

    I LOVE the fella’s father…… I know I worked with his clones… I disagree on #1, tho it is wonderful, & how can he leave out ginger snaps & shortbread?? Both have histories way older than he is!
    Anytime you’re too sick or tired to write, get the F’s F to write your blog…. he has a cult following now!!

  9. Nancy says:

    Yes Karen..we now have greater insight as to how the fella got the way he must have nerves of steel my dear..LOL

  10. Elen says:

    Love the true cookie list by The Fella’s Dad. Maybe we could call the others Cookie Knockoffs. That seems right.

    Every time we pass through Winona, we say Winoooonaaa. It’s a thing. You can smell the jam oozing out of E.D. Smith!

  11. Jen says:

    I haven’t chimed in to tell you how great the reports from the Fella and the Fella’s father are. Excellent, sometimes-embarrassing-to-read-in-public because-you-snort, posts.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Jen! I’d say “I’ll pass it on”, but they both read every post I write and every comment that goes along with those posts. I suspect it’s in the hopes of seeing a mention of themselves. ~ karen

  12. BGrigg says:

    Is this guy missing a finger on his counting hand, by any chance? What’s with him and the number 4, anyway? ;)

    He’s missed ginger-molasses, and my Scots heritage is outraged at having shortbread called pretentious. It’s butter and flour, fer cryin’ out loud! Getting a white chocolate, macadamia, granola cookie and a cup of no whip soy latte is pretentious. Shortbread is made by grandmothers who smell like cinnamon, and means love in any language.

    I await his list of True Squares with trepidation. That is, if he comes out of his sulk. :D

  13. Jonalynn says:

    Love it, but I too wonder about the sugar/butter cookie. How can that not be a “true cookie”? It’s the basic dough of all the others.

  14. The Fella's Dad says:

    Hershey kisses in a true cookie? NO
    Soft or crunchy? Crunchy. Duh!
    Cute names for cookies like jammy dodgers, snickerdoodles and cranberry hootycreeks? Just kill me now!
    I may go into a sulk and keep the list of true squares to myself.

  15. Lisa says:

    I kind of agree, but I think the basic sugar cookie should be #1, and the jelly filled kind is kind of a tarted up version.


  16. Tricia Rose says:

    I am so sad – shortbread is the quintessential Scottish biscuit = cookie for New Year/Hogmany! Cooked with a little rice flour my mum says, to give bite.

  17. Bobbi says:

    ok…did i miss the 4 soups….panic setting in……

  18. Jane says:

    The F’sF missed molasses. Was that forgetfulness on his part or a mighty great error in judgement? {casting doubt on his other ‘true’ lists}

  19. Jen says:

    The mind boggles at anatomically correct gingerbread people. Are gingerbread fig leaves an acceptable accessory?

  20. And let’s not forget the 4 true soups!

  21. Melissa says:

    Your fella’s dad and my father-in-law would be fast friends! Love the moratorium on all other cookie imposters — it certainly makes life easier, eh? LOL

  22. Amy says:

    The fella’s father is absolutely correct – rumballs aren’t cookies. They don’t even count as lumps of dough (I was gonna say balls but that doesn’t sound quite right). As a born and raised girl from Kentucky the only true and correct version are, of course, BOURBON balls and they must be made with a true Kentucky bourbon as well – no whiskey allowed.

  23. This is huh-larious!! I love his lists! Especially the last paragraph…”Would you build your own car?”

    You may need to start a series on all of his lists. They’re awesome.

  24. Christina says:

    Agree with Caro. What are the true squares and cakes? I’m going to guess that cupcakes are not true cakes. Does the ‘list of true things’ only apply to baked goods? What about cocktails and men?
    Maybe the fella’s father needs his own blog.

    • Ginny says:

      “Maybe the fella’s father needs his own blog.” I think that is an fantastic idea! Or maybe give him a weekly bit on your site.

  25. Elise says:

    True squares?! I see another list coming…

  26. redz says:

    While I tend to agree (to a point) with the Fella’s Father’s list, my question is: crunchy or soft? Personally I think soft chocolate chip cookies are better than crunchy (actually *gooey* is a better term!).

    Also, for years my mom has made those fabulous peanut butter Kiss cookies–peanut butter (soft, mind you)–with no fork marks, but with a big Hershey’s kiss smack dab in the middle.

    Do those count? Or are they considered some type of foo-foo, cross-pollinated, wannabe cookie?

    p.s. i also agree with FF that chocolate chip cookies should *never* contain nuts!

  27. Laura says:

    I’m not sure about the Empire cookie over shortbread, but I’ll agree on all the others & the nut clause.

  28. Leann says:

    I would surmise by your photos that you are young enough to be my daughter (either that, or I want the recipe of the muck you smear on your face every night to iron out the wrinkles and seduce Fella.) That would make Fella’s Father MY age. Well, I can’t argue with the list, but the filling? I beg to differ – No, I DEMAND to differ!! It’s raisin filling… anyone with a sense of cookie pride and tradition would KNOW that! Men…

  29. latenac says:

    It’s nice that he agrees with the Doctor from Doctor Who he seems to like his jammy dodgers as well. I agree with the whole list except I love shortbread. I love crunchy, surgary, buttery cookies. I’m surprised he didn’t have an opinion about the texture of chocolate chip cookies ie soft vs. crunchy but maybe that’s an American thing.

  30. marilyn says:

    i am so with him on the rumballs. ugh , ugh and ugh! even the name is ugh! who wants to eat a cookie with balls in the name? gross!

  31. Dana Niemeier says:

    The Fella’s Dad is a Rip!! Is he available for parties and/or holidays in Florida?

  32. Jazzy says:

    Thanks for cracking me up over my morning coffee every day ;-)

  33. Susan says:

    Ha! Our favourites in the store were exactly the same as Daddy’s! The first one being the best Belgian you’ve ever tasted! But he obviously has never tasted my ginger…sofas! They are snappy but soft! The best! Keep true! Looking forward to more!

  34. BTLover2 says:

    Are we sure that this is the fella’s dad and not his brother?? You know that sort of thing happens… “Let’s tell the kid his mom is his sister and we’ll raise him as our son.” Anyway, I’m glad my wagon has been straightened. I had a whole list of “cookies” that were apparently masquerading as cookies.

  35. Well, to us British there is only one true cookie: chocolate chip. Everything else is a biscuit. So put that in your pipe and smoke it, fella’s father.

  36. Brenda says: Aunties and my Mom would be having a go with him..scotch cookies are a standard with them at Christmas….can’t wait to tell them the true list just to get the gals all stirred up !

  37. Janet says:

    Hi Karen,
    But it is the recipes we need to make these true cookies, Every peanut butter cookie recipe I have tried is just not like my grandma’s. Of course she never used a recipe.
    Do you have an amazing peanut butter cookie recipe?

    Have a fun day


  38. Cowlady/Angela says:

    That’s a pretty good list! I love #1’s – I think they are called linzer tortes or something like that. All I know is they are yummy!
    Now – here’s the 3 ingredient World’s Easiest Peanut Butter Cookie recipe:
    1 c peanut butter – creamy or chunky
    1 c sugar
    1 egg
    Mix together. You can flatten with a fork (fella’s father should approve!).
    Bake at 350f for 10-12 minutes until they start to brown.
    Since there isn’t any flour, warm cookies will crumble so wait for them to cool.
    This makes about 20 cookies, depending on how large you make them.
    You can also experiment – add chocolate or butterscotch chips, nuts, vanilla. Be creative!
    All I ask from anyone who tries this recipe is to say a prayer. This recipe was in a fundraiser cookbook for a nurse who was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her co workers came up with the cookbook to help her with bills. Sadly, the nurse did not make it. I always say a prayer for her when I make this & hope she’s looking down, smiling.

  39. Bev says:

    for once, the father of the fellow and I agree

  40. Leslie says:

    Why are all things “true” baked goods?

    • Karen says:

      Leslie – You make an excellent point. But if memory serves me correctly … there is also a list of “true soups”. Although you’re right. Some of them might be baked. ~ karen!

  41. Rainbowcreek says:

    Oh Caro, now I am on edge waiting for when the “true cakes” will be announced. Do you think Coconut will make the cut with white, yellow and chocolate? Now I believe I am not a true cookie person at all. My favorite cookie is a simple soft frosted sugar cookie, no fruity jelly in there please. I dislike raisins and prefer oatmeal chocolate chip. I plant a Hershey’s Kiss in the center of my peanut butter blossoms. I do love the Ghirardelli chocolate chip cookie recipe and make it straight up most times but I only eat them when I add pecans. Gingersnap cookies are good for making cheesecake crusts, my Grandma’s Big Soft Ginger cookies with a single cinnamon imperial in the center are the only acceptable ginger cookies for the holidays here.

  42. Kate says:

    I love the fella’s father for his nod to anatomically correct gingerbread men. I used to go to London a lot on business, and at one high falutin’ sweetshop I patronized, it being near my hotel, I found one, dreadful December day when I dropped by said establishment, that they were selling ARMLESS gingerbread men.

    What, in all that’s holy, was that about? What’s wrong with those London bakers?? You just gotta be concerned about a nation that would treat gingerbread men like that.

    Jeez, this brings back SUCH bad memories. I was totally shaken, gingerbread, and gingerbread men lover that I am. That happened 15 years ago, and the memory of it still gives me the heebie jeebies.

  43. Caro says:

    But what are the true squares?
    And is there such a thing as true cakes?
    I need the answers!

  44. Marti says:

    Wow, the commenter ahead of me has the BEST username ever, doesn’t she? WOW.

    This was hilarious. You have all kinds of fun at his family stuff and yours, it’s clear.

    • Karen says:

      LOL. I didn’t even notice it until you pointed it out. Yup. Good username. And yes. Gatherings, if not refined, are always fun. ~ karen

  45. itchbay says:

    So I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t like my gang’s Christmas cookies. Every year a dear friend has a Dipsomaniac’s Holiday Cookie Party, where she bakes about 5 dozen sugar cookies in traditional Christmas shapes, which my team promptly cuts and decorates in very non-traditional themes. Last year, we even had a gingerbread house that turned into the abandoned house where all the zombie Santas hung out during the daytime.

    • Nicole2 says:

      Lol, love it. This reminds me of my friend, who goes to a marzipan party every year around Christmas. They’re supposed to make holiday shapes, but as you can imagine, they always turn into something obscene…

  46. Claudine says:

    I am in complete agreement with the four True Cookies selection. I do insist that my own Black Cat Jam raspberry and raspberry peach are acceptable as filling in cookie number 1.
    Does he have any guidelines as to the inclusion of nuts in True Cookie number 2?
    And how anatomically correct do Gingerbread People cookies have to be?

    I love the True lists. Thanks Karen. Please pass on thanks, as I know I can get through the holidays without faux cookies hanging over my head.

    • Karen says:

      Claudine – I’ll let the fella’s father reply for himself, but I can tell you right here and now NO nuts would be allowed in a Chocolate Chip cookie. That would make it a chocolate chip/nut cookie which is NOT a true cookie, but rather a churched up, pretentious impostor of a classic that shouldn’t be tampered with. The only nuts allowed are the peanuts found in peanut butter cookies. At least that’s what I think he’ll say. ~ karen

      • Nicole2 says:

        And technically, peanuts are not nuts, they are from the lentil family. So, no nuts. And I agree. Some people (namely my mother-in-law) insist on putting nuts in everything. Everything. And she doesn’t believe in anything chocolate either. I must have mentioned that I loved chocolate and hated nuts early on in our relationship. She has issues. What can I say. Thank you for letting me vent. What were we talking about? Ah yes, true cookies.

  47. Jamieson says:

    I am going to score myself a 2.5 correct out of 4+1. Yay me!

  48. Nicole says:

    may I just add that no form of Whoopie Pie is a cookie and grocery stores/cook books really need to stop calling them so.

  49. Kate says:

    TeeHee this is delightfully hilarious, and to be quite honest I tend to agree with the Fella’s Father — especially on the #1 cookie!

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