Home baking is still the best, say Americans

The chocolate chip cookie remains America's runaway favorite cookie in spite of all the new nuts and sweet chunks being mixed into cookie batter at designer and gourmet cookie shops across the United States. Chocolate chips were the choice cookie by 70.2 percent of people questioned in a survey by the Nestl'e company. Oatmeal (14.9 percent) and peanut butter (5.1 percent) followed.

``The survey had some interesting surprises for us,'' said Jeanne Murphy, supervisor of the Nestl'e Test Kitchens, ``but it also supported some long-held beliefs. We found that while many people have less time to bake today than ever before, almost everyone equates home baking with quality. When we asked if home baking was worth the time and effort it takes to bake, a full 81.9 percent said that it was.''

Also among the Nestl'e survey were the following findings:

Chocolate cake was the favorite cake, according to 38.6 percent of those surveyed, followed by cheesecake (27.9 percent) and pound cake (10.2 percent.) It's still American to like apple pie, the favorite pie cited by 32.1 percent. Chocolate cream was next (14.4 percent), and lemon meringue followed (11.6 percent).

More than 88 of those questioned think home-baked products are always or usually better than store bought.

``Pigging out'' remains a national pastime.

When asked the most cookies eaten in one sitting, a remarkable 13.5 percent said 20 or more and an additional 29.8 percent said 10 or more.

When asked how many chocolate morsels should be in a one-inch cookie, 51.6 percent said 6 to 10. Some 18.6 percent said 11 to 15, and 12.1 percent said 20 or more.

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