Santa’s Favorite Cookie Rematch, with New Contenders


I was called out by Lisa Barone on my experiment to find out what was Santa’s Favorite Cookie, suggesting that Santa’s favorite cookie was not the Chocolate Chip Cookie, but rather the Sugar Cookie. Of course Lisa didn’t run the test as I suggested (or didn’t publish the results), so I thought I would do a once and for all, end all, experimental study on what is truly Santa’s Favorite Cookie.

The contenders will now include Sugar Cookies, Gingerbread Cookies, and Oatmeal Cookies, as well as the previous contenders, Oreos and Chocolate Chip Cookies. The same experiments will be run. All searches will include plural and singular forms of the cookie name, and the highest result will be used for comparison.

On to the experiments…

Experiment 1: I’m Feeling Lucky Result – Google has a feature called “I’m Feeling Lucky” that takes you immediately to the first site listed in their results. To complete this experiment, I simply typed in “What is Santa’s favorite cookie?” and then the cookie named on that page would gain a point.

Results for Experiment 1: Same outcome here, of course. A recipe for “Santa’s Favorite Cookie”, Original Nestlé Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies.

1 Point for Chocolate Chip Cookies

Experiment 2: Christmas Trend – Google Trends shows the popularity of keywords over time, which helps to see how common a keyword is during the season. For this experiment, the name of the cookies with the most popularity during Christmas time wins.

Results for Experiment 2:

View 2005 Trend
View 2004 Trend

1st place: Sugar Cookies
2nd place: Chocolate Chip Cookies
3rd place: Oatmeal Cookies
4th place: Gingerbread Cookies
5th place: Oreo Cookies

1 Point for Sugar Cookies

Experiment 3: Title Bout – Google has operators that can look for certain features within their database. The “allintitle” search operator shows only results that include the keywords in the title of the page (see the top of your browser). The cookie with the most page results for “santa” and the cookie name in the title wins.

Results for Experiment 3:
Sugar Cookie: 78 results
Chocolate Chip Cookies: 67 results
Gingerbread Cookies: 55 results
Oreo: 38 results
Oatmeal Cookies: 19 results

1 Point for Sugar Cookies

Experiment 4: Link Juice – Links are at the heart of the Internet, and for a link to occur someone had to type it in and put it there. So a link is like a “vote”, and the text that makes up the link (also called anchor text), tells you who (or what) the vote is for. Google has a quick way to search sites based on the link text, using the “allinanchor” search operator. The cookie with the most page results for “santa” and cookie name in the link text wins.

Results for Experiment 4:
Sugar Cookie: 1,430 results
Chocolate Chip Cookie: 1,360 results
Gingerbread Cookie: 1,120 results
Oreo: 1,120 results
Oatmeal Cookie: 1,090 results

1 Point for Sugar Cookies

Experiment 5: Ask the Bloggers – I used Google’s Blog Search to identify which cookie is Santa’s favorite according to the Blogosphere. For this experiment, I searched for “santa’s favorite cookie” along with the cookie name in Google Blog Search.

Results for Experiment 5:
Sugar Cookie: 4,232 results
Chocolate Chip Cookie: 3,014 results
Oreo: 1,287 results
Gingerbread Cookie: 432 results
Oatmeal Cookie: 410 results

1 Point for Sugar Cookies

The New Final Results: Santa’s Favorite Cookie is…

Sugar Cookies!

Sugar cookies wins as Santa’s Favorite Cookie, topping out 4/5 of the experiments in this study. I must admit I am surprised, but sugar cookies definitely wins this one, and I have to hand it to Lisa Barone for questioning my previous study and being right on with her own hypothesis.

My reasoning for leaving the Sugar Cookie out in the first place may have been biased for my own dislike for 95% of all recipes of sugar cookies I have tasted. Too crumbly, too dry, too hard, too much salt, etc. It’s hard to get sugar cookies just the way I like them. I prefer them with frosting anyway. But who really cares what I think, this is about Santa anyway.

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