Bury a Cookie to Create Delight

There are two reasons I hadn’t yet tried a waffle from the Wafels & Dinges truck parked at Lincoln Center:

1. I’m not supposed to eat gluten.
2. There’s always a long line.

A few days ago, it was rainy and just generally ick, leading to absolutely no waffle line, leading to reason #1 for my waffle-abstinence to appear far less important.

The verdict: these Belgian beauties are delectable, but more exciting still – it turns out Wafel & Dinges is the perfect specimen of a surprising business. They have thoroughly mastered the art of Burying the Cookie: hiding small, unexpected delights where you least expect them:

  • Their drinks cone in two sizes: “small” and “extra medium.”
  • All drinks come with a free spekuloos cookie with this text on the wrapper: “royal ordinance ccxxix: cups of the koffie served within our Belgian territories shall be served only with de spekuloos cookie as accompaniment to said beverage.”
  • Waffles come in a waffle-measuring container designed to tell you whether you should consider sharing your treat or hoarding it all.
  • They have a ridiculous disclaimer.
  • The guy who makes the waffles is playful, passionate, and takes his time to give you personalized flavor recommendations.
  • They accept credit cards (even though they are a food truck).

Basically, I didn’t just have a waffle or even a wafel, I had a thoroughly delightful experience that became a meaningful moment in my otherwise rushed and rainy day.

So where can you Bury a Cookie to create delight? 

Include a GIF in an email? Add a joke to your boring terms of use page? Come up with a fun way to answer the phone? Add a literal cookie to your packaging? If you have an idea or have spotted a Buried Cookie please tell me about it!

Until then. Happy snacking.



  1. Steve Nelson

    My friend Gary Peare, a branding and marketing guru, often asked “what’s the peanut?” in a project, referring to Squirrel peanut butter. Squirrel was a Canadian brand that used to contain one whole peanut on the top of the peanut butter when the jar was first opened. It was an unexpected small bonus, but was probably noticed when Squirrel was rebranded as Skippy and the peanut went away. Whether it’s “What’s the buried cookie?” or “What’s the peanut?” – questions always worth asking!(Bonus word of the day: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagniappe )

    • LOVE the peanut. I may change my cookie expression. Also can’t believe that word exists AND that you left it in the comment as a kind of meta lagniappe.

    • This sorta reminds me of a tradition my son and I have. The local Logan’s Roadhouse has a bucket of peanuts on each table that patrons can shell and eat, and throw the shells on the floor. I always bring two fine-tipped sharpies with us when we go there, and my boy and I draw and write messages on the peanuts, and then bury them back down in the bucket for others to find. We make sure everything is “family friendly”…you never know if Grandma or a kid is going to get the peanut. It’s our thing. :-)

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