By Heather Brown

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Every Friday, Heather Brown takes a look at some of the burning questions that our viewers have sent. This week, we’re looking at fruitcakes, forks on peanut butter cookies, and hot dog buns.

Rachel from Minneapolis asks: Why do fruitcakes last so long?

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With all of the dried fruits and candied ingredients inside fruitcake, there’s not much water content. Water is necessary for bacteria to grow.

Gramma Linda from Otsego asks: Why do we fork peanut butter cookies?

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It’s one of the ways people can recognize what’s in a cookie before they take a bite. But, beyond that, there’s a practical reason that dates back to the 1930s. Peanut butter can make dough dense and harder to bake through. Putting marks in the cookie flattens and evens it out. It also creates more surface area on the outside to make it extra crispy brown.

Mike from Bloomington wants to know: Why are hot dogs usually 10 a pack and hot dog buns 8?

According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, hot dogs used to be sold in varying quantities in the butcher shop. It wasn’t until the 1940s they were packaged with the 10-pack formula. Hot dog buns, on the other hand, were generally backed in fours in pans that held eight rolls.

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These days, hot dogs and their buns are sold in different quantities, but, for the most part, the tradition stuck.

Heather Brown