The name cookie comes from the Dutch word koekje. The British call them biscuits, originating from the Latin bis coctum (appears somewhat risque) and translates into”twice baked.” Food historians appear to agree that biscuits, or small cakes, were first utilized to check the temperature of an oven. A small spoonful of batter was dropped on a skillet and place into the hearth oven. If it came out properly, the heat was ready for the whole cake or bread. Bakers and cooks employed this method for centuries, usually tossing out the evaluation cake, until they figured out they may be missing something.
Alexander the Great’s army took a crude sort of cookie in their many attempts, gobbling them as a speedy pick-me-up after trouncing and pillaging cities within their own path, around the year 327 BC. As they became adopted by much of Europe, there are many documents referring to what’s currently our contemporary biscuits (but no Oreos). Persians (now Iranians) cultivated sugar and began creating hamburgers and cookie-type sweets. The Chinese, always hoping to be first to the party, used honey and baked cakes that were smallish over an open fire in pots and little ovens. From the sixteenth century they created the cookie cookie, sometimes substituting abundant walnuts. Asian immigrants brought these cookies to the New World, and they joined our growing list of popular variations.
From the Middle East and the Mediterranean, this newfound concoction found its way into Spain during the Crusades, and since the spice trade improved, because of explorers like Marco Polo, fresh and flavorful versions developed jointly with fresh baking procedures. When it hit France, well, we understand how French bakers loved sandwiches and desserts. Cookies were added to their growing repertoire, and from the end of the 14th century, an individual could purchase small stuffed wafers across the streets of Paris. Recipes started to look in Renaissance cookbooks. Most were simple creations made out of butter or lard, honey or molasses, occasionally adding nuts and raisins. But when it comes to food, easy isn’t in the French language, so their nice pastry chefs raised the bar with Madeleines, macaroons, piroulines and meringue topping the list.
Biscuits (really hardtack) became the perfect traveling food, since they remained clean for extended periods. For centuries, a”ship’s biscuit,” that some described as an iron-like feel, was aboard any boat that left port since it might last for the entire voyage. (Hopefully you’d powerful teeth which would also last.)
It was only natural that ancient English, Scottish and Dutch immigrants brought the first cookies to America. Our simple butter cookies strongly resemble British teacakes and Scottish shortbread. Colonial housewives took great pride in their own biscuits, which have been called”basic cakes” In the end, the Brits were enjoying afternoon tea with cakes and biscuits for centuries. From the early American cookbooks, cookies were relegated into the cake section and were called Plunkets, Jumbles and Cry Babies. All three were your basic sugar or molasses cookies, but nobody seems to know where these names originated. Definitely not to be left out of this combination, foodie president Thomas Jefferson served no lack of biscuits and tea cakes to his guests, both in Monticello and the White House. Although more of an ice cream and pudding fan himself, he enjoyed treating and impressing his guests with a huge array of sweets. Later presidents counted cookies as their favorite desserts, among them Teddy Roosevelt, who loved Fat Rascals (could I make that up?) Notwithstanding their odd names, these two early recipes are fundamental molasses drop cookies, with candied fruits, nuts and raisins. They’re still around, we just don’t call them anymore.
Brownies came about in a rather unusual manner. In 1897, the Sears, Roebuck catalog sold the first brownie mix, introducing Americans to one of the favourite bar cookies. Even though many cooks still baked their own candies, they adapted the recipe with variations of nuts and flavorings.The twentieth century gave way to whoopie pies, Oreos, snickerdoodles, butter, Toll House, gingersnaps, Fig Newtons, shortbread, and countless others.
Americans buy over $7.2 billion worth of biscuits yearly, which obviously indicates a Cookie Monster nation. According to Best Ever Cookie Collection, here is how the top commercial brands stack up: