The Amazing History of Cookies!

A little about the where cookies came from and how they came to be…

But first -- before we get into the origin of cookies -- what exactly are cookies?

According to the American Heritage Dictionary:
cook·ie (kððk'ê)
n. pl. cook·ies

A small, usually flat and crisp cake made from sweetened dough.

Have You Ever Wondered About How Cookies Came To Be? Where Did Cookies Come From?

Here are some interesting cookie history trivia for you…

  • According to culinary historians, cookies evolved from test cakes used to test oven temperature. Small amounts of cake batter were dropped onto pans to test the temperature of the oven before the cakes were baked.
  • Cookies are believed to date back to 7th century Persia (one of the first countries to cultivate sugar) and spread throughout Europe as a result of the Muslim conquest of Spain.
  • By the 14th century, cookies were common throughout all of Europe.
  • By the 1800s, cookie recipes were being published in cookbooks as 'small cakes.' In fact, the term 'cookie' comes from the Dutch word koekje or koekie which means little cake!
  • What we call 'cookies' in the United States are called biscuits in the United Kingdom and Australia, galletas in Spain, kels in Germay, and biscotti or amaretti in Italy.

Cookie History in the United States

  • Cookies continued with their journey to America during English and Dutch settlement in the 1600s.
  • Throughout the 19th century, most cookies were baked at home as special treats because of the high cost of sugar. Many early cookbooks included recipes for macaroons, jumbles, and gingerbread. Recipes for cookies in a variety of styles and flavors increased in the early 1900s and continues today.
  • Ninety percent of home bakers bake cookies, making them the most common home baked good. Half of all home baked cookies are chocolate chip.
  • The official state cookie of both Massachusetts and Pennsylvania is the chocolate chip cookie that was invented by Ruth Graves Wakefield in 1930 at the Toll House Inn Restaurant in Massachusetts. Mrs. Wakefield sold the recipe to Nestle, who began manufacturing chocolate chips in 1939.

Beyond the History of Cookies

Types of Cookies

Most cookies are baked until crisp, some until just soft or chewy, while others are not baked at all.

Hundreds of thousands of cookie recipes and variations exist.

Is it wrong to want to try them all?

What's your favorite type of cookie?

Types of cookies are most often categorized by how they are formed. Check out our complete list of cookie types.

Investigate tips and techniques for how to make perfect cookies, depending on your own unique cookie likes and dislikes.

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