Who doesn't like a good cookie? They're a crowd-pleaser and go great with a cup of coffee or tea. We thought it would be fascinating to look back at the history of cookies and highlight the origins of a few of our favourites.
The Cookie's Background
The seventh century A.D.
The origins of the cookie may be traced back to the production of sugar in Persia in the 7th century. The extremely affluent Persian kingdom was well-known for its lavish cookies and sweets. Sugar expanded throughout the Mediterranean and subsequently to Northern Europe during the Crusades and the growth of the spice trade. Persia's culinary skills and recipes expanded throughout the world as the usage and availability of sugar increased.
The fourteenth century
Tea cookies became highly popular in Europe throughout the 16th and 17th centuries. These butter biscuits were similar to today's shortbread cookies, except they included less sugar. They weren't as sweet as a conventional cookie would be. Rather, they were richer and butterier. The Dutch took koeckjes (their form of this cake, which was subsequently Americanized to be spelled cookie) with them when they immigrated to America. The first time a cookie was mentioned in America was in 1703, when it was served at a funeral in New York by the Dutch.
The fifteenth century
Tea cookies became highly popular in Europe throughout the 16th and 17th centuries. These butter biscuits were similar to today's shortbread cookies, except they included less sugar. They weren't as sweet as a conventional cookie would be. Rather, they were richer and butterier. The Dutch took koeckjes (their form of this cake, which was subsequently Americanized to be spelled cookie) with them when they immigrated to America.
Ruth Wakefield, who owned the Toll House Restaurant in Massachusetts, is credited with inventing the chocolate chip cookie. The rights to the recipe trademark were eventually acquired to Nestle.
Jam Cookies: The jam-filled cookies were made feasible by inventor James Henry Mitchell, who created the duplex dough-sheeting machinery and funnels.
Fortune Cookies: In Los Angeles, cookies with a fortune written on the inside were initially distributed to the homeless with words of encouragement and hope. The Hong Kong Noodle Company was established with the goal of mass production.
The Lotus Fortune Cookie Company in San Francisco was eventually able to develop equipment that could fold cookies in half the time as technology advanced. It's unclear when fortune cookies originally appeared in America.
Ladyfinger cookies or cookies are oval-shaped cookies or cookies that originated in France in the 1100s and are now famous worldwide. The recipe hasn't altered much since then, and Specialty Bakers in Pennsylvania produces the vast majority of them in the United States.
Peanut Butter Cookies: In the early 1930s, Mary Ellis Ames, Director of the Pillsbury Cooking Service, published Pillsbury's Balanced Recipes, which includes a recipe for Peanut Butter Balls. Rolling the dough into balls and crisscrossing the cookie with a fork are two of the instructions.
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