C is for Cookie
The incredible, edible cookie! The month of October is dedicated to this favorite sweet treat. “There is a very strong emotional link for so many people which is why cookies are a comfort food,” says Brette Sember, author of Cookie: A Love Story: Fun Facts, Delicious Stories, Fascinating History, Tasty Recipes, and More About Our Most Beloved Treat. “They are a true American food – the modern concept of them was born here and is an expression of American ingenuity.” Sember tells us that the fortune cookie originated not from China. They are an American creation (read the story in her book). We make cookies to feel good.
Sember says that settlers survived on hardtack biscuits aboard ships. “Jumbles were probably the earliest identifiable cookie made in America – there’s a written recipe from 1585 for these cookies that were shaped then boiled and then eventually years later they were baked.” The word cookie comes from a Dutch word (koekje) which means small cake. “Most countries don’t use the word cookie at all. Biscuit is a better known word, spread by the British empire.”
Baked with Care
Despite the warning, many of us eat raw cookie dough anyway (pre-teen and teen-aged females make up the majority of this group). Has anyone really died from eating the raw cookie dough? “There was an outbreak of E. coli in Nestle Tollhouse refrigerated cookie dough in 2009.” says Sember, adding that female teens and pre-teens make up the majority of dough-eaters. “However, it’s just not a good idea to eat a lot of it. The eggs and the flour are both of concern. Specialty restaurants/chains serve just cookie dough, safely made so you can eat it raw.
Spend the next thirty days trying out some new cookie recipes, including this one for three-ingredient cookies. And, because this is a blog about saving and spending, we have to share this awesome post by SeedTime, comparing budgets to cookies. A few weeks ago, I lost my train of thought while making a batch of cookies and added too little flour to the mixture. The resulting cookie came out of the oven looking more like those fancy French Lace cookies my mom used to make for the holidays – except with chocolate chips. Flat and chewy, they rated a 3 on the flavor scale. The right balance of ingredients, whether in a budget or a cookie, is important.
Fun Facts About Cookies:
- The world’s largest cookie weighed 40,000 pounds. The Immaculate Cooking Company in North Carolina baked it in 2003.
- Americans eat 6.5 million pounds of manufactured cookies PER DAY, Sember says. “That’s about 12 lbs per person per year and 35,000 cookies per person in a lifetime.”
- The world’s most expensive biscuit was probably the one that was bought at auction in 2015. A passenger on the Carpathia, the vessel that saved some passengers of the Titanic, saved the tin of biscuits. It sold to a collector for $23,000
- 92.5% of American households eat cookies. We feel sorry for the remaining 7.5%.
- The animal cracker was the first commercial cookie in the U.S., debuting in 1902.
- The Oreo cookie takes the prize for the favorite commercial cookie in the Unites States. Chocolate chip cookies are the homemade favorite.
Feature photo of cookies by Erol Ahmed on Unsplash