National Cookie Day
National Cookie Day is December 4 so get ready to refill your cookie jar. Maybe you prefer your cookies to have a crunchy snap, or maybe you’d rather bite into soft and chewy sugary heaven. Either way, eating cookies brings us happiness, and we should all do it more often. Just don’t tell your doctor.
HISTORY OF NATIONAL COOKIE DAY
n America, a cookie is described as a thin, sweet, small cake. By definition, a cookie can be a variety of hand-held, flour-based sweet cakes, either crisp or soft. Each country has its own word for “cookie.” In England and Australia they’re referred to as biscuits, in Spain they’re galletas. Germans call them keks and in Italy they have several names to identify the various forms of cookie. In America, the Dutch word “koekje” was Anglicized to “cookie.” The sweet treat came to America through the Dutch in New Amsterdam in the late 1620s. The earliest reference to cookies in America is in 1703, when the Dutch in New York provided 800 cookies for a funeral.
Hard cookie-like wafers have existed for as long (and maybe even longer) as baking has been documented. However, they were not sweet enough to be considered cookies by modern standards. They appear to have some origins in 7th century CE Persia, shortly after the use of sugar became relatively common in the region. They spread to Europe through the Muslim conquest of Spain. By the 14 century, they were common in all levels of society throughout Europe, from royal cuisine to street vendors.
With global travel becoming widespread at that time, cookies made a natural travel snack, a modernized equivalent of the travel cakes consumed throughout history. One of the most popular early cookies, which traveled especially well and became known on every continent by similar names, was the jumble: a relatively hard cookie made largely from nuts, sweetener, and water.
NATIONAL COOKIE DAY ACTIVITIES
1.Find the best cookie near you
There’s a bakery hiding in your neighborhood with the best darn cookies you’ve never had. Ask some friends, and consult Yelp, to find the best cookie in your neck of the woods.
2.Make a new type of cookie
Many of the most famous cookies (we’re looking at you, chocolate chip) were the result of happy accidents in the kitchen. Try some experimenting on your next batch to see where you land!
3.Have a charity bake-off
If you’re really looking to make this National Cookie Day count, you could get ambitious and host a charity bake-off, donating the funds raised to your favorite charity!
WHY WE LOVE NATIONAL COOKIE DAY
A. Everyone’s got a favorite
Oatmeal? Chocolate chip? Sugar? They can’t all be the best cookie, but any of them could certainly be someone’s favorite. With the vast variety of cookie types across the globe, you’re bound to get ten different answers if you ask ten different people.
B. They’re delicious
Come on — does this one really need elaboration? We’ve all got fond memories, filled with nostalgia, of eating cookies as a youngster. For most of us, that love for cookies never left us.
C. They make it easy to pace yourself
If you bake a massive cake, it’s easy to eat too much. Think about it: even after cutting out a massive slice, there’s still a ton of cake left and it barely looks like you’ve made a dent. With cookies, it’s easier to stop at one (though no one ever does.)
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