Monday, November 08, 2010

A Cookie by Any Other Name Is a ...Biscuit, Galletas, Keks, Biscotti, Amaretti and More!

Allie asked us, "why do they call these cookies?"

And we didn't know.

Now, we do!

Cookies are defined as any hand held flour based cake and each country has its own name for them!

England and Australia call them biscuits.  Italy calls them biscotti or amaretti.  Spain - Galletas, Germans - keks or Platzchen.
Cookie is derived from the Dutch word "koekje" meaning small cake.  Biscuit is derived from the Latin "bis coctum" meaning twice baked.
It is believed that small portions of cake batter were made into cookies to test the oven temperature to make sure it was hot enough (or not too hot) for baking cakes.

Cookies originated in what is now Iran, called Persia in the 7th century and spread to the Mediterranean. Paris street vendors sold cookies in the late 1300's.

The Europeans first brought cookies to the US.  Dutch, Scottish and English bakers brought recipes in the 1700's and served cookies as an alternative to "tea time".
With the development of trains across the Unites States, products such as sugars, coconuts and fruits could be readily transported.

Cookies are now classified by recipe type - rolled, drop, refrigerator, bar cookie, molded, pressed.  There are as many varieties as one can imagine.

Cookies are part of our everyday culture - with Cookie Monster, Fortune Cookies, Gluten Free Cookies, cookies mixed into ice cream flavors, even the dough.  Oh - and we can't forget the OREO cookie!

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