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History Lesson: Cookies Were Created by Accident

So are many other great things for which we are grateful, but somehow, we specially thank the cooks who created cookies.

A long time ago, they used a small amount of cake batter to test if the temperature in the oven was right, before baking a larger cake. These little test cakes were called koekje, meaning “little cake” in Dutch. Today, we know those were – cookies.

The idea of making biscuits and cookies goes back to the Romans. One of the cookbooks describes biscuit as a thick paste of fine wheat flour was boiled and spread out on a plate. When it had dried and hardened, it was cut up and then fried until crisp, served with honey and pepper. People needed food that was nutritious, but could be carried on long sea journies. Egyptian sailors started carrying dhourra cake with them, and the Romans had a biscuit called buccellum. Baked hard, it could have been kept without spoiling for years. As long as they kept it dry. For long voyages, biscuits were baked four times and the only way to eat them was to dunk them in brine or coffee.

Biscuits as we know them, were developed in the Middle Ages

The Tudors loved sweet food and ate preserved fruit, gingerbread, and jelly. Also, they loved marzipan and used it to make edible sculptures of animals, castles, and people. Eccles cakes also date from the 18th century. The British embraced them in the 19th century, incorporating them into their daily tea service. The first American cookie was originally brought by the English, Scots, and Dutch immigrants. Those simple “butter cookies” strongly resemble the English tea cakes and the Scotch shortbread. In the early American cookbooks, cookies were listed at the end of the cake chapter. They were called by such names as JumblesPlunkets, and Cry Babies.

Today, that is not the case. Cookies are made with sweet dough or batter, baked in single-sized servings and eaten out-of- hand. They are perfect for snacking or as a dessert. 95.2 percent of U.S. households consume biscuits. They alone, eat over 2 billion cookies per year, or 300 cookies for each person annually.

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