Apparently the first “cookies” were little portions of cake batter, which were baked to test the temperature of ovens. These were called “koekje” in Dutch, which translates to “little cake.” Back in the olden days, when sugar was a rare delicacy (7th century), it was traded from it’s originating area in Southeast Asia to 7th century Persia (now Iran). Then it spread to the Mediterranean and Northern Europe. By the 14th century you could buy little wafers (so cookies!) in Paris. Of course it was Paris , I expect nothing less from them in aiding to the creation of cookies. Then by 1596 some basic cookie recipes were making their way into cookbooks, one being the Goode Huswife’s Jewel that contained a recipe for “fine cakes.” These fine cakes were essentially a spiced cookie (cloves and mace, which is like nutmeg), that were made richer with egg yolks.
Jump to 1796, and the first cookbook that actually had a recipe for something by the name of “cookie” came into existence. The book was American Cookery: or, The Art of Dressing Viands, Fish, Poultry and Vegetables, and the Best Modes of Making Puff-pastes, Pies, Tarts, Puddings, Custards and Preserves, and all kinds of Cakes, from the Imperial Plumb to plain Cake. Catchy name. Really rolls off the tongue. (Literally this kinda offended me, like I assumed the name was gonna just be “Huswife” or something again, why would you include literally everything your book talks about in the title l i k e I’m busy I don’t need to read your novel of a title to figure out it’s a cook book, and t h e n read the actual book to find a recipe. I bet the recipe’s are just as wordy. ‘Take the shelled pre-life of a chicken and smash it against the side of a bowl as if it insulted your mother’ ~ crack an egg. It’s just silly man, but I digress). So, this book has too recipes for cookies, one called “Cookie”, and one called “Christmas Cookey” which I assume if you make on any other occasion that is not Christmas, the author of the book will come to your door and punch you in the face. I’m actually going to include one of the recipes, because this cookbook is supposedly the first one written and published by the United States, and the language is really funny to see written down:
“Christmas Cookery – To three pound of flour, fprinkle a tea cup of fine powdered coriander feef, rub in one pound of butter, and one and half pound fugar, diffolve one tea fpoonful of pearlath in a tea cup of milk, kneed all together well, roll three quarter of an inch thick, and cut or ftamp into fhape and fize you pleafe, bake flowly fifteen or twenty minutes; tho’ hard and dry at firft, if put in an earthern pot, and dry cellar, or damp room, they will be finer, fofter and better when fix months old.”
I really like how it seemed they just replaced half of the letters with “f”, most prominently the letter “s.” Gave me a chuckle reading it.
So I guess that’s where I’m ending the history of cookies. Late 1700’s was when the first patented named “cookie” came to be, so that seems like a good place to settle. The main source I used was this website, if you would like to read about the full details. Hope your semester is going well, and if you want to tell me about other fun cookie facts, feel free to comment. I always like cookie facts.