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The International History of Cookies

Cookie in Different Languages Hero
April 11, 2016

The International History of Cookies

At Collin Street Bakery, we love cookies just as much, if not more, than the typical cookie connoisseur, regardless of its shape or size – and we’re not the only ones who think (thought) the same way! When early humans began to use stones as tools, they would grind up grain, mix it with water, and cook the paste on hot stones. This paved the way for the range of baked goods available today! To learn more about the history of cookies – where they originated, what they’re known for, and how they are experienced around the world – check out the rest of our blog below! 


A Sweet History: Where Did Cookies Originate? (H2)


Baking in early Persia wasn't the exact science it is today. Since it was difficult to determine the temperature in one’s oven, bakers would drop a small amount of batter into the oven as a test cake. From this seemingly insignificant experiment, the modern cookie was born – and so were generations of cookie lovers!


Across the world, cookies are now known by several names. The word originally came from the Dutch word keojke, which means "little cakes." The Scottish now know them as sweet buns, and the English call them biscuits. No matter what you call them, they're little bites of sweet heaven.


And remember, no one cookie is the same. Typically, every country gives its cookies a unique spin. In the U.S., cookies are enjoyed all year long, but their popularity skyrockets during the holiday season, particularly around Christmas.


A Match Made in Cookie Heaven: The History of Chocolate Chip Cookies (H2)


Chocolate-chip cookies are an American staple. Fresh from the oven with a glass of cold milk, these delectable treats have become an ingrained part of American culture. As for the history of chocolate chip cookies, the story goes that Ruth Wakefield, who ran the Toll House restaurant in Massachusetts, was shocked to find that she was out of nuts when baking her customers’ favorite treats. After some quick thinking, she grabbed a chocolate bar, cut it into chunks, and added them to the cookie batter. The result? An instant hit. Marjorie Husted, also known as Betty Crocker, raved about them on her radio program, and chocolate giant Nestle campaigned to purchase the recipe. The rest is history – chocolate chip cookies were here to stay.


Worldly Delights (H2)


The Swedes love their pepparkakor, and the Australians have a passion for Anzac biscuits, but the French have elevated the simple cookie to something phenomenal. Light and airy, Madeleines have a rich history that dates back to 18th century France. It is believed that a servant girl named Madeleine baked these special sweets as a gift to the deposed king of Poland when he was sent to Lorraine in exile. Area nuns then purchased the recipe, and sold the delicate treats in support of their convent and school.


And just like the U.S. and France, almost every country has a local favorite when it comes to cookies. The Japanese have yokan, which are sweet squares made with azuki beans; the Italians are known for biscotti; and the Russians have kosh tili. The Austrians love their linzeraugen, and the Chinese weigh in with their hang geen beng. All special, all tasty in their own unique way.


Learning about the history of cookies kind of makes you hungry, doesn’t it? This holiday season, indulge in old favorites and try some new tastes with our cherry icebox cookies, coconut macaroons, and princess squares. Whether you’re serving them to guests or gifting them to friends, cookies should be a part of every holiday menu.


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