C is for COOKIE

Everyone loves cookies. Nikki’s Blake tells mom to get cookies and popcorn chicken from the store. Simon the techno-tyke has a more extensive shopping list. Patrick needs to get: Pears, pineapples, two broccoli, a hot dog, cookies and gummi worms. When I go to the store my own cookie monster sticks her head out of the window and barks loudly to remind me to get dog cookies. She likes the green ones and it’s very pathetic if the box isn’t opened right away.

What’s your favorite cookie? Chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, peanut butter, shortbread, sugar, ginger snaps, they all have their fans. Telltale says it’s hands down Girl Scout thin mints. Purrdey says Hobnobs. One nibble and you’re nobbed. I had to go look them up they’re Scottish like Purrdey. There’s a huge contingent of Snickerdoodle fans. Remember the thumbprint ones with the big dollop of jam in them? What about Lebkuchen?  The traditional German Christmas cookie is like a soft gingerbread cookie with molasses and warm spices. There’s a glaze on top that’s just a little bit sweet with a hint of lemon. That’s like all my favorite cookies rolled into one.

My Jr. Research assistant Mika Traglio discovered that our english word cookie comes from the Dutch word koekje which means little cake. Cookies are far older than that though. The latin word is bis coctum, twice baked, that’s where we get the words biscuit and biscotti from. Culinary historians think that Roman cookies were test cakes, small amounts of batter used to test oven temperatures. Basically, as my friend Keasha says, once they discovered sugar they threw it together with flour to make treats for the kids. In Egypt the shopping list was: Mutton, an olive, dried carp and COOKIES. Milk was a delicacy in the hot lands of the Nile so only Pharaoh got milk and cookies.

One of the interesting things I learned researching this is that cookies evolved into the ideal traveling food. They’re portable and last for a long time. Hard Tack and Ships Biscuit are variations of cookies. The Anzac Biscuit went to war with Australian and New Zealand soldiers. It took two months on an unrefrigerated ship for the cookies to reach Gallipoli. I got a few care packages in school. I can’t imagine what they’d have been like after two months in the hold of a ship travelling through the hot lattitudes.

Do you know how many Animal Crackers there are in a box? There are 22 and currently 17 different animals: tigers, cougars, camels, rhinoceros, kangaroos, hippopotami, bison, lions, hyenas, zebras, elephants, sheep, bears, gorillas, monkeys, seals, and giraffes.

What about Lorna Doones? Do you know what’s special about Lorna Doone cookies? Some unsung marketing genius at Nabisco took an ordinary square shortbread cookie and made it into a diamond by imprinting the name diagonally across the face of the cookie. It’s like all the other really great ideas, brilliantly simple.

Did you read about toothpaste pumps here? It’s nothing compared to the machine invented to create Fig Newtons. In 1891 James Henry Mitchell invented a machine which worked like a funnel within a funnel; the inside funnel supplied jam, while the outside funnel pumped out the dough.

So what’s my favorite cookie? There’s no question about it. I’d love a warm fresh from the oven Toll House cookie with an ice cold glass of milk right now.

The orignial Nestlé Toll House Cookie

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels 1 cup chopped nuts

PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

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9 Responses to C is for COOKIE

  1. Nicole says:

    Whoa! You definitely did some research. I’m WAY impressed. And I’m also loving that you mentioned my little brown-eyed monster. His favorite cookie is Mint Oreos. Mine are homemade molasses cookies courtesy of my mom. YUM! Although, I do have a thing for my homemade peanut butter cookies. Delish!

    • chikuba says:

      There’s not a single person I asked that didn’t have a favorite cookie. Even the extreme health nut had something that sounded like wood chips with bee pollen on it but it was a cookie.

  2. Jenny Beans says:

    Good grief! ZThis post djust made me HUNGRY! #NOMNOMNOM in a very cookie monster way. My favorite cookies? Oatmeal raisin…soft and chewy. Good thing I’m going to the store in a few minutes.

  3. Patrick says:

    Chocolate Chip is the best, fresh out of the oven is a bonus. I am also partial to cut out cookies, or sometimes referred to as sugar cookies. Glob on the frosting, add a few holiday appropriate sprinkles and voila! cookie goodness. Just about any cookie is good by me! Simon likes Oreos and imagine my astonishment when I saw him pulling them apart to eat the middle first. I have no idea how he figured that out(I don’t do that) and when I asked him he shrugged and said the inside is good. Cookie Monsters..

    • chikuba says:

      You know I never liked that lardy sugar thing they’ve got going on in Oreos. I used to wipe the stuffing out of whoopie Pies too though so maybe I’m just weird.

  4. Penny says:

    Has anyone noticed that the girls scout cookies are not as good this year. Shame on someone. I would pay more for the old ones.
    My favorite: I agree with Jenny. Lots of raisins and soft and chewy

    • chikuba says:

      I’ve been trying to behave myself and stick to the sugar free ones so I can’t comment on the girl scout cookies. Just one maybe COOOKIE *gobbble smark gobbble*

      • Vickie McCarty says:

        I certainly do not enjoy computer cookies. LOL My favorite cookie is Pepperidge Farm Chesapeake Dark Chocolate Pecan. This company has been around since 1937.

        Margaret Rudkin, a Connecticut housewife and mother of three young children, discovers one of her sons has an allergy to commercial breads that contain preservatives and artificial ingredients. So in 1937, she begins experimenting with baking her own preservative-free bread for her ailing son — ultimately perfecting a delicious whole-wheat loaf that contained only natural ingredients. Encouraged by her family and her son’s doctor, she begins a small business out of her kitchen selling her “Pepperidge Farm” bread to local grocers. Named for her family’s farm in Fairfield, Connecticut, consumers recognize her homemade bread’s quality and buy every loaf she baked.

        After World War II, and its associated shortages and rationing ended, Margaret Rudkin’s plans for expanded bakery production could finally be realized. On July 4, 1947 her dream came true with the opening of the company’s first modern bakery in Norwalk, Connecticut. New products such as dinner rolls, stuffing, and oatmeal breads are developed and tested, with Mrs. Rudkin always taking the first bite. Mrs. Rudkin clung tenaciously to her principles of quality — a tradition that continues today.

        Pepperidge Farm’s first television ad airs with founder Margaret Rudkin as spokesperson. Eventually, the Pepperidge Farm’s country gentleman in the horse and wagon replaces her in a successful ad campaign that spans five decades.

        During a trip to Belgium, Margaret Rudkin discovers delicious and delicate cookies produced by the Delacre Company in Brussels. Pepperidge Farm reaches an agreement with Delacre to produce these elegant cookies in America. In 1955, Pepperidge Farm launches its Distinctive line of European-style cookies with evocative names such as Bordeaux®, Geneva® and Brussels®.

        Pepperidge Farm moves into the frozen food business with the acquisition of the Black Horse Pastry Company, manufacturers of delicate and flaky homemade frozen pastries.

        Campbell Soup Company, one of the largest and most highly respected food companies in North America, acquires Pepperidge Farm in 1961.

        America gets its first taste of Goldfish crackers in 1962. Margaret Rudkin discovers the snack cracker on a trip to Switzerland and returns with the recipe.

        The Margaret Rudkin Pepperidge Farm Cookbook becomes the first cookbook to chart on The New York Times Bestseller List in 1963.

        Margaret Rudkin officially retires from Pepperidge Farm in 1966.

        Pepperidge Farm builds more plants around the country to meet the growing demand for its premium products.

        In the 1970s, Pepperidge Farm bread travels aboard the Apollo 13 and Apollo 14 space flights.

        Nostalgic “Pepperidge Farm Remembers” ads run on television, radio, and in print throughout this time period.

        Goldfish® crackers advertising makes its television debut in 1977.

        The American Collection™, now known as Chocolate Chunk Big Cookies, join their popular Distinctive and Old Fashioned cookies in supermarkets in 1986.

        Goldfish® snack crackers blast into space onboard the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1988.

        Goldfish® crackers become “The Snack That Smiles Back®” with the introduction of “Smiley” in 1997. This marks the first-ever alteration to their icon product since it launched in 1962.

        Offering frozen convenience, but homemade taste, Pepperidge Farm introduces its own flaky Pot Pies and hearty Texas Toast.

        Pepperidge Farm, Incorporated exceeded $1 billion in sales in 2001 and ranks in the top 2 percent of brands worldwide in brand equity.

      • chikuba says:

        How did I miss Pepperidge Farm? See Vickie you should have answered the cookie poll.

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