Chances are, nobody will stop you from celebrating National Cookie Day at any time of year, but the official annual observance in the United States is December 4. Whether homemade or store-bought, chocolate or oatmeal, drop or bar, choose your favorite and celebrate!
A History of Cookies
- Cookies have been around as long as baking (approx. 7th Century AD)
- Cookies were brought to America by the Dutch in the late 1620s.
- The Dutch word “koekie”, which translates to “little cake” is where the English word “cookie” originates.
- The recipe for Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies was first printed in 1938.
- Gingerbread Man cookies date back to the 16th Century. Queen Elizabeth I commissioned a royal gingerbread maker to create gingerbread men representing foreign dignitaries.
- Sugar cookies were created by German settlers in Nazareth, PA, in the mid-1700s. They were so delicious, eventually they became Pennsylvania’s official cookie!
Cookies In Our Culture
Did you ever think about how many cookie-related phrases we use in the US?
Cookie cutter – implying lack of creativity and excitement
That’s how the cookie crumbles – “oh well, that’s life”
One tough cookie – a strong and determined person
One smart cookie – someone who is clever
Caught with one’s hand in the cookie jar – nabbed doing something wrong
Toss your cookies – throw up (which you may do if you eat too many cookies!)
Cookies as Gifts
While you may think Cookie Exchanges were created in the age of Pinterest, they have been around since the Middle Ages. Back then, the cost of exotic ingredients — such as spices and dried fruit — meant the treats were an expensive and welcomed gift. Now that we can pick up ingredients at the local grocery store, cookies may have lost some monetary value over the centuries, but they continue to be appreciated. Begin a tradition of cookies as gifts, or host a cookie exchange this holiday season.
If you don’t have a favorite recipe or you want to find something new, check out this link from Food Network. Choose from 50 cookies you can make for your family, friends, or just yourself!