|Place of origin||Persia, 7th century AD|
|Serving temperature||Often room temperature, although they may be served when still warm from the oven|
A cookie is a baked or cooked snack or dessert that is typically small, flat and sweet. It usually contains flour, sugar, egg, and some type of oil, fat, or butter. It may include other ingredients such as raisins, oats, chocolate chips, nuts, etc.
In most English-speaking countries except for the United States, crunchy cookies are called biscuits. Many Canadians also use this term. Chewier biscuits are sometimes called cookies even in the United Kingdom. Some cookies may also be named by their shape, such as date squares or bars.
Biscuit or cookie variants include sandwich biscuits, such as custard creams, Jammie Dodgers, Bourbons and Oreos, with marshmallow or jam filling and sometimes dipped in chocolate or another sweet coating. Cookies are often served with beverages such as milk, coffee or tea and sometimes "dunked", an approach which releases more flavour from confections by dissolving the sugars, while also softening their texture. Factory-made cookies are sold in grocery stores, convenience stores and vending machines. Fresh-baked cookies are sold at bakeries and coffeehouses, with the latter ranging from small business-sized establishments to multinational corporations such as Starbucks.
In many English-speaking countries outside North America, including the United Kingdom, the most common word for a crisp cookie is biscuit. The term cookie is normally used to describe chewier ones. However, in many regions both terms are used. The container used to store cookies may be called a cookie jar.
The word dates from at least 1701 in Scottish usage where the word meant "plain bun", rather than thin baked good, and so it is not certain whether it is the same word. From 1808, the word "cookie" is attested "...in the sense of "small, flat, sweet cake" in American English. The American use is derived from Dutch koekje "little cake," which is a diminutive of "koek" ("cake"), which came from the Middle Dutch word "koke". Another claim is that the American name derives from the Dutch word koekje or more precisely its informal, dialect variant koekie which means little cake, and arrived in American English with the Dutch settlement of New Netherland, in the early 1600s.
According to the Scottish National Dictionary, its Scottish name derives from the diminutive form (+ suffix -ie) of the word cook, giving the Middle Scots cookie, cooky or cu(c)kie. There was much trade and cultural contact across the North Sea between the Low Countries and Scotland during the Middle Ages, which can also be seen in the history of curling and, perhaps, golf.
Cookies are most commonly baked until crisp or just long enough that they remain soft, but some kinds of cookies are not baked at all. Cookies are made in a wide variety of styles, using an array of ingredients including sugars, spices, chocolate, butter, peanut butter, nuts, or dried fruits. The softness of the cookie may depend on how long it is baked.
A general theory of cookies may be formulated this way. Despite its descent from cakes and other sweetened breads, the cookie in almost all its forms has abandoned water as a medium for cohesion. Water in cakes serves to make the base (in the case of cakes called "batter") as thin as possible, which allows the bubbles – responsible for a cake's fluffiness – to better form. In the cookie, the agent of cohesion has become some form of oil. Oils, whether they be in the form of butter, vegetable oils, or lard, are much more viscous than water and evaporate freely at a much higher temperature than water. Thus a cake made with butter or eggs instead of water is far denser after removal from the oven.
Oils in baked cakes do not behave as baking soda tends to in the finished result. Rather than evaporating and thickening the mixture, they remain, saturating the bubbles of escaped gases from what little water there might have been in the eggs, if added, and the carbon dioxide released by heating the baking powder. This saturation produces the most texturally attractive feature of the cookie, and indeed all fried foods: crispness saturated with a moisture (namely oil) that does not sink into it.
Cookie-like hard wafers have existed for as long as baking is documented, in part because they deal with travel very well, but they were usually not sweet enough to be considered cookies by modern standards.
Cookies appear to have their origins in 7th century AD Persia, shortly after the use of sugar became relatively common in the region. They spread to Europe through the Muslim conquest of Spain. By the 14th century, they were common in all levels of society throughout Europe, from royal cuisine to street vendors. The first documented instance of the figure-shaped gingerbread man was at the court of Elizabeth I of England in the 16th century. She had the gingerbread figures made and presented in the likeness of some of her important guests.
With global travel becoming widespread at that time, cookies made a natural travel companion, a modernized equivalent of the travel cakes used throughout history. One of the most popular early cookies, which traveled especially well and became known on every continent by similar names, was the jumble, a relatively hard cookie made largely from nuts, sweetener, and water.
Cookies came to America through the Dutch in New Amsterdam in the late 1620s. The Dutch word "koekje" was Anglicized to "cookie" or cooky. The earliest reference to cookies in America is in 1703, when "The Dutch in New York provided...'in 1703...at a funeral 800 cookies...'"
The most common modern cookie, given its style by the creaming of butter and sugar, was not common until the 18th century. The Industrial Revolution in Britain and the consumers it created saw cookies (biscuits) become products for the masses, and firms such as Huntley & Palmers (formed in 1822), McVitie's (formed in 1830) and Carr's (formed in 1831) were all established. The decorative biscuit tin, invented by Huntley & Palmers in 1831, saw British cookies exported around the world. In 1891, Cadbury filed a patent for a chocolate-coated cookie.
Cookies are broadly classified according to how they are formed or made, including at least these categories:
Other types of cookies are classified for other reasons, such as their ingredients, size, or intended time of serving:
Leah Ettman from Nutrition Action has criticized the high calorie count and fat content of supersized cookies, which are extra large cookies; she cites the Panera Kitchen Sink Cookie, a supersized chocolate chip cookie, which measures 5 1/2 inches in diameter and has 800 calories. For busy people who eat breakfast cookies in the morning, Kate Bratskeir from the Huffington Post recommends lower-sugar cookies filled with "heart-healthy nuts and fiber-rich oats". A book on nutrition by Paul Insel et al notes that "low-fat" or "diet cookies" may have the same number of calories as regular cookies, due to added sugar.
There are a number of slang usages of the term "cookie". The slang use of "cookie" to mean a person, "especially an attractive woman" is attested to in print since 1920. The catchphrase "that's the way the cookie crumbles", which means "that's just the way things happen" is attested to in print in 1955. Other slang terms include "smart cookie” and “tough cookie.” According to The Cambridge International Dictionary of Idioms, a smart cookie is “someone who is clever and good at dealing with difficult situations.”  The word "cookie" has been vulgar slang for "vagina" in the US since 1970. The word "cookies" is used to refer to the contents of the stomach, often in reference to vomiting (e.g., "pop your cookies" a 1960s expression, or "toss your cookies", a 1970s expression). The expression "cookie cutter", in addition to referring literally to a culinary device to rolled cookie dough into shapes, is also used metaphorically to refer to items or things "having the same configuration or look as many others" (e.g., a "cookie cutter tract house") or to label something as "stereotyped or formulaic" (e.g., an action movie filled with "generic cookie cutter characters"). "Cookie duster" is a whimsical expression for a mustache.
Cookie Monster is a Muppet on the long-running children's television show Sesame Street. He is best known for his voracious appetite for cookies and his famous eating phrases, such as "Me want cookie!", "Me eat cookie!" (or simply "COOKIE!"), and "Om nom nom nom" (said through a mouth full of food).
Me was just a mild-mannered little kid. In fact, back then, me think me name was Sid. Yeah, yeah.
Me wasn’t born with name “Cookie Monster.” It just nickname dat stuck. Me don’t remember me real name… maybe it was Sidney?
Is Cookie Monster's real name Sid? Yeah, truly it is. Me real name Sid Monster.
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