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See also: Chocolate Chip Cookies

COOKIES: Cookie Trivia

Americans consume over 2 billion cookies a year, or 300 cookies for each person annually.

The official state cookie of Massachusetts is the chocolate chip cookie, invented in 1930 at the Toll House Restaurant. (Pennsylvania is also considering the chocolate chip cookie as their official cookie.)

EEL COOKIES: Unagi Pie, a specialty of Hamamatsu, Japan, are cookies made with fresh butter with crushed eel bones, eel extract, or garlic mixed in.

Nabisco produced 16 billion Oreo cookies in 1995 at its factory in Chicago, Illinois, the largest of its kind in the world.
 

The origin of Cookies: Two issues to deal with here. The word and the food.  The food, originated in Rome sometime around the 3rd century B.C., and it was called 'bis coctum' meaning twice baked.

The Roman 'bis coctum' was not sweet, it had no sugar added.   'Bis coctum' is the origin of the word 'biscuit,' which is a flakey quick bread in the U.S.,  but in England a biscuit is what in the U.S. would be called a cookie or cracker.

Small sweet cakes that are similar to cookies probably originated around India or Persia around the 7th century, possibly because that's where sugar cultivation started.

Crackers show up in the Middle Ages, and were similar to 'bis coctum'

The origin of the word: Sugar was added by the Dutch and they called it 'koekje', meaning little cake. The Dutch took them to America in the 18th century and the word became 'cookie.'
 

Why is it traditional to make fork marks on Peanut Butter Cookies?
Most recipes for peanut butter cookies call the the dough to be mixed with a fork, and made into balls that are then flattened with the fork.

My guess is that the practice just evolved from the nature of the dough, and that the easiest way to make the cookies was to roll the dough into balls and flatten the balls with the fork, leaving fork marks. The criss-cross would follow because it is a little creative and artistic.

Also, consider that peanut allergies are fairly common, and the distinctive markings make peanut butter cookies easily identifiable, giving further reason for the tradition to be continued.
 

Email received 8/25/09
Yes using a fork when making Peanut Butter cookies is necessary, it’s the nature of the dough, but Peanut Butter dough does not drop while in the oven, as traditional cookies do.  Peanut Butter solidifies faster than most doughs while baking, so to make the cookie appear like a traditional cookie, it is pressed down with a fork.

Hope this helps,
Greg Yoder
Crumbles Cookies Bakery & Gift Store
www.crumblescookies.com

 

 

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