Hey, everyone! If you love or like cookies, you should read about the history of cookies. We’re here today with Cinnamon and Peppermint from the Cookie books. Let’s get started!
Peppermint: Hey, Cinnamon! Are you ready for your interview, Ms. Spice?
Cinnamon: Hi there, Peppermint! Yes, I’m ready, Ms. Mint. By the way, you can just call me Cinnamon.
Peppermint: Here we go. Where were Lavish Cakes commonly eaten?
Cinnamon: Lavish cakes were commonly eaten in the Persian Empire.
Peppermint: The earliest cookie style cakes are thought to date back to what year?
Cinnamon: According to What’s Cooking America which is a food history website, the earliest cookie-style cakes are thought to date back to Persia which was modern Iran in the 7th century C.E. towards the end of it’s glory.
Peppermint: What does honey have to do with the history of cookies?
Cinnamon: While Europeans had honey due to ancient migration of bees, sugar came much later.
Peppermint: Where did sugar originate? Where was the sugar bought to? Where did sugar get cultivated?
Cinnamon: Sugar originated in the lowlands of Bengal or somewhere in Southeast Asia, and was brought to Persia and cultivated it there, spreading to the eastern Mediterranean.
Peppermint: Bakers made what kind of cake for rich people? When did the Muslim invasion of Iberia take place?
Cinnamon: Bakers made fancy cakes and pastries for the rich people. With the Muslim invasion of Iberia in the 8th century, followed by the Crusades (1095 to 1291) and the developing spice trade, the cooking techniques and ingredients from Arabia spread to Northern Europe.
Peppermint: Cookbooks of the what? Where did it begin? What century did it take place?
Cinnamon: Cookbooks of the Renaissance, which began in Italy in the 14th century and spread to the rest of Europe, are filled with cookie recipes. By the end of the 14th century, anyone could buy little filled wafers on the streets of Paris.
Peppermint: Why weren’t cookies meant to please the sweet tooth? What were they used for?
Cinnamon: During the centuries before, while cakes of were being baked to the delight of all, what has evolved into our cookie wasn’t originally made to please the sweet tooth. According to cooking historians, the first historic record of cookies was used as test cakes.
Peppermint: How do you make test cakes?
Cinnamon: A small amount of cake batter was dropped onto the baking pans to test the temperature of the oven before the cake was baked (early ovens didn’t have thermostats like the ones we use today, and were fueled by burning wood).
Peppermint: What does cookie mean in each language?
Cinnamon: Each language has a different word for cookie. In the Netherlands, the little test cake was called koekje which means little cake in Dutch. Koek is cake in Dutch. The general idea evolved to small separate portions were baked to create dry, hard-textured, cookies we know today.
Peppermint: Why did they remove the moisture? Where does the British word for cookie and biscuit come from?
Cinnamon: With the moisture removed, they stayed fresh longer than cake. The British word for cookie and biscuit comes from the Latin word bis coctum which means double baked (also the origin of the Italian biscotti).
Peppermint: In what year did the term cookie appear in print for the first time? What kind of immigrants brought the cookie where in what year? What word did the Dutch use for the word cookie? Why did the English refer to cookies as small cakes?
Cinnamon: According to The Oxford Companion For Food, the term cookie first appeared in print around 1703. According to the book, English and Dutch immigrants brought the cookie to America in the 1600s. The Dutch used the word koekje, while the English primarily referred to cookies as small cakes, seed biscuits, or teacakes or by specific names, jumble or a macaroon.
Peppermint: Around the early what, kookje changed to what names?
Cinnamon: Around the early 1700s, kookje had changed to cookie or cookey, and was well-fixed firmly in New York City, then the nation’s capital—a factor that resulted in widespread use of the word. During the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, most cookies were baked at home as special treats, both because of the amount of work and the high cost of sugar.
Peppermint: Recipes for what kinds of cookies? The cookie recipes are similar to what?
Cinnamon: Recipes for jumbles, macaroons, and gingerbread are found in early cookbooks. The simple butter cookie recipes are similar to English tea cakes and Scottish shortbread (the word tea cake is used to describe that type of cookie in the Southern United States as well).
Peppermint: During what century? Inexpensive what? The introduction to what?
Cinnamon: During the 19th century, inexpensive sugar and flour, and the introduction of relating to chemistry raising agents such as baking soda, led to the development of other types of cookie recipes.
Peppermint: Why did it explode in what year? The introduction of modern what with early what? Cookbooks produced recipes for what?
Cinnamon: Another explosion of cookie recipes took place in the early 1900s, not surprisingly to be parallel to the introduction of modern ovens with early thermostats. Cookbooks produce recipes for cinnamon-flavored snickerdoodles, raisin-filled hermits, sand tarts, and many varieties of butter cookies including Southern-style tea cakes.
Peppermint: The famous what? Why was it an accident?
Cinnamon: The famous chocolate chip cookie wasn’t to appear until 1930, an accident like a lot of good food is. Read more about the full story of the chocolate chip cookie here.
Peppermint: Wow, you sure know a lot about the history of cookies! I’ll go read the full story about the chocolate chip cookie later. I noticed that you said your name in one of the answers.
Cinnamon: Yes, I sure do. My parents wanted me to learn about cookies. I noticed too.
Peppermint: Are you ready to wrap up the interview?
Cinnamon: Yes, I’m ready.
Peppermint: It was nice talking to you about cookies.
Cinnamon: It was nice meeting you.
The other sources are linked in the interview.