A cookie is a baked food item that is typically small, flat, and sweet. Usually contains flour, sugar, and some oil or fat. By definition, a cookie can be a variety of handheld flour-based sweet cakes, either crisp or soft. They are characterized by:
- High- sugar content
- High -fat content
- Low moisture
Cookies are enjoyed all over the world, each country has its own word for the “cookie” such as
- In England and Australia, they call cookies biscuits. Biscuit comes from the Latin word ” bis coctum,” which means ” twice baked.”
- In Spain, cookies are called Gallettas
- Germany call them keks or plzchen
- Italians have several names for cookies, but the most famous are amaretti or biscotti.
The earliest cookie-style cakes are date back to 7th century Persia A.D. (now Iran), one of the first countries to cultivate sugar. According to historians, sugar originated either in the lowlands of Bengal or elsewhere in Southeast Asia. Sugar spread to Persia and then to the Eastern Mediterranean. With the Muslim invasion of Spain, then the Crusades, and the developing spice trade, the cooking techniques and ingredients of Arabia spread into Northern Europe.
In 510 BC, hungry soldiers of Emperor Darius discovered some “reeds which produce honey without bees” in ancient time that was an amazing invention, however; evidently, this early contact with the Asian sources of sugar cane made no great impression. By 327 BC by Alexander the Great spread its culture through Persia and introduced it to the Mediterranean using sugar cane. This was the beginning of one of the best-documented products of the Middle Ages.
By the end of the 14th century, one could buy little filled wafers on Paris’s streets. Renaissance cookbooks were rich in cookie recipes. As people started to explore the globe, cookies became the ideal traveling food because they stayed fresh for long periods. A cookie portable food that had a long storage life and was perfect for traveling. For centuries, a ship cookie, an iron-like cracker, was aboard any ship that left port because it could last for months (even years under the right conditions).
To become a baker, people had to complete years of an apprenticeship – working through the ranks of apprentice, journeyman, and finally master baker. By having guilds, authorities could easily regulate the amount and quality of goods baked. As technology improved during the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century, so did bakers’ ability to make a wide range of sweet and savory biscuits for commercial consumption. Despite more varieties becoming available, the essential ingredients of cookies didn’t change. These ingredients are ‘soft’ wheat flour, which contains less protein than the flour used to bake bread, sugar, and fats, such as butter and oil.