Photo Credit : Andrea Piacquadio
Cookies are pretty much a staple part of the American diet but did you know that the idea of mixing sugar with fat and other dry ingredients to produce a sweet treat originated in Persia in the 7th century? Sugar was used in the East before it became widely known in Europe. As sugar became available through trade with the East so sweet biscuits and cakes became part of the European diet. Now England has its biscuits, Italy its biscotti, and France its petit gateau. The word cookie comes from the Dutch word ‘koekje’, or little cake. But whatever you call this delicious mouthful it is a daily treat for many around the world. After all, what is a glass of milk or coffee without a cookie on the side?
So what are the basic ingredients for cookies? Fat, eggs, sugar, and flour are the usual ingredients used to create a cookie that is both chewy and slightly crunchy. Of course, these ingredients can be changed to suit any dietary requirements with vegetable shortening, gluten-free flour, and sugar substitutes being readily available.
Cookies are quick and easy to make and are a great starting place for the novice home-cook. But don’t think the family will stop wanting you to make cookies just because your cooking gets fancier!
Every home baker should have the following cookies in their repertoire:
Chocolate Chip Cookies
The appeal of chocolate is pretty much universal; many people even admit to being a chocoholic! These deliciously chewy cookies are the classic American cookie and are found just about everywhere on the planet. They feel so wholesome and, hey, the chocolate pieces are only tiny! People get very serious about their chocolate chips claiming that this or that type is the best. You can just try different types that suit you, starting with whatever is in your cupboard!
Oatmeal and Raisin Cookies
Dense and satisfying, these cookies offer all the goodness of oats combined with a pop of sweetness from the plump fruit. One tip – use old-fashioned oats rather than the quick cook or microwave varieties. Old fashioned oats will absorb the fat from the butter and milk and swell to produce a more luscious cookie. The other varieties of oats can make the cookie a bit dry and crumbly. Oats are a great slow-release carbohydrate that can make you feel full for longer so this cookie is practically a health bar!
Oh, the divine snickerdoodle – make it just for the name! A basic cookie that is then rolled in fragrant sweet cinnamon before baking. Genius! The best snickerdoodle recipe will give you a perfect chewy biscuit that is the ideal accompaniment to your morning coffee.
It’s always worth having a no-bake cookie in your recipe book too. Mixing dry ingredients like oats or even breakfast cereal with chocolate, milk, and maybe some peanut butter in a pan will give you a mixture that can be rolled into balls and set in the refrigerator. Quick, easy, and very delicious.
This is a contributed post