Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Oh, no! Not again …

Yep. It’s that time again.  Today is celebrated by many as National Cookie Day even though there has never been an official proclamation.  Who needs to make it official anyway?!  Let’s bake and celebrate!

There are varying schools of thought about the origins of cookies: 
One premise is that cookies had their origins in 7th century Persia after sugar became relatively common in that region.  The little baked items spread to Europe through the Muslim conquest of Spain.  By the 14th century, they were common in all levels of society.

Another thought, as expressed in an article in Ezine by William Smith, is that the English word "cookie" is derived from the Dutch word "koekje," which means little cake. Bakers used to place a small amount of cake batter in the oven to test the temperature. They soon discovered that these little bits of cooked batter were quite tasty on their own, and the cookie was born!

However they came to be, the humble cookie has evolved a great deal, and now there are hundreds of varieties baked across the world every day, from the classic chocolate chip to more exotic offerings with caramel, macadamia nuts, dried fruits and more.

Cookies can be broadly classified into 3 categories:
©       Drop cookies are aptly named because the batter is dropped onto the cookie sheet. Chocolate chip, peanut butter, and oatmeal raisin are all examples of drop cookies.
©       Rolled cookies are rolled out like pie dough, and then cut-out using a cutter.  Sugar cookies and gingerbread are popular examples.  Rolled cookies may also be "rolled up" into a cylinder and then sliced off and baked.
©       Pressed cookies are made by loading the dough into a cookie press and then extruding it, typically using various dies to create interesting shapes.  Spritz cookies are the most common pressed cookie variety.
©       Bar cookies are sometimes considered a 4th category since the ingredients are very similar, and the resultant treats are typically cut into single serving sizes (like brownies).

So today, remember this humble little cake by munching on one or by sending a cookie gift to your loved ones.  Here’s a recipe to start you off right:

Sugar Cookie Recipe

Grannie Gilbert's Sugar Cookies are a recipe of sugar cookies running with the Gilbert women of Ontario, Canada for more than 100 years. No one knows where the recipe started, but it's been that way as long as any can recall with no real change.

2-3 cups (250-375 g) of flour
2 teaspoons (10 g) of baking powder
1 cup (200 g) of sugar
1 cup (230 g) of shortening/butter
a pinch of salt
3 eggs

  1. In a large bowl beat eggs lightly to break the yolks as one would for scrambled eggs, then mix in the shortening. Soften the butter before hand if you must by heating it a little.
  2. The shortening/egg mixture should be loose, add the sugar, mix well then add the salt to the liquid mixture.
  3. Add the baking powder then slowly add the flour as needed to reach a proper doughy state, you may not need all of the flour, or may even need a little more based on your eggs and how closely you measured.
  4. Make balls and place onto a pan then into an oven heated to 175°C (350°F) and let bake for between 15-20 minutes.

1 comment:

Pattilou said...

I think my weakness for cookies shows around my middle! Christmastime just seems to scream: "Cookie Time!" Looks like a great recipe.