Who can resist to a freshly baked cookie with chocolate chips, crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside? We for sure can’t…
That’s why in our new freshly baked article we will approach cookies, learn their history and make delicious homemade cookies with chocolate chips and cashews!
Cookies or biscuits? We read that the word cookies comes from the Dutch word koekje which means small cake. The word biscuit on the other hand comes from the Latin phrase bis coctum which means double-baked. According to historians, the first uses of cookies were as test cakes -a small amount of cake was baked to test the temperature of the oven.
The oldest cookie-style cakes are found in the 7th century AD in Persia, now Iran. The Persian Empire enjoyed small and large pastries, as it was one of the first places to cultivate sugar. From Persia sugar spread to the Eastern Mediterranean and with the Muslim invasion of Spain, the Crusades and the spice trade sweets spread to southern Europe.
Towards the end of the 14th century one could buy small stuffed waffles on the streets of Paris. In Wikipedia we read that in the 14th century cookies were enjoyed by all social classes in Europe, from aristocratic kitchens to street vendors. In a very interesting article on the history of cookies we learned that in one of the oldest cookbooks for the rising middle class in Elizabethan England, Good Housewive’s Jewel of 1596 one will find a recipe for square cookies made with yolks and spices.
When people started traveling around the world, cookies were the ideal snack, as they could be stored for a long time. For centuries there were special cookies on ships that were kept for months, or even years.
During the Industrial Revolution, with the advancement of technology, confectioners were able to mass-produce various kinds of sweet and savory cookies. Despite the great variety, however, the basic ingredients remained the same: soft flour which contained less protein than the flour used to make bread, sugar and fat, such as butter and oil.
English, Scottish and Dutch immigrants brought the cookies to America. The American housewife was very proud of her cookies, which at that time were called tea cakes. They would get their taste from the good quality butter. Sometimes a little rose water was being added.
In older American cookbooks, there is no special chapter for cookies. They are listed at the end of the cakes chapter. They have imaginative names like Jumbles, Plunkets and Cry Babies. In the first cookbook with an American writer and edition, Amelia Simmons’ American Cookery of 1796, there are two recipes, one for cookies and one for Christmas cookies.
The evolution of American cookies reflects the geographical development of the country: the development of the railway network of the early 19th century brought coconuts from the South, while later oranges from the West were included in many recipes. At the turn of the century with the invention of corn flakes by the Kelloggs brothers in Michigan, cookies began to be made with cereal.
One of the most famous cookies in the world is the favorite chocolate chip cookie, which we will make later. Did you know that it was created by accident? We read that chocolate chip cookies were invented in 1930, when Ruth Graves Wakefield and her husband Kenneth ran the Toll House Inn in Massachusetts. Mrs. Wakefield prepared all the food for the hotel guests and had a very good reputation for her desserts.
One night she decided to make a portion of chocolate cookies based on an old colonial recipe. While she was starting, she found that she had no more baker’s chocolate (a type of chocolate that dissolved during baking). So she used a bar of Nestlé chocolate which she cut into pieces. She hoped that the chocolate would dissolve like baker’s chocolate. However, the chocolate pieces kept their shape and became softer and chewy. This is how the world’s first chocolate chip cookie was born!
Ms. Wakefield, after the success of her experiment, repeated the recipe and published it in several newspapers under the name Chocolate Crunch Cookies. The recipe was even hosted on a well-known radio show of the time, at The Betty Crocker Cooking School of the Air, and the reputation of cookies skyrocketed across America. In 1936 the recipe was printed in the book Toll House Tried and True Recipes and became even better known.
Today chocolate chip cookies, ie cookies with pieces of chocolate are well known and loved around the world. That’s why we decided to make our own version based on a recipe by British chef and author Mary Berry -you probably know her as a judge of the Great British Bake Off- which we found in Mary Berry’s Cookery Course (2015).
Homemade cookies with chocolate chips and cashews
The ingredients for the homemade cookies
|Butter (room temperature)||85 gr|
|Self-raising flour||175 gr|
|Chocolate chips||50 gr|
How to make the homemade cookies
These cookies are really easy to make. Add the butter, flour, sugar, and beaten egg to the mixer bucket and beat for two minutes on medium speed. Remove the bucket from the mixer and add the chocolate chips and the chopped cashews. Form cookies using two spoons. Bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes at 180°C. Wait for them to cool for a while and devour them!
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