Daily TWiP Archives

Something interesting has happened on (just about) every day of the year, and Daily TWiP provides the proof. An offshoot of my local events column The Week in Preview (affectionately known as TWiP), Daily TWiP was published April 2008-Aug. 2011 and is still giving readers reasons to celebrate.

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Daily TWiP – Dec. 4: National Cookie Day

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – food holidays are among our favorites to celebrate because we get to eat something tasty. National Cookie Day (Dec. 4) is no exception. It also happens to fall during Cookie Cutter Week (observed Dec. 1-7), which is a double cause for celebration for those who enjoy baking.

The word “cookie” comes from the Dutch word “koekje,” which translates to “little cake,” and was introduced into the English language through Dutch settlers in North America.

The origins of the cookie are shrouded in the floury mists of culinary history. Hard, cookie-like wafers are on record as a dietary staple of ancient travelers, but they lacked the sweetness of the modern cookie.

The modern cookie is thought to have originated in Persia during the 7th century, around the time that sugar came into more common use. When Muslims departed Persia for Spain during the Umayyad conquest of Hispania in the 8th century, they brought their cookie recipes with them. By the 14th century, cookies had permeated European society and were enjoyed by peasants and nobles alike.

In the early days of America, gingerbread, macaroons and jumbles were the cookies of choice. Jumbles typically consist of nuts, eggs, flour and sugar and are flavored with anise, vanilla or caraway seed.

It is thought that the Pilgrims and the Jamestown settlers packed jumbles to sustain themselves (and keep the little ones quiet) on the long voyage to the New World, as these tough cookies could last for up to a year if stored properly. Martha Washington, the wife of our first president, was reported to have an impressive Jumble recipe.

Follow in the footsteps of our first First Lady today and celebrate by baking the cookie recipe you’re most famous for. Once they’re cooling, give us a call and we’ll be more than happy to help you with the rest of the celebration. We’ll even bring the milk.

– Teresa Santoski


Originally published Dec. 4, 2009.

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