December 4th is known across the US as National Cookie Day. We know them as “biscuits” in England and Australia, “galletas” in Spain. Germans call them keks or Plzchen Christmas cookies, and in Italy, there are several names to identify various forms of cookies including amaretti and biscotti.
The name cookie is derived from the Dutch word “koekje”, meaning “small or little cake.” In the US “cookie” is described as a thin, sweet, usually small cake. By definition though, a cookie can be any of a variety of hand-held, flour-based sweet cakes, either crisp or soft.
According to culinary historians, the first historic record of cookies was their use as test cakes. A small amount of cake batter was baked to test the oven temperature.
Whatever the name or ingredients, this is the time of year when cookies take centre stage as part of Christmas baking, so bake up a batch today.