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"Cookie-like hard wafers have existed for as long as baking is documented, in part because they deal with travel very well, but they were usually not sweet enough to be considered cookies, by modern standards."
"Cookies appear to have their origins in 7th century AD Persia, shortly after the use of sugar became relatively common in the region. They spread to Europe through the Muslim conquest of Spain. By the 14th century, they were common in all levels of society, throughout Europe, from royal cuisine to street vendors."
"With global travel becoming widespread at that time, cookies made a natural travel companion, a modernized equivalent of the travel cakes used throughout history. One of the most popular early cookies, which traveled especially well and became known on every continent by similar names, was the jumble, a relatively hard cookie made largely from nuts, sweetener, and water."
"Cookies came to America in the very first century of English settlement (the 1600s), although the name "koekje" arrived slightly later, with the Dutch. This became Anglicized to "cookie". Among the popular early American cookies were the macaroon, gingerbread cookies, and of course jumbles of various types."
"The most common modern cookie, given its style by the creaming of butter and sugar, was not common until the 18th century."
Cookies are broadly classified according to how they are formed, including at least these categories:
Rolled cookies are made from a stiffer dough that is rolled out and cut into shapes with a cookie cutter. Gingerbread men are an example.
Pressed cookies are made from a soft dough that is extruded from a cookie press into various decorative shapes before baking. Spritzgebäck are an example of a pressed cookie.
Refrigerator cookies are made from a stiff dough that is refrigerated to become even stiffer. The dough is typically shaped into cylinders which are sliced into round cookies before baking.
Molded cookies are also made from a stiffer dough that is molded into balls or cookie shapes by hand before baking. Snickerdoodles and peanut butter cookies are examples of molded cookies.
Bar cookies consist of batter or other ingredients that are poured or pressed into a pan (sometimes in multiple layers), and cut into cookie-sized pieces after baking. Brownies are an example of a batter-type bar cookie, while Rice Krispie treats are a bar cookie that doesn't require baking, perhaps similar to a cereal bar. In British English, bar cookies are known as "tray bakes".
Sandwich cookies are rolled or pressed cookies that are assembled as a sandwich with a sweet filling. Fillings may be with marshmallow, jam, or icing. The Oreo cookie, made of two chocolate cookies with a vanilla icing filling is an example.
Fried cookies including traditional cookies such as the krusczyki, rosettes and fattigmann as well as a newer American trend of deep-frying ordinary drop cookie dough.
Twice Baked Cookies
Cookies also may be decorated with an icing, especially chocolate, and closely resemble a type of confectionery.
How-to-videos & recipes
Types of Cookies