Monday, February 2, 2009
The Results of the Cookie Survey are in and while there are some surprises, I think we can all guess that the chocolate chip cookie was the all time favorite.
I think there are so many variations of this cookie than we can even count. Yes, Mrs. Fields, and Famous Amos had it right, America has a love affair with the chocolate chip cookie ever since Ruth Wakefield invented the cookie in 1924.
Ruth was a dietician and she lectured on foods, and then she and her husband bought the Toll House Inn. She was making her famous butter cookies and the recipe called for Baker's Chocolate. She had run out and only had a semi-sweet chocolate bar instead. She chopped it up and put it in the batter. It didn't melt completely, but it became soft.
The word of these delicious cookies spread. Ruth struck a deal with the Nestle's company allowing them to print her recipe on every bag of cookies and in exchange, she received a lifetime supply of chocolate chips. Remember, this was in the day before attorneys, publists, and agents.
Today, if that deal were struck, she'd get a licensing fee, royalties, rights to the tee shirts, etc...
Poor, poor Ruth!!!! She should have been rich, rich, Ruth!!!!!
The Oreo cookie was introduced in 1912 by the Nabisco Company. It was a very simple design, a dab or cream between two chocolate disks. From 1912 to 1975, the Oreo was virtually unchanged. In 1975, Nabisco introduced the Double Stuf version, the first significant change.
Then Halloween and Christmas Oreos were introduced, Flavored Oreos, Chocolate Covered Oreos, Vanilla Oreos, and Mini Oreos have followed.
No one is sure how the Oreo got its name. Some suggested it was from the Spanish word for gold (oro), since the first package features a lot of gold on it. Some thought it was from the two O's represeting the chocolate sides, and re for the cream. There are other theories as well.
There have been over 362 Oreos sold since 1912 making it the most popular (according to Nabisco, but not our survey) in America.
Peanut Butter Cookies have been attributed to George Washington Carver, an African-American botanist who promoted the peanut crop using it to replace the cotton crop. He wrote several recipes using peanuts, among them were three recipes for cookies, calling for the peanuts to be chopped up into the cookies. In 1931, Pillsbury's Balanced Recipes, listed a recipe for peanut butter cookies and the tradional fork tine marks were including in the directions.
Oatmeal Cookies appeared in the late 1800's. The largest consumption of oatmeal in the United States is in the form of a cookie. We even celebrate National Oatmeal Cookie Day on April 30.
The first recipe for Oatmeal Cookies appears in Fannie Merritt Farmer's Boston Cooking School Cookbook in 1896. In 1906, the QUaker Oat Company put a recipe for Oatmeal Cookies on their packaging bringing it into the mainstream.
The Shortbread Cookie made it's debut in Scotland in Medievel times. It was probably because butter was a staple ingredient as a result of the dairy farming industry. The first known recipe can be traced back to Elizabethan times. It is defined as a "biscuit rich in butter", eaten primarily during Christmas and New Years. It migrated across the ocean, where we Americans enjoy it everyday, although some of the best shortbread cookies are imports from England, known as Walker Shotbread Cookies
As for the something else, there are millions of cookie recipes out there, and thousands of cookies sold in stores throughout the country. I myself fell into the"other" category when I voted as my favorite cookie is a Pepperidge Farm Tahiti (coconut and chocolate, laced with butter), but that was before I baked up all those ketchup cookies :)
Here is the breakdown of our cookie survey, when asked to name their favorite cookie,
5% voted for Oreos, 44% voted for Chocolate Chips, 10% voted for Oatmeal, 11% voted for peanut butter, 16% for shortbread and 11% for something else...you are what you eat