Friday, December 19, 2008

Dictionary Friday: Cookies

A cookie can be any of various hand-held, flour-based sweet cakes — either crisp or soft. The word cookie comes from the Dutch koekje , meaning "little cake." The earliest cookie-style cakes are thought to date back to seventh-century Persia, one of the first countries to cultivate sugar. There are six basic cookie styles, any of which can range from tender-crisp to soft. A drop cookie is made by dropping spoonfuls of dough onto a baking sheet. Bar cookies are created when a batter or soft dough is spooned into a shallow pan, then baked, cooled and cut into bars. Hand-formed (or molded) cookies are made by shaping dough by hand into small balls, logs, crescents and other shapes. Pressed cookies are formed by pressing dough through a COOKIE PRESS (or PASTRY BAG) to form fancy shapes and designs. Refrigerator (or icebox) cookies are made by shaping the dough into a log, which is refrigerated until firm, then sliced and baked. Rolled cookies begin by using a rolling pin to roll the dough out flat; then it is cut into decorative shapes with COOKIE CUTTERS or a pointed knife. Other cookies, such as the German SPRINGERLE, are formed by imprinting designs on the dough, either by rolling a special decoratively carved rolling pin over it or by pressing the dough into a carved COOKIE MOLD. In England, cookies are called biscuits , in Spain they're galletas , Germans call them keks, in Italy they're biscotti and so on.

© Copyright Barron's Educational Services, Inc. 1995 based on THE FOOD LOVER'S COMPANION, 2nd edition, by Sharon Tyler Herbst.

I'm getting a late start today, huh? Busy time of and home-wise. Fortunately, I'm about to wrap-up my work for this week, and I'm going to move on to a little cookie baking.

I'll be making some Barefoot Contessa-inspired jam thumbprint cookies, along with these homemade slice-and-bake sugar cookies.

Let's all just cross our fingers that today's baking goes better than the gingerbread house fiasco...

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