[Sca-cooks] A Cookie by Any Other Name

Daniel Myers edoard at medievalcookery.com
Thu Jan 25 16:31:46 PST 2007

On Jan 25, 2007, at 2:49 PM, Elise Fleming wrote:

> Greetings!  It was posited that the cookie didn't appear until the  
> 1800s.
> So... when is a cookie not a cookie?  The instructions for  
> Shrewsbury cakes
> results in something that looks like a modern day cookie but it is  
> called a
> "cake".  While the word cookie might be OOP, did not a flat, thin,  
> round or
> otherwise-shaped crisp-ish thing made of flour, sugar and other  
> ingredients
> exist before then?

My viewpoint is that a "cookie" is a "flat, thin, round or otherwise- 
shaped crisp-ish think made of flour, sugar and other  
ingredients" ... and is leavened with baking powder and/or baking soda.

Shrewsbury cakes, and other similar baked goods made with flour,  
sugar, and fat, but without leavening, fall into a category of things  
I'd refer to as "shortbreads".

If the proportion of fat was significantly smaller than would be in  
"shortbreads", then I'd probably call them "crackers", or maybe  
"biscuits" if I was in a UK sort of mood (I believe this would  
include Hildegarde Von Bingen's flour-spice things).

So using these definitions I'd consider "cookies" to be out of period.
... Of course from my (admittedly warped) viewpoint, anything after  
1500 is OOP.

- Doc

   "Then cover your But-head with a sheet onely in Summer,
     but blankets in Winter..."    - Sir Kenelme Digby, 17th c.

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