Are You the Cookie Monster?

cookieNo matter how old you are, everyone loves a good cookie.  Cookies are warm and soft and always sweet.  Well, luckily Sunday is National Cookie Day!  Celebrate the holidays and National Cookie Day by sharing a cookie with friends, coworkers and your loved ones.

 

Kooky History

 

Cookies were created by accident.  To test the temperature of their ovens, chef’s would use a small amount of cake batter.  This cake batter would form (what we now call) a cookie.  The word cookie comes from the Dutch word “koekie”, meaning little cake.  The koekie was not as sweet as cookies are today.

 

Cookies arrived in America in the 17th century.  Macaroons and gingerbread cookies were among the first popular cookies in America.

 

Cookie Varieties

 

There are many different varieties of cookies and they can be made in many different ways.  Here are five popular types of cookies.

 

  1. Drop Cookies are your traditional chocolate chip cookies. Dough is dropped onto the baking sheet and the mounds flatten and spread during baking.
  1. Rolled Cookies are made with stiff, chilled dough that is rolled out and cut with a cookie cutter. Sugar and gingerbread cookies are an example of this.
  1. Pressed Cookies are made from soft dough that is placed in a cookie press. These are typically fancy cookies.
  1. Bar Cookies are some of the easiest cookies to make. The dough is poured and pressed into a pan, sometimes in multiple layers. After baking, they can be cut into squares or triangles that resemble bars.
  1. Filled Cookies are made from cookie dough stuffed with fruit, raisin or peanut butter! Tart cookies are an example.

 

Homemade Cookies

 

There is nothing better than a homemade cookie.  You can taste the freshness, and who doesn’t love a warm, homemade cookie.

 

Here are some tips on swaps you can make to switch up your traditional cookie recipes.  These recipe modifications can help reduce the sugar or fat in a recipe or add more fiber for more health benefits!  Remember, you can have your cookie and eat it too!

 

  • Replace butter with canola oil to reduce the saturated fat in the recipe. Since oil is pure fat, while butter is ~80% fat, only use ¾ of the amount the recipe calls for.  However, swapping oil for butter will change the texture of the cookies.
  • Fruit purees will reduce the overall fat in a recipe while still maintaining its deliciousness. Applesauce and pumpkin puree will make your cookies chewier and softer.  Swap out ½ your fat with a fruit alternative and you won’t regret it.
  • Adjust your recipe by cutting sugar by 1/3. There is a lot of unnecessary sugar in cookie recipes that make them very heavy.  Reducing the sugar will still keep an enjoyable flavor and texture.
  • Oats can be the perfect addition to your cookies. Rolled oats add a pleasing texture and a good deal of fiber.
  • Nuts, like walnuts, almonds or peanuts, can also be added to your cookies. They provide a lot of healthy fats and vitamins that your cookies would otherwise be lacking.

 

If you’re not a cookie person, I have another type of “cookie” you can try.  It’s called Apple Cookies. Wash and core an apple.  Turn the apple horizontally and cut it into ¼ inch slices.  Then, spread a thin layer of nut butter on one side of your slices. Top with your choice of granola, raisins or mini semi-sweet chocolate chips! YUM!

 

Your Turn to Take Action:  What’s your favorite type of cookie?  Let me know in the comments below!

 

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