All Episodes

December 30, 2021 49 mins

No, we didn’t find another international distress signal we forgot to mention in our Mayday! Short Stuff, we’re just that jazzed about our episode on cookies. Are they even better than cakes? It’s up to you to listen and decide!

Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Mark as Played
Transcript

Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:01):
Welcome to Stuff You Should Know, a production of I
Heart Radio. Hey, I'm welcome to the podcast. I'm Josh Clark,
and there's Charles W Chuck Bryant over there, and this
is Stuff you should Know. The Delicia Dish, the Delicia Dish.
If you hear my dog's barking, I'm sorry, they will

(00:23):
not shut up. I really don't hear them. Well, I
can't see them either. I no, I canna hear them always.
You're very barky. That's the shell tea and them. Yeah,
we we house at our friend's dog, you know, Scotty.
Scotty's dog, Benny, came over for two weeks. Friend. Uh,

(00:45):
you know Benny. They kind of just coexist. We kind
of joked that he didn't know how to be a dog,
but he learned how to be a dog while he
was here a little bit being around our guys for
two weeks. But Scotty got married, by the way, So
congratulations Scotty and little it's congratulations Goddie. I gotta send
him like an ice cream maker or something. And I

(01:05):
got to aficiate my first wedding, which was fun. What
is going on? Yeah, it was really really enjoyed it
quite an honor. So that explains why you went through Catechism,
that's right. Yeah, so they got married, went on their
honeymoon for two weeks. We had Benny, but I don't
know why I started with that. Oh, Benny doesn't bark,
because Benny does know how to be a dog. But

(01:27):
he learned how to bark while he was here. Man,
that's not something you want your dog to learn, because
I have the barking his dogs of all time. He said, Oh,
that's that's that. Okay, I've heard of that before. That's fascinating.
Let me try. But there's nothing to do with cookies. No,
but everything henceforth in this episode we'll have to do
with cookies. Yeah, and I'm baking cookies tonight, by the way,

(01:49):
thank you. I yes. Restarting researching this, I was like,
I'm baking cookies too. And I want to give a
huge shout out to uh Sally's baking addiction. Who is
brown butter chocolate chip cookie recipe is hands down the
finest example of a chocolate chip cookie I've ever encountered
in my life. Yes, I mean, like days later, still chewy,

(02:15):
amazing stuff and it's worth the little extra effort and
making brown butter just totally worth it. I can't overstate
how good that recipe is, so you're not one of
those weirdos. It likes a good crisp chocolate chip cookie.
It's a little bit crisp beyond the edges, a little
bit chewy in the middle. It's it's a balance of everything.
But I can go either way. It's pretty. It's got

(02:36):
to be like a pretty lousy chocolate chip cookie for
me to not want it. You know, Yeah, I'll take
a crispy one. But boy, that the fresh out of
the oven kind that like folds down like a hot
slice of New York pizza. Yes, dude, I actually went
and purchased actual cow's milk to drink with while I
ate these cookies. They were it was that special whole milk. Yeah, okay, Yeah,

(03:00):
there were like chunks of fat just knocking around at
the top of the milk bottle. Uh. There's We're gonna
talk a lot about the cookies we like and don't
like in here, and what makes certain cookies great, of course,
but I guess we should just go a little bit
with the history and that the fact that a cookie
is you know, it's sort of like a cake, but

(03:22):
the ratio of ingredients is different, and that with a
cake you end up with what's called batter, and with
cookie you end up with what's called dough because of
the ratio of your ingredients. Yeah, and also sometimes the
ingredients themselves can differ. But if there's any other baked
good that a cookie resembles most closely, it's probably a cake.

(03:43):
In fact, I think the Cambridge and Collins dictionaries both
defined cookies as sweet usually round, flat cakes, which it
seems sensible, but when you really dig into it, you're like,
this actually doesn't fully hold up. Yeah, the cookies a cookie, Yeah,
because the cake, if you want to get you know,
jiggy with it. A cookie um is its own thing.

(04:04):
You hold a cookie with you eat it with your hand.
It's a self contained thing. A cookie is just one cookie,
and you can eat multiple cookies. But a cake is
like one big unit that you cut into subunits called
slices and usually eat it with a fork. So a
cookie is not a cake, and don't call it that
ever again, right unless it's a cupcake also not even
close to a cookie, that's right. But you do eat

(04:27):
that with your hand, which kind of under undermines that
whole idea that a cookie is just a dessert you
eat with your hand. It's a handcake, I guess. So,
but isn't that really a cupcake not a cookie? Well, no,
that's what I'm saying. A cupcake is a handcake. Oh okay, gotcha.
Well then we're on the same page. Finally, it's also
not a bread, even though you might hear gingerbread or
short bread bread as we know, and you know, cookies

(04:49):
kind of come from all of this tradition of of
bread baking and biscuit making and stuff like that in
a way, but gingerbreads and shortbreads they don't have leavening
agents like bread does. They're not gonna rise like a
bread is supposed to rise. And uh flour bread flour
has got usually more gluten going on in it. Yeah.

(05:10):
I mean like if you look at um cookie dough
and then you look at bread dough, it's it's like
two totally different things. Yeah, two different things. So not
really a bread, not really cake. So you might say
a pastry, it's a pastry. No wrong again, because pastries
at their base usually have some sort of flower of
some sort of fat and the water and it didn't

(05:30):
see water. Yeah. I looked up a bunch of pastry recipes,
Croissants and Danish is water. I didn't see water in
any of them, but water in all of them. None
of them had water. It's it's implied in the recipe.
Just work with okay, all right. It's so universally known
that you pull water in in pastries that you they
don't even include it in the recipe. The one recipe

(05:52):
I did say that I saw this headwater was a
bear claw. Really yeah, like a bear claw croissant doesn't
have water and not the recipes. That's really interesting. So
a lot of people do say cookies are a type
of pastry. I've seen elsewhere that that's not the case. No,
it's a cookie. So I came up with a definition
of cookies, if I may share it myself, A cookie

(06:15):
is quote. I'm quoting myself here, so I don't know
if it's right to actually say quote, but usually small,
off and round, usually flat, handheld dessert consisting of at
least flour, a fat like oil or butter, and sugar. That, friends,
is probably the greatest definition of cookie anyone's ever put

(06:36):
to paper, the only issue I would take is usually round,
because I've seen a lot of chipped cookies. But but
that's why I said, usually, okay, what would you say,
sometimes round? Frequently round? I might bump that up to
often I said off and round? I thought you said
usually no, usually small, off and round, usually flat. Okay, alright, boy,

(06:58):
I like it. Okay, So we've got the definition of cookies,
and I appreciate you indulge in me because I really
did kind of wade through a lot of the Internet
to put that together. But there was something in there
that's really important too, which is sugar. And you think, well, yeah,
of course sugar cookies are sweet. Well, there's other things
you can sweeten cookies with besides sugar, Like you got

(07:20):
molasses cookies, you've got honey cookies. Um, there's a lot
of different cookies you can you can make, but if
you dig into those recipes, you're gonna find they still
use sugar. And sugar is an extremely important um ingredient.
As we'll see a lot of people say basically, cookies
didn't exist until sugar came along. Yeah, depending on where
you are in the world, they're going to call them

(07:41):
different things. If you watch ted Lasso, you're gonna know
they call them biscuits in England, uh and also Australia.
In Spain there gelattas. The Germans call them kicks. I
don't know what that Christmas cookie. Don't even how to
pronounce that you took German? You don't know. I was
gonna ask you. I don't know. Man, that's five consonants
just to start the award. Please chin t l z H.

(08:08):
I would say it's probably like petch gin or something. Okay,
but again, no vowels in the beginning of that and
most of that word. Yes, what about Italy? Oh you're
talking about to be Scotty? Very nice? Yeah, which you
can find wrapped in a little jar at your local
um coffee place. Yeah, I'm not a fan of about Scotty.
It really depends. But no, for the most most part,

(08:30):
I'm not. Which it's a good thing we're not alive
and like the or fifteenth century, because we wouldn't have
had many options, you know what I'm saying. Yeah, I
get it that almondy taste is fine, but if I'm
gonna burned calories on a cookie, it ain't. It's not
gonna be a b Scotty, I got you, you know
what I mean. So the word cookie itself chuck comes
from the Dutch, who have the word uh cook j

(08:55):
ko e k j e means small or little cake
once again, right, So oh that's There's a lot of
different words for cookies, that's the point. But cookies are
their own thing, um, and over thousands of years people
have said these are great. I like this. I'm going
to contribute to humanity's understanding of of baking by creating
this cookie and that cookie. And now finally we're living

(09:19):
in what I consider the pinnacle of the age of cookies,
because I can't imagine we're going to come up with
better cookies that aren't just variations of what we have now.
I feel like we've created all of the great cookies,
and that really, if you dig into it, most of
the greatest ones, the apex, the pinnacle of them, were
created here in the good old Us of a agreed

(09:43):
but not the first cookies because we're a young country
and most people say that cookies have been around since
Persia around seventh century CE. Uh. They had sugar for
a while, and they had been making cakes and things
like that. You had be you know, pretty wealthy. And
that's a sort of a repeated thing you'll see in here.

(10:04):
As far as the early days of sugar being available,
you had to have pretty much a lot of money
and be part of royalty or at least super wealthy
to eat these sweet confections. But at some point there
was a Persian baker who said, all right, I got
a test out. I'm making a cake. I want to
see if this oven is ready. We don't have thermometers
or anything like that, so let me just throw a

(10:24):
little bit of this uh I guess dough in there
and see what happens. And it came out this little
little baby cake and tasted awesome, and so whatever accents
the Persians might have used, said, this is fantastic. Let
me keep doing this. I've discovered a new thing. Yeah,
they said, like, why don't I just make a batch

(10:46):
of test cakes only? And the cookie was born. That's
the story, It's not it's it's not entirely clear if
that's true. Um, it's spread all over the internet. I'm
not just in like the copy pay way like it
does seem to be that. Food historians tend to think
like that's that's possibly what happened. But even if that

(11:07):
is true, it ignores a lot of the previous evolution
that led to two cookies, um, that came before the Persians. Yeah,
and you know, we kind of mentioned this early. You know,
it comes from the tradition of baking bread, of course,
something that we've been doing for fourteen thousand years. But
those those have those leavening agents. Uh. The Mediterraneans used

(11:31):
to honey and they made these honey pastries for a
long long time. The Russians made these cookies called uh
priyan nix something like yeah, no, of you, I don't
I don't know, Okay, They're made from honey, rye, flower

(11:52):
and berries and those go back to fourth century BC. Uh.
And then we have our good old biscuits, Yeah, which
are they seemed to kind of have evolved from the
Romans who created something called rusk, which is you know
what you don't like about biscotti. Yeah, take away anything
even remotely likable about biscotti, and you've got rusk where

(12:14):
it was like it was a yeah, hard tech what
what like the Navy's um adopted and use this hard
tech and the reason that I think it was initially
created was because the Roman soldiers who were going further
and further afield, conquering all these different lands, they were
supplied with this this rusk as rations because what they
would do is they would bake bread and then they

(12:35):
would cut the bread into pieces and they would bake
it again, which would remove almost all of the water content,
all the moisture content from it. And you'd still have
the nutrients, but none of the moisture, which means that
it would um, it would stay for keep for a
very long time, like it wouldn't it wouldn't mold because
it didn't have any water to create mold. Yeah. I

(12:56):
mean when you hear that story, like why would they
purposely just keep making it and making it tastes worse
and worse. But it was just a necessity for for rations.
It was preserving it. Yeah. And there's a there's a
name for that baking process, right, that's right. Biscato from
Italian means twice baked. And that's where you get biscotti. Yeah.

(13:18):
Not only is that where you get biscotti, chuck, that's
also where you get biscuits. With the uk Um and
Australia New Zealand and a few other places referred to
their cookies as biscuits. That's a derivation of biscato. That's right,
pretty neat. This is making me nothing but hungry. That's okay,
because there's plenty of cookies in your future. I can

(13:38):
see it now, and I also see chuck in our
future and ad break happening. This is very nice, that's
all that coming. So okay. So, as we said, most

(14:05):
food his storians who think about these kind of things say, yeah,
it was Persia. Persia's the place where, um, where cookies
were kind of invented. And the reason you can't really
argue with that is because if you are of European
ancestry or live in a country that was founded through
European colonization, there's a pretty good chance that all of

(14:25):
the cookies that you've ever been exposed to came after
the introduction of sugar and cookies and spices um by
the Persians to the Europeans through the Crusades. That's right.
The crusades happen, and anytime there's a conquering nation, one
thing is for sure going to happen, and they are

(14:46):
going to spread, They're going to find all the delicious,
wonderful things that that culture does, and they're going to
steal them and take them back to their home lands.
And that's how things spread throughout the world. And that's
what happened with cookies. Yeah, and sugar, that's right. So
starting these Arab countries and they said, let's bring back
ginger and cinemam and cardamum and the sugar and all

(15:08):
this delicious stuff, and let's start making our own cookies. Yeah.
And then one of the reasons why all of this
stuff was in Persia at the time, Chuck, is not
just because the Persians had already started cultivating sugar they
had easy access to it, but they had access to
things like ginger too, like you said, um, which came
from Asia Um or East Asia, I should say um.

(15:32):
And the reason that they had access to this is
because they were pretty well located along the Silk Road.
But Europe, and especially Western Europe, was located very far
off of the Silk Road. So even though this stuff
was pretty commonly traded further east, you could not get
it in Europe unless you were one of the most
fabulously wealthy people on the planet at the time. Yeah,

(15:55):
and you know, as time crept on a little bit,
there was a little more access us two things like sugar,
but it was still, um, kind of like a special
occasion thing. You didn't necessarily have to be super wealthy.
But it wasn't like all of a sudden, the working
class of Europe was all of a sudden just baking
cookies all the time. Um. But that did give birth
to a tradition, which is if it's a special occasion

(16:19):
thing like oh, I don't know, Christmas time, then that
became a tradition, is making cookies and handing out cookies
to neighbors. Because you're not gonna bake a bunch of
cakes and deliver thirty five cakes to your neighbors because
that's a waste. But what you could do, like our
old friend Mona Collin teen used to do, she stopped.

(16:41):
I don't think she listens anymore anyway, she'll never hear this.
But it was really nice, Like I mean, maybe ten
different varieties every year, big box of it was great.
It was great. But that's where that tradition comes from.
Around Christmas time, on special occasions, baking batches of cookies
and sharing them with friends and neighbors. Because they were
splurging to show off for Baby Jesus. Sure, that's what

(17:04):
you do. So um. One of the things I came
across though, was that a family in medieval Europe or
Middle Aged Europe, um baking cookies around the holidays, we're
probably breaking the law. Because the trade guilds were really
powerful at the time. And among those trade guilds where
the baker's guilds who had managed to get laws and

(17:26):
acted that said you can't even bake for yourself in
your own home. You have to buy your bake goods
from a baker who's a member of a trade guild,
a trained baker. Um. And apparently everybody said nuts to that.
We're not We're not going to listen to that. And
over the course of a century or two, those that
kind of enforcement went away because who doesn't want to
bake in their own home? You know? Yeah? I mean,

(17:48):
I'm a union guy, but I draw the line at
some point, you know, Yeah, baking in your own home
is that line? Yeah? And it literally became the will
of the people, and they were just like, no, no no, no,
we're not doing this anymore. We gotta bake at home. Uh,
they were you know, some of the first recipes and
some of the first cookbooks in North America were cookie recipes. Yeah,

(18:10):
not just that, like even earlier than that, there was
um cookbooks that came out in like the sixteenth century,
the early seventeenth century, and they started having cookie recipes
in them and cake recipes in them. Uh. And the
reason why, one of the reasons why it was because
the European powers had started to call in nice places
where you could grow sugar, because people had gotten a

(18:32):
little taste of sugar and the demand was so great
that they went out and actually conquered new areas so
that they could grow sugar, which lowered the prices of sugar,
which meant that the average household was way more likely
to be able to afford it, and say like the
sixteenth or seventeenth or probably eighteenth century, um. And that
as a result led to these cookbooks coming up, like

(18:54):
like there's one called The Good Huswife's Jewel Chuck, did
you say housewife? Know? Huzzwives? What is that? Just I
guess a variation of I guess an old old timey
English way to put it. But if you look at
there's a recipe for fine cakes in there, and if
you look at it, you're like, how did anybody produce

(19:15):
anything like this? Like we we expect extremely precise recipes
these days when you open a cookbook, well for baking especially, Yeah,
because I mean it's a science experience, a chemical reaction
you're doing with baking. Cooking is a little more like
an art, right. So with a Good Housewife jewel with
the recipe for fine cakes, you could find um ingredients

(19:36):
like take two or three yolks of eggs in a
good quantity of sugar. Yeah, and I think each one
was was signed like good luck, Yeah, figure it out. Yeah.
But but apparently people got it right enough of the
time that these things really started to take off and
people were would bake cookies more and more. Yeah. We
mentioned shortbreads earlier that came from Scotland, and the name

(20:01):
shortbread might sound a little weird, but it was, um,
it was sort of a hybrid. It was it basically
means crumbly cookie. Um. Yeast was swapped out for butter
and sugar was added in when they had this leftover
bread and these hard biscuits, and it became shortbread and
they used short met crumbly. So that's where the crumbley

(20:21):
comes from and the uh there was a tax on biscuits,
and then the Scottish Heritage site says that they called
it bread to get around the tax on biscuit. So
that's why the only reason it's called shortbread, basically it
should have been called crumbly cookie exactly. Yeah. Somebody, some
tax collectors, like, that's a cookie. He said, no, it's
a it's a bread. It's a short bread. Quiet. Yeah,

(20:43):
that got me looking into the etymology of how the
cookie crumbles and it's It was one of those uh,
sort of disappointing ones where they just said, like uh
mid like nine fifties America, not Scotland in the eighteenth century. Yeah,
it couldn't be traced back to uh like a specific person.

(21:05):
And basically they some people said it might have come
from like say lev In France. Uh, but I just
I just love that line. In the apartment and Billy
Wilder is the apartment. He says it a couple of times.
He says, that's how it crumbles. Cookie wise said that
that's how the cookie crumbles. He said, that was it?
Jack Lemon. Jack Lemon said that, Yeah, that's just a

(21:26):
nice little turn of phrase by Billy Wilder. Good stuff, man.
I ended up watching Casablanca the other night. It just
happened beyond and I caught it towards the beginning. It
really is maybe the greatest movie ever made. It is
amazingly good. Like I liked it during my James Dean
like Humphrey Bogart teenage phase, but as an adult watching it,

(21:47):
I haven't seen it in many, many years. It's just
it's astounding how good it is, the acting, correcting, the lighting.
It's crazy. I need to do it. Chuck you will
like it is such a good movie. I can't imagine
than anybody's ever seen Cassi Blanc have been like that sucked?
Probably so have you seen The Apartment? No? I never have.

(22:07):
Al Right, well i'll trade you gotta see that. That
was on movie Crush. That was our good friend Scott Ackerman.
That was his movie, pick the Apartment or Cassi Blanca,
The Apartment. And Scott is such a pro and such
a sweetheart. He rewatched the movie and uh like reread
Mike multiple chapters of Billy Wilder's book in preparation for

(22:29):
that episode. That's what like what a pro he is
and designed an original movie poster for it. Yeah, did
he signed for me? That's nice. It sounds like Scott Ackerman. Yeah.
So alright, short bread is where we were cookies, Well,
we were talking. I think what the point we were
trying to get across is that, like the Europeans had
like a bananza golden age of cookie development after sugar

(22:51):
became widely available, say, starting in the fifteen hundred, sixteen hundred,
seventeen hundreds. And so you've got short bread created in Scotland.
Macaroon was created way earlier in Italy, but it spread
its way to France and then England got its hands right,
the macaroon different um, the coconutty kind that's crispy on

(23:14):
the outside, very chewy on the inside, and it's kind
of like a ball almost. Yeah, not a fan. Oh
I like them. I like them. I like a macron too.
I I don't really discriminate, like it has to be again,
it's got to be a pretty bad cookie. Usually it's
got to be a mass produced, industrialized cookie. As somebody
cooked it at home, I'm probably going to like it. Yeah, yeah, no,

(23:37):
I'm with you. And then gingerbread cookies to chuck um.
They made their first appearance in the fifteenth century. Yeah,
so we mentioned Greece coming over from China. But the
cookie itself, I believe started in Greece about b C.
And uh Medieval England. Medieval England preserved ginger um was

(24:02):
what gingerbread was called. But that's not like the dessert
that we're talking about. The dessert is, you know, is
that delicious sort of molasses gingery cookie that eventually they
started making into people shapes because of Queen Elizabeth the
first when dignitaries would uh visit, they would she would

(24:23):
she would have cookies shaped like them in tribute, and
that's how they came to be made. I think that
was Tie Gilliam. You just did. Actually, I think didn't
we on a Christmas episode do someone gingerbread houses or
gingerbread man? Yeah, I think we did it. May it
may have been our live one that we did in
two thousand eighteen. I'll have to look. Remember we've got

(24:47):
the handy list of everything we've ever done on Christmas
episodes that. Yeah, so you want to take a break
and then talk about cookies coming to their rightful place
where they will truly enter their true Golden Age America, USA. Yes,
that's right. We should insert like a bald eagle scream here. Oh,
we'll be right back. So one of the reasons all

(25:32):
the people chuck who are like, stop talking about how
great America and it's cookies are. One of the reasons
why our cookies are so great is because America has
always been a melting pot of immigrants coming from all
these different places. And one of the things that all
these immigrants brought with them where their cookies and their
cookie ideas, their cookie traditions and all that stuff got
blended together and inspired people that come up with new

(25:55):
stuff too, and now we have even better cookies, but
they improved upon the traditions of the of grids who
came here in the first place. That's right. And depending
on where you go in the United States today, you're
gonna see traces of those original immigrant populations and the
cookies that they brought by probably how popular the cookies
in that region still are today. If you go to

(26:15):
the Midwest, maybe uh, I don't know, Michigan, Ohio, you
might eat a pixel. I think it's bizele bazell I
think so. Yeah. I remember people calling it in Toledo. Okay,
they're probably like, oh my god, chuck that one up.
It's like a pizzas a round flat thing. A pizel

(26:36):
is like a little round flat thing basically all right,
but it's not like have you ever had one? Yeah?
I think so. It's like a little it's like a
little waffle, but not a stroop waffle. Yes, No, it's
like a waffle. It's a little thicker than a stroop waffle.
Um part um. It's almost like a crispi er um
doughier funnel cake that's much thinner and flatter, and it's

(27:00):
often flavored with annis and it can be really good,
but it can also be really dry and not good. Yeah.
But it's made in a little like waffle of iron mold. Yes,
I think it's one of those things where you really
want to eat a pizel, like fresh out of the iron.
What I call it a pizel pitzel. Yeah, that's not right.
That wasn't right. It's a pitzel cookie. I believe that

(27:24):
the Scottish shortbreads eventually became tea cakes here in the South,
which can be a thing. Evidently, I haven't had a
lot of teacakes but I think it's like part of
the old sort of southern tradition. Yeah, and like you
said to Chuck, I mean like Americans were cool with
cookies from the from the earliest stages of the country.
The first ever cookbook that was written by an American

(27:46):
printed in America was printed in sevent It's called American
Cookery by Amelia Simmons, and she had a bunch of
different cookie recipes in there. She did. She had a
few gingerbread cookie recipes. I think one reportedly is by
George Washington's mother. And uh, all kinds of fun names.

(28:09):
Kinka Woodles or how about a how about a tangle Breech?
I like that one, that's pretty good. What about plunkets
or cry babies? Cry baby sounds pretty good, it is,
but that's also the name of that little um. Remember
the sugar Daddy bar. Sugar Daddy bar, it's like a
very very chewy, I don't know what. Okay, So they

(28:31):
cut those into little kind of rabbit poop size pieces
and I think coated them with chocolate and called those
sugar babies. No, they're not coated in chocolate, which I
think is a failing. So that's what I always associated
with with cry babies, even though they're called sugar babies. Okay,
either that or that Johnny Depp John Waters movie of
the nineties. Yeah, baby Jolly Boys. That was another cookie

(28:54):
name met old cookbook. These are kind of fun. Sniack
or doodle not in there. No, And apparently snicker doodle
has give some sort of German derivation, but I'm not
sure about that. One thing I found researching cookies, Chuck,
is that there's a lot of contradictory information out there.
Sure that we invented it. Well, the sugar cook the

(29:17):
sneaker doodle is sort of a play on the sugar cookie,
as is the ice sugar cookie, which is the only
kind of sugar cookie. I like, Oh yeah, the ice one.
You don't like snicker doodles, Huh, I consider that a
sneaker doodle. I don't. I'm just talking about a standard
sugar cookie. I like a snicker doodle. Okay, yeah, I
like sugar cookie, but I just I meant like the

(29:40):
plain white sugar cookies. Yeah, I know. It's almost like
you're kind of like, well, you didn't finish there's no
frosting on here. Yeah, exactly, you know, so yeah, a little,
a little, if you're everage is hard up for something
like that. Just some like regular break and bake sugar
cookies and like a tub of vanilla frosting is all
you need to just recreate a world of wonder for yourself.

(30:04):
But yeah, you said the snickerdoodle and the sugar cookie
I think came from German immigrants, the Moravians. Pennsylvania very
famous for their stars as well. We have a Arabian
star light which I'm a big fan of. But they
were called Nazareth sugar cookies because of Nazareth Pennsylvania. Yeah,

(30:25):
or some people call him Amish sugar cookies. And some
people say, well, why wouldn't they just call him Moravian
sugar cookies because that would be too confusing. Because we
can also thank our friends the Amish or the Moravians,
the the group who moved to North Carolina for inventing
the Moravian spice cookie, which is a very crispy, very
thin little cookie um made with molasses and ginger and

(30:48):
cinnamon that you have around the holidays. Yeah, it's close
to gingerbread, but crispi er and thinner. Yes, And that
was an American made cookie as well. So both the
sugar cookie and the morava and spice cookie were invented
by the same sect of German Protestants who arrived in
Pennsylvania in North Carolina, respectively. Mind blowing, very cool. Uh,

(31:10):
we got to talk about the state cookie of New Mexico,
the bisco cheeto. This was brought in by the Spanish colonists,
sort of co developed by the Pueblo people there. Uh
and uh, you know areas like New Mexico what we
now call New Mexico, and bizcocho means cakes in Spanish,

(31:31):
so bisco cheeto means little cakes. Yeah, and bizcocho should
be like, oh, yeah, it's kind of like biscodo, which
it is. It's derived from that as well, like biscotti. Yeah, exactly,
they're all cognates. I have not had a bisco cheeto
cookie yet, but I planned to. Cinnamon and annas sounds
like a very waning combination. Yeah, I looked them up

(31:52):
on the internet that they look tasty. They definitely do.
But then I propose that it's maybe the most famous
cookie of all. Would you agree or disagree? Am I
over overstating things? No? I think the chocolate chip cookie
is the at least from our view of the most
famous cookie of all time. Okay, so that cookie is
one of those few origin stories that you can say definitively,

(32:15):
this person did this, and this is when they did it.
And no, there's not some other person out there who
says that they were the ones who did it, and
there's some evidence that they may have done it three
years earlier. That's not the case. The chocolate chip cookie
was invented by a woman named Ruth Wakefield in Whitman, Massachusetts,
possibly in nineteen thirty maybe one. Apparently she didn't remember

(32:37):
exactly when she did it, but she is the person
who invented the chocolate chip cookie. And what's awesome about
is she invented it by accident. And where was it?
At the toll house. In the toll house in there
you are everyone. She was baking. She needed Baker's chocolate.
She didn't have any that's that unsweetened chocolate that gives

(33:00):
you know, like fudge and cake, a lot of flavor
and the color. And she said, I don't have meny
of that. So I got the semi sweet chocolate. I'm
gonna chunk it up real good. And when she put
it in there. She found that those chunks did not
just smelt him, become a part of the entire cookie.
They held their shape and they came out, uh like
little chocolate chips because of that lower cocoa butter content

(33:20):
and bing bang boom chocolate chip cookie. Yeah, and she
served him anyway. I guess she tried when it was
like this is pretty boss, and they became like an
instant hit at the toll house, and so it was
called the toll House Cookie. Um, and I guess words
spread enough that I don't know if she approached Nestlie
or Nestle approached her, but they struck a deal that

(33:42):
they could print her recipe for toll House cookies using
semi sweet chocolate chips on their bags of semi sweet
chocolate chips, that her her cookie recipe was now helping
to move pretty good in exchange for a lifetime of
free chocolate. She said. She apparently thought it was just fine.
So she actually did end up cashing in. She sold

(34:03):
her fully sold all of her rights to the toll
House cookie what we call the chocolate chip cookie, to Nestley.
I think I don't remember exactly when she did that.
But they had it until nineteen eighty three and then
lost the rights. Chuck. Yeah, I mean I think at
a certain point it was just like, sorry, this belongs
to the world. Yeah, there was, you can't own this anymore.

(34:25):
I saw eight poll that said that more people associated
the term toll house with cookies or chocolate chip cookies
in general than they did with Nestlie or any of
its products. That was not the case for me. I
always called chocolate chip cookies a chocolate chip cookie. Did
you ever call him toll house cookies? Nope, cho chocolate
chip cookies. It was a weird pole or people who

(34:46):
were polled in this weird pole were very weird back
in agreed, Although I don't remember. Maybe we did say
that when I was seven. I just I don't remember
it at all. I mean a TV commercial set it.
That didn't count. But that was a commercial for the
Nestle bag of chips. They were chips. That's what I
always thought of him. Man, Man, do you remember the

(35:07):
butter scotch chips. I would just eat an entire bag
of those things by myself, just just right out of
the bag. Yeah, I mean the peanut butter chips, butter
Scotch chips, if you throw a little the plain eminem's. Uh,
those those are all good variations. But but your classic
chocolate chip cookie is is just a hands down winner. Yeah,

(35:28):
and in particular Sally's making addictions. Brown butter America also
birth the peanut butter cookie and the brownie, the oatmeal
raisin cookie. Um, I get. Can we skip to brownie
real quick and talk about that short of pedantis um? Yeah?
Because I'm sure some people are brownies aren't cookies. Well

(35:49):
that's me. I just yeah, It's just it's one of
those things where it's just it feels like a pedantic
argument to call a brownie a cookie. Technically it's a
pan cookie. But to me, a brownie is a brownie.
And if someone comes up, I think it's the other
way around, say no, brownie's a brownie? Is to say no, no,
technically brownies for cookies. Well yeah, I mean, if anybody

(36:09):
says it to you, just say hey, you want a brownie,
and that just takes care of exactly. Why talk about it?
Just eat it? Right? But but the point is, this
is a brownie is I'm just not letting this pass by.
A brownie is a type of cookie is a bar
cookie in the same way that a lemon bar is
a bar cookie. Nana Emo, Um is a bar cookie.

(36:32):
I'm pretty sure I'm saying that right, Um. And it's
just a cookie where you you take the battery and
you build it. You bake it in a single mass
and then cut it into squares rather than baking them individually.
But it's still a cookie. Not to me, it's not.
That's fine, that's totally fine. I just I could not
explain it further. But consistency is different to me, the

(36:56):
that the little flaky top is different. It's just all different. Well,
let me ask you this, chuck. What about a chocolate
chip brownie that is nothing more than a square, slightly
thicker chocolate chip cookie. No, do you mean a choci
a pan baked chocolate chip cookie. Yeah, well that's not
a brownie. That's a that's a pan baked chocolate chip cookie.

(37:17):
But it looks exactly like a brownie. It's the same shape,
but it has different consistency and doesn't have that flaky top.
So to you, just just the brownie is its own thing. Yeah, okay,
what about a lemon bar. It's a lemon bar. Okay,
I can, I can. I can get with you on
both of those. Actually, but I mean that's just you know, again,

(37:38):
it's a this is a pedantic argument that that no
one should ever have. Those are my favorite kind. What
you should do is just sit down, eat those cookies,
Eat those brownies, Eat those eat those bar brownie cookies.
Throw some ice cream on top, some hot fudge, some
whipped cream. Put a lemon bar on there. I'm not

(38:00):
a big lemon bar guy. Oh I like them, but
they have to be totally by themselves. You wouldn't mix
that with anything. No, I'm not a big fan of
lemon cookies either, Like lemony sweets aren't my favorite. I
got you, I love them. I feel like, how if
you take your likes and my likes and my dislikes
and your just likes and put us together, we form
a fully formed whole. You know, we would like every everything.

(38:24):
So chuck. There's a couple of other kinds of cookies
we need to shout out real quick. Um, the cutout cookie,
where you roll them out and cut them out. That's
why they're called that. Like a Christmas sugar cookies are
often cut out cookies that are fun I don't love
to eat those as much like a a Christmas shaped
cookie with the sprinkles on top. Uh, not my favorite.
I'm I'm sort of a dropped cookie purest. Yeah. Drop

(38:47):
cookies are kind of like a chocolate chip cookie where
you like scoop them out by the spoonful and drop
that mound on there and they kind of spread and
flatten out as they bake, producing a round, flat dessert tree.
That's right. And by the way, brownies we know the
edema or the etymology want to be just the origin

(39:08):
story what Fannie Farmer in nineteen o five and been
at the brownie? Uh, there's a story that a housewife
in Maine forgot baking powder and their chocolate cake and
it became a brownie. And that's in like some cooking encyclopedias.
Not true, because that was in nineteen and twelve, and
Fanny Farmers recipe was printed in nineteen o five. Yeah,
and Fanny Farmer actually did a lot more than just

(39:30):
invent the brownie. She also is credited for inventing the
oatmeal raisin cookie too. Oh really, Yeah, she's very prolific.
See here's my deal. I listened to a judge John
Hodgman the other day and Jesse Thorne, our friend and
bailiff of that show called raisins a a b s
addition to any sweet treat, which I generally agree. But

(39:52):
I like an oatmeal raisin cookie and I'm not the
biggest raising guy, A good one for sure, but that's
pretty much the limit of raisins in in dessert unless
it's just a fistful of raisins. The Great Clinic Swood movie,
It's right, they're really scraping the bottom of the barrel.
Uh what about the ice box cookie? So those came

(40:12):
along after the image of the ice box obviously, but
usually you take the dough and you roll it into
a log, chill it, and then you cut it into
slices and those slices are baked as cookies. Yeah. If
you look at a pin wheel cookie, that that swirly
shape comes because it's rolled up and chilled, or the
logs of like ready to bake cookie dough you find

(40:33):
in like the dairy issle, that's that's an ice box cookie. Technically,
I disagree because that's not rolled flat. That's just a
big tube. So no, no, it's not rolled flat. A
pin wheel cookies not roll flat either. It's rolled into
like a tube, but cylinder, and then you cut the
cylinder into slices. No, no, no, it's rolled flat and
then it's rolled so it's got it's got rings saying

(40:56):
I got you, I got you. Um yeah, I think
the final product and the fact that it's a tube
in the fridge makes it an ice box cookie. Alright,
that's not just me saying that. Either you got your
classic sandwich cookie, which everything from an oreo to a
macron to uh those great ritz peanut butter ritz chocolate

(41:20):
dip things that his grandmother used to make. Who, by
the way, is turning a hundred and one this year.
I'm not on Facebook anymore, but Mary's turning a hundred
and one and a couple of weeks. Hey you did Facebook,
Good for you, Jack. Yeah, I deleted my account. I'm
I was out of there. That is what they call
mental health. I did miss it at all. No, did

(41:41):
it take any kind of transition period for you? You know?
The only thing I missed that was actually genuinely hard
was the movie crush page and the movie Crushers Page. Uh.
Those were awesome and it was a great community. It
is a great community, I hope still. But that was
the hardest part to leave because I really really enjoy
my interactions. There was a very kind little corner of

(42:02):
the internet. But having said that, it was all for
my well being, so I had to let that go
even Yeah, so anyway, Mary's a hundred one soon. I
want to let the stuff. You should know Army that
I'm glad that came up actually, because she's she's you know,
she's not doing the best here at a hundred one,
but she's hanging in there. Well, a super duper hooper.

(42:23):
Happy birthday to you, Mary, hundred one. That is amazing.
That is really impressive. But back to sandwich cookies. You
also got your stroop waffle. I think I mentioned the
macaron get to Malamar's Catch your moon pies Oreos. Yeah,
it's classic. Apparently, the whoopee pie is the original sandwich
cookie and that we can thank our Amish friends for

(42:45):
as well. Supposedly, the name came from Amish workers on
job sites going whoopy when they opened their lunch pail
and found a whoopee pie inside. Yeah, I like a
whoopee pie, just the cake if it has too much
cake to fill it, it becomes a little cumbersome. Point
definitely has to be just right. But researching this chuck it.

(43:06):
Maybe wonder if oreos were meant to be like kind
of some sort of manufactured whoopee pie. Maybe I will
say this, the only oreo worth eating is the double stuff.
Do you like the the golden kind or the chocolate
kind or both? I don't. I don't try the variations.
I like the regular What about you like them? Pretty much? All?

(43:28):
There's only been a couple of weird oreos that I
was like, Man, not this one. Okay, there's all kinds
of crazy flavors now, right. Yeah, the birthday cake and
the rice Crispy Tree oreos were pretty great. The birthday
cake thing has infested every area of the sweet realm. Yeah,
for good reason though. I mean, you get some frosting

(43:49):
in there, well, that's pretty much it. That's an excuse
to put frosting in something that wasn't otherwise there, or
in the case of an oreo, you're putting frosting inside
of austing and that is amazing. I've got something else here. Now,
we've got a few more little tidbits cookie dough. I
tried to find out sort of the rise of eating

(44:10):
cookie dough and it becoming a thing, and no one
really knows when it started to be a big thing.
I mean they think nostalgia obviously has a big part
in it with looking the better off, the mixing things.
But they said that this new generation, like Gen Z,
has taken it to a new level. Uh. And they
in college towns cookie dough is triple in sales what

(44:34):
it is in a regular town, partially because dorms don't
have ovens, but partially because the younger generation just eats
the stuff up. Yeah, there's this is all safe to
eat now. I know everyone thinks it's eggs, but it's
usually the flower that caused causes problems. Yeah, it's bacteria

(44:55):
and the flower. And so they said, salmonella and eggs
is really if you take care of your eggs, it's
really not much of a problem. Most eggs are pasteurized.
Now yeah, well that too. But like if you if
you buy the cookie dough that you're allowed to eat
in the grocery store, like just right out of the thing,
like cookie dough for eating it has got treated flour.
It's uh, it's called heat treated flour, which means Yeah,

(45:18):
they just bring the flower up to about a hundred
and sixty five degrees fahrenheit for a little while, and
then that that takes care of any bacteria and then
you can just eat cookie dough like it's going out
of stop. I did not know that. Thank you for
that one, man. That's the fact of the podcast right there.
And the cookie dough ice cream that started in by
Ben and Jerry's and their Vermont scoop shop. Yeah, that's

(45:40):
good stuff. Apparently it was anonymous suggestion on their suggestion board. Yeah, man,
that was nice. So somebody really lost out on something
big royalties. They left another anonymous suggestion saying, can I
have a little bit of money from my idea? You've
got some other good facts here, don't you. Yeah, best
selling cookie in the world, Chuck, what is it? Oh jeez,

(46:04):
I don't know. Oreo? Oh is it Orio? It is?
Or at least in two thousand fourteen, the latest I
could find was um okay, But I think that bears
reminding me. I know we've talked about it before that
Oreo is actually the knockoff that Hi Drocks was the original,
and Oreo came along and knocked off Hi Drocks and
then became the greatest selling cookie in the world. Ah,

(46:25):
that's right. I love that story. I like this bit
you have on Famous Amos to the very famous Famous
Amos cookies. Uh. I don't think I knew this. Wally
Amos was an agent, the first African American agent at
the William Morris Agency, and he would bake these cookies
to give his axe to be like, hey, how about

(46:46):
some cookies you want to stay with me? Right? And
they were really popular and he spun it off and
founded his own company. Yes, and then I got one
more chuck Um. People leave cookies out for Santa, right. Sure,
you'd think they'd be pretty old, but actually apparently they've
traced it back to the Great Depression in America. Uh

(47:08):
Santa cookies. Yeah, that they were teaching kids to show
gratitude and appreciation for the gifts that they were getting,
and that was some parents started that, and that was
where kids started leaving cookies out for Santa. That's what
I saw. I saw in multiple places. Yeah, at a
very unlikely time. That's very nice. So that's it for
cookies everybody. I think the only thing left to do

(47:31):
is to go eat some cookies. I wouldn't know how
many people are going to bake cookies tonight. That's great.
That was kind of the point. I wanted everybody to bake.
And I also want to shout out some of our sources,
the Nibble's Cooking America and many many many others. Um uh.
And since I said many many many others and Chuck
said yum, that means it's time for a listener mail. Well,

(47:56):
what it's time for is to talk about Sketch Fest. Okay,
but because we're returning to the live stage, everybody and uh,
we want to see you. It's a vaccinated only show.
It is a masked show. We're gonna do it as
safely as possible. And this is on January one, at
the best comedy festival in the land. Yeah, we'll be
at the Sydney Goldstein Theater and you can get tickets

(48:19):
at SF sketch Fest dot com. And it will be
the first time in two years that we will have
been on stage. So um, it's gonna be fun to
see for you guys. One way or another, whether we
bomb or not, that's one that will be great. It'll
be a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to
it really miss getting on stage, so it's gonna be great.
So we'll see you guys January two. And Chuck, speaking

(48:43):
of two, this is our last regular episode of one.
So first, I want to wish my dear sweet wife
you me very very happy birthday today. Um she actually
I said, Hey, which would you rather know more about
contortionists or cookie? And she said cookies? So I dedicated
this episode to her, and UM, I think we should

(49:05):
wish everybody out there a very very happy new year
in the hopes that two is a really, really great year,
don't you. That's right. Thanks for all the support, not
only this year but over all the years that allow
us to have one of the best jobs in the world.
It means everything to us, and ye all mean everything
to us, and so thanks a lot. I hope you
had a great or at least a better and maybe

(49:29):
things will be even better next year. If you want
to get in touch with us to tell us how
great your news EVE was, you can send it in
an email to Stuff Podcasts at iHeart radio dot com.
Stuff You Should Know is a production of iHeart Radio.
For more podcasts my heart Radio, visit the iHeart Radio
app Apple podcasts, or wherever you listen to your favorite shows.

Stuff You Should Know News

Advertise With Us

Follow Us On

Hosts And Creators

Josh Clark

Josh Clark

Chuck Bryant

Chuck Bryant

Show Links

Order Our BookStoreSYSK ArmyAboutRSS

Popular Podcasts

Stuff You Should Know

Stuff You Should Know

If you've ever wanted to know about champagne, satanism, the Stonewall Uprising, chaos theory, LSD, El Nino, true crime and Rosa Parks, then look no further. Josh and Chuck have you covered.

The Nikki Glaser Podcast

The Nikki Glaser Podcast

Every week comedian and infamous roaster Nikki Glaser provides a fun, fast-paced, and brutally honest look into current pop-culture and her own personal life.

Music, radio and podcasts, all free. Listen online or download the iHeart App.

Connect

© 2024 iHeartMedia, Inc.