Hilde Lee: Cookies Can Rekindle Holiday Memories, People | To eat


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There are more varieties of cookies than any other baked product because there are so many shapes, sizes, textures, and flavors. To the basic ingredients, often the same as those used in cakes, all kinds of flavors can be added, such as extracts, spices, nuts and fruits. Decorations vary from cookie to cookie.

Cookies are generally classified according to how the dough is shaped. The six classifications are Bars and Squares, Drip Cookies, Wrapped Cookies, Pressed Cookies, Molded or Shaped Cookies, and Refrigerator Cookies. Both bar and drop cookies are made with a soft dough. Others use a stiff dough which is generally less sweet and higher in fat.

First-class homemade cookies are poor candidates for commercial manufacture. They are too fragile, too labor intensive, too dependent on expensive ingredients such as pure butter. Looking at a store-bought cookie may conjure up images of grandma, but the taste of her homemade cookies is a far cry from those made in the store.

One year, I tried baking a wide variety of cookies for Christmas – some spicy, some nutty, some sprinkled with dried fruit, chocolate, and some shortbread. I had collected cookie recipes all year round for my Christmas baking. They were all good, but it took forever to make them; never.

I have come to the conclusion that there must be several thousand cookie recipes. Almost everyone has a favorite cookie, whether it’s crisp and chewy, soft and chewy, or high in butter and sweet. Cookies come in all sizes and shapes, frosted or not, and in a variety of textures and flavors. There are cookies for all occasions, from stylish parties to picnics.

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