National Cookie Day: Why cookies are awesome


For National Cookie Day, we’re going to explore why cookies are awesome.

It’s National Cookie Day, which seems like a perfect reason to explore why cookies are awesome.

For one thing, they’re a holiday tradition, as the scene of a little kid baking them with their grandma is a classic image, whether that comes from real-life memories or from Pillsbury commercials.

For another, these ready-bake cookies are the beginning step of learning how to bake for many people, and doesn’t everybody sometimes sneak some raw cookie dough during the baking process?

They are small, easily fitting into a hand, and can be eaten quickly, with no need for silverware like cakes or the messiness of ice cream.

And everyone knows that cookies and milk ought to be left out for Santa each Christmas Eve, though when this caught on is somewhat of a mystery. Oreos, chocolate chip and gingerbread seem to be the top choices.

The History Channel speculates that it became a part of Christmas mythology during the Great Depression as a way to help teach children gratitude, though it might have roots in an ancient Scandinavian custom of leaving gifts for Odin’s horse Sleipnir in the hope of receiving presents.

NPR seems to think it has more to do with the Victorian era and the idea of childhood as a time to learn how to behave properly, and that perhaps cartoonist Thomas Nast, who pretty much created our modern idea of Santa Claus, may have introduced the idea of leaving cookies and milk as a snack for Santa.

And how many snacks have country music written about them? George Strait’s 1999 “Christmas Cookies” and Clint Black’s 2004 “Milk and Cookies” have both become familiar radio staples of during the Christmas season.

Arguably the most famous Sesame Street Muppet is Cookie Monster, who could easily explain why cookies are awesome at length, if anyone cared to listen to a very long (and ultimately destructive) monologue.

Who can see the letter C and not instantly think “C is for Cookie”? It’s good enough for me!

Cookies represent care and thoughtfulness, in that the giver usually took the time to bake and deliver the snack, or chose them from a bakery, taking into consideration the recipient’s tastes and allergies, if necessary.

Another underrated aspect is how versatile they are – you can make cookies out of pretty much anything: oatmeal and raisins, chocolate and peanut butter, the cinnamony goodness of snickerdoodles, cranberries and white chocolate, even sweet potato and cheese (if you’re baking cookies for your favorite canine companion, that is.)

There are also the variety of textures, from hard biscotti, shortbread or butter cookies, to chewy fresh-baked just-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookies, to the stickiness of refrigerated no-bake cookies.

Of storebought cookies, the scale runs from the dollar store wafer sticks to the classiness of Pecan Sandies or Pepperidge Farm Milanos, with Chips Ahoy, Oreo and Keebler offering a variety of flavors and varieties in the middle.

This powerful mental association with pleasant things could be why Buffy Summers’ (Sarah Michelle Gellar) “I’m cookie dough” speech in the series finale (“Chosen,” 7.22) of Buffy the Vampire Slayer worked so well.

During college in the small city of Tahlequah, Oklahoma, the wonderful downtown institution of Morgan’s Bakery was a ten-minute walk from campus, which brightened up many a day of studying with the colossal Tiger Cookies (Morgan’s specialty of massive sugar cookies, shaped like tigers after a local high school mascot).

Other delicious Morgan’s favorites were the gingerbread cookies (which taste like larger versions of Little Debbie’s gingerbread men), the fruit bars and the cannoli.

Next. How were Milano cookies created?. dark

However you choose to celebrate National Cookie Day this year, we hope you enjoy a delicious snack and reading why cookies are awesome.