249. Favorite cookies

North Americans are known for their "sweet tooth".
This means that they like snacks with lots of sugar.
Americans drink a lot of coffee, tea and hot chocolate,
and usually they have something sweet with their drink.
Cookies are one of America's favorite desserts.
The word "cookie" comes from a Dutch word meaning "little cake".
People from Europe brought their favorite recipes with them when they came to America.
The English brought their custom of having tea in the afternoon.
Usually with their tea they would have cakes or biscuits.
Biscuits are usually hard wafers like, for example, ginger snaps.
In fact, the Italian slang word for Englishman is "cake eater".
In the early days, all cookies were homemade.
But, in the late nineteenth century, biscuits began to be manufactured in large quantities by machine.
In 1912, the National Biscuit Company (Nabisco) in the U.S.A. introduced Oreo cookies.
This cookie has a rich cream vanilla filling between two crispy chocolate wafers.
This product was designed to meet the demand for an English-style biscuit.
Oreos were good to dunk in a drink, to eat whole, to eat in parts, or to use in cooking.
Oreos have become both America's and the world's favorite commercial cookie.
New varieties of Oreos are added regularly to the original product.
Although commercial biscuits like Oreos are very popular, many people prefer home-baked ones.
In fact, there is a whole line of commercial cookies called "home-style",
which try to imitate homemade cookies.
The most popular cookie in America can be either bought in a package or baked at home.
These are chocolate chip cookies.
Ruth and Kenneth Wakefield operated the Toll House Inn in Whitman, Massachusetts.
One day in 1930, Mrs. Wakefield ran out of baking chocolate for her baking cookies.
She broke up a chocolate bar and added the pieces to her cookie mix.
She expected that the chocolate bits would melt into the dough when she baked them.
But they didn't.
Soon chocolate chip cookies were being made commercially by adding small chunks of chocolate to regular chocolate cookie dough.
Lots of people like to make their own by adding commercial chocolate chips to their dough.
Now chocolate chip cookies are the most popular kind of cookie in North America.
Over seven billion are eaten annually here.
Half of all the cookies baked in American homes are chocolate chip cookies.
Experiments in baking and packaging have led to new kinds of cookies.
Recently, soft cookies have become very popular.
Since they are packaged in foil, they can stay fresh and soft for many months.
It seems likely that the love of cookies will be around for a long time.

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