What is a Cookie?

Appears in

The Cookie Lover's Cookie Book

The Cookie Lover's Cookie Book

By Richard Sax

Published 1986

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In Harold McGee’s On Food and Cooking, a fascinating-—and readable—book on “food science,” there’s an attempt to define what a cookie actually is:

Given the huge range of products covered by this term, everything from miniature cakes to a hardened sugar syrup to thin, crisp sheets of well-developed glutenous dough, it is impossible to explore cookies in much detail without writing a small book.
Without getting too technical, McGee notes that cookie doughs are proportionally richer in butter (or other shortening) than doughs for muffins, biscuits, or bread. Of the major types of doughs for baked goods, only pastry contains more fat: about 65 percent of the flour by weight for pastry, compared to 40 percent for cookies.