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Cookies In Other Countries And How They Are Different

June 22, 2010

Everyone has fond childhood memories of winter afternoons when you would come home wrapped in layers of coats to find your mother in the kitchen smelling of baked cookies. Perhaps there was a bowl of raw cookie dough and she would let you eat a bit. Then there would be that beautiful moment when she would pull the first baking sheet of cookies from the oven and slide them onto the cooling rack. You would impatiently try to snatch one but she would warn you away, cautioning that they were still too hot; those delectable chocolate pieces are like molten lava. Chocolate chip cookies are probably the quintessential American childhood memory. They bring back fond feelings of mom in the kitchen and feeling safe, comforted and cared for. Often we try to duplicate our mothers’ recipes although some grownups opt for purchasing their cookies online.

But what about our neighbors in other countries, what childhood sweet treat memories do they think fondly of? Certainly, sweets are not indigenous to the United States. Other countries also have baked treats that they are as proud of and as nostalgic about. The different cookie types throughout the world are numerous and varied. For instance, in Greece, the treat of choice is baklava; a deliciously flaky baked pastry. When making baklava, a cook places many layers of a paper thin dough called filo with drizzled honey and finely chopped nuts; usually walnuts or pistachios. It is then baked to perfection becoming a flaky, sticky chewy treat. In Japan, one of the treats of choice is mochi. Mochi is made from coconut milk, sugar and rice flour and then baked, giving it a firm but gelatinous texture. Mochi can be flavored in a variety of ways, often with fresh fruit juices or mild spices.

In Russia, mothers may make Russian tea cakes for their children. These small globe shaped cookies are made with lots of butter and chopped nuts, making them extra flaky and crunchy. They are then rolled in finely powdered sugar which gives them a sweet but not overly sugary flavor. They go great with strong coffee drinks. In France, the Madeleine is queen of the cookies. These light, spongy dessert treats are one of the most delicate and difficult cookies to make and they require the use of a cookie mold. But if made correctly, they are superb! These are just a few examples of the different cookie types throughout the world. If you feel like being adventurous, you can always order these cookies online.

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