On Friday, December 4, sweet-toothed citizens across the U.S. celebrated a little-known but much-loved national holiday: National Cookie Day. Although considered an "unofficial" national holiday, National Cookie Day was said to be found in 1987 by the Blue Chip Cookie Day. The day exists for cookie lovers to eat, dunk, and embrace the baked treat. And while it's a national holiday, it doesn't seem like Americans are skimping on the cookies any other day of the year. In fact, cookies are enjoyed in 90% of households, and if you did the math, each person in the U.S. consumes approximately 300 cookies each year -- or 2 billion as an annual national total. The word 'cookie' derives from the Dutch word 'keokje,' meaning little cake. And when desserts are smaller, it means you can have more than just one, and who doesn't love that? So considering these astronomically kooky cookie stats, this begs a larger question: why is America so obsessed with cookies? Whether it's gourmet cookies, homemade, chocolate chip cookies, or even gluten free cookies Americans can't seem to get enough. According to critically acclaimed food writer, Alice Medrich, there's lots to love about the handheld dessert treat -- particularly its versatility. Cookies come in such a wide array of flavors, textures, shapes, and sizes, that there's something out there for everyone. And despite their idiosyncrasies and perceived complexities, even the most trying of cookie recipes
are relatively simple for the home baker. Medrich writes: "That means there is a cookie for every personality and predilection, every mood and motivation. If you crave something crunchy to dip into your coffee or wine — there’s a biscotti to satisfy you. If you want gooey, or seductive, oozing with chocolate or caramel — from pudding bars to brownies, your options are endless. Soft and cakey, chewy or flakey, spicy with ginger, or tangy with lemon: there are cookies for all of these cravings and countless more." Indeed, there is certainly a cookie recipe out there for everyone. And perhaps that's why America loves the cookie so much. In the land of the free, the land of choice, Americans get to choose their cookie and eat it too. It's really the best of both worlds.