No recipes, just looking
December 5, 2016 7:40 AM   Subscribe

Wikipedia's List of Cookies of the world. List of Cakes. List of Candies.
posted by Mchelly (19 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
These things always remind me that the American English so easily becomes the default for lists like these. I can't help but feel that some of these global resources erode cultural diversity.
posted by biffa at 7:46 AM on December 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

I love falling down wikiholes with "List of . . ." entries. The "food" portal is very calming to jangled nerves.

My "one of these days" recipes include medieval German cookies, like springerle, but I don't want to send off for ingredients I'd never use otherwise, like hartshorn. Tried making my own Turkish delight once -- it was a gummy disaster.
posted by Countess Elena at 7:46 AM on December 5, 2016 [3 favorites]

Ha. Added the tag wikihole.
posted by Mchelly at 7:53 AM on December 5, 2016

So, here's the thing about this December in The Empress' Empire.

* I got all my Christmas shopping done back in July, while on a vacation (I went to a few different stores and just went "I'll take eight of these and five of those and a couple of those...." and I'm assigning people gifts out of the stockpile). This is giving me more time than I usually have in December.

* Also, the roommate who just moved out was celiac. This means that my self-imposed "stay away from baking things" guideline has been lifted.

* Also, and the roommate who just moved in brought a shit-ton of baking supplies.

* Also, over the course of the past year, I picked up both a copy of an 18th-Century dessert-themed cookbook while visiting Philadelphia, and a copy of the Time-Life book on Candy that I obsessed over when I was twelve and found it in the library.

So this all means: I am going to be in a veritable ORGY of baking and candymaking and sweetmaking and such for the next couple weeks. I made my first batch for the MeFi cookie exchange (and dipped into a fancy baking ingredient I picked up in Paris in the process), but I've bookmarked at least 15 other cookie recipes in my various cookbooks that I'm going to try - everything from shortbread to linzer tortes to sugar cookies to spice cookies. Tonight I may try to make something I don't see on here (soul cakes, which are technically a Halloween thing, but there's a song about them that gets sung as a carol now and then), and I'm even looking into making mini chocolate tarts, truffles, and pate de fruits, and I'm also eyeing a recipe I found for candied cranberries (I just got my annual allotment out of the family bog) and this really easy-sounding thing that is made up of nothing more than powdered sugar and tangerine juice.

In short - I may be referring back to this post a lot.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:56 AM on December 5, 2016 [6 favorites]

Oh - and Mark Bittman's recipe for peanut brittle is dead easy.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:59 AM on December 5, 2016

In the southwestern U.S. those cookies the wiki page calls Russian Tea Cakes are known as Mexican Wedding Cookies. Now the 2016 presidential election makes total sense to me.
posted by fuse theorem at 8:11 AM on December 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

also absurdly easy: hot spiced nuts (pecans in the link but I've made it with mixed nuts too)

I think of it as "brittle for those of us who do not even want to try (or dick around with hot sugar)"
posted by terretu at 8:33 AM on December 5, 2016

gummy disaster.

Coming soon from Haribo...
posted by jonmc at 9:39 AM on December 5, 2016 [2 favorites]

The Bourbon. What an achievement.
posted by Coda Tronca at 10:32 AM on December 5, 2016

I am a huge fan of traditional Christmas cookies of other cultures. Which is a weird thing about me I guess but I have no shame about it. At the German Christmas market on the weekend I picked up my yearly Christmas allotment of Lebkuchen, chocolate covered Printen, and Marzipankartoffeln. I’m not even German but I love those cookies and Christmas can’t start without them.

When I first started dating my wife years ago I discovered her collection of German and Mennonite cook books. Reading through them I became obsessed with cookies made with Bakers’ Ammonia and it became a joke between us for many years – she’d ask me what I wanted for Christmas and I’d always ask for cookies made with Ammonia. In Manitoba I believe you can buy it at the grocery store and my wife has a strong memory of a kind of peppermint cookie made with baker’s ammonia her grandmother would make.

I had no idea that the origins of the "Chocolate-coated marshmallow treat" were in dispute. I guess it shouldn’t shock me as here in Canada we have the Viva Puff and the Whippet (yes just like the dog) that weirdly fall along the lines of Canada’s traditional “two solitudes”. I had never heard of Whippets until I moved into the larger English speaking centres here in southern Canada. I will concede, however, that neither the Whippet nor the Viva Puff comes close to the glory of the Tunnock tea cake!

A big part of our Christmas tradition, not on these lists, is the making of Pain d’épices on St. Nicholas Day (December 6th). A not overly sweet bread, it’s made with rye and sweetened with honey and spiced with many traditional “gingerbread” spices. Once I make my first loaf I really get into Christmas mode.
posted by Ashwagandha at 11:04 AM on December 5, 2016

Wiki-lists of food are the best. I'm not one for baked goods, but the ones for cheese and potatoes are pretty appetizing. Good post!
posted by kevinbelt at 11:39 AM on December 5, 2016

This list omits bar cookies--brownies, "Hello Dollies", lemon bars, etc., and there was no mention my favorites, Jaffa Cakes, or of Girl Scout-type cookies such as thin mints.

Fun to browse but far from comprehensive. I see more varieties of cookies at a typical church bake sale.
posted by kinnakeet at 12:52 PM on December 5, 2016

Brownies and Jaffa Cakes are in the "cake" list.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:33 PM on December 5, 2016

I stand corrected, and shall shortly be in the kitchen making "cakes."
posted by kinnakeet at 1:57 PM on December 5, 2016

It is now my ambition in life to try every single one of those cookies, one way or another. (With the possible exception of the charcoal biscuit; that one looks downright scary.)
posted by Soliloquy at 2:22 PM on December 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

Yay, pie!

I'm not a sweets person, generally, except for ice cream, and even then I don't have that more than a few times a year. The savoriness of pie pastry is why I'll go for a slice of pie more than other desserts. I prefer the balance of savory to sweet in a pie than the all-out sweetness of cakes, candies, and cookies. And don't get me started on frostings, ugh. They're usually way too sweet by half for me. If I have no choice in a situation but to have a slice of cake, I'll get as small a piece as won't offend the offerer, then scrape 15/16th of the frosting away before I eat it.
posted by droplet at 3:54 PM on December 5, 2016 [2 favorites]

droplet, I'm pretty much in the same boat as you. If I'm not eating all-out savory, I prefer savory-sweet. Which is why my favorite cookies all lean as much towards that as possible in the base recipe, and I normally toss in an extra dose of salt because it tastes better to me. Shortbread lends itself very nicely to being made less sweet, just very buttery and rich. Certain oatmeal cookies, anything made with a pretzel base or pretzels mixed in, anything with caramel, all taste great made less than super-sweet.
posted by rachaelfaith at 6:31 AM on December 6, 2016

Why is Linzer Torte on the list of cookies? It's not a cookie by any definition.
posted by klausness at 7:56 AM on December 10, 2016

Maybe it's a regionalism? Linzer cookies are definitely a thing.
posted by Mchelly at 3:44 PM on December 10, 2016

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