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Sugar Cookies Were Originally Nazareth Cookies

Observed each year on July 9th, National Sugar Cookie Day honors the ever-popular and delicious sugar cookie.

  • The sugar cookie is believed to have originated in the mid-1700s in Nazareth, Pennsylvania. German Protestant settlers created a round, crumbly and buttery cookie that came to be known as the Nazareth Cookie.
  • In 2015, Pillsbury was given the world record for the most biscuits/cookies ice within 60 minutes. They enlisted the help of shoppers at the Mall of America, resulting in 1,169 sugar cookies being decorated.
  • American cookie jars evolved from British biscuit jars and first appeared on the scene during the Depression in the 1930s when housewives began making more cookies at home, rather than buying them at the bakery, and needed containers for them.
  • Early American tinsmiths began making cookie cutters by hand back in the 1700s.
  • The U.S. has a National Cookie Cutter Historical Museum located within the Joplin Museum Complex in Joplin, Missouri.
  • In 1989, New Mexico named the ‘bizcochito’ its official state cookie. Bizcochito, derived from the spanish word ‘bizcocho’ which means biscuit, is a delicious shortbread cookie flavored with anise and topped with cinnamon sugar.
  • The U.S. leads the world as the biggest cookie bakers and eaters, spending more than $550 million annually on Oreos alone.
  • Sugar cookies have a lengthy historical background. The origins of cookies date back to the 7th century in Persia, along with the cultivation of sugar.
  • The first sugar cookies weren’t called by this name. When word started spreading throughout Europe in the 17th century about these tasty desserts, and later when they were introduced to the Americas, some entertaining terms were employed to describe these small treats. After all, this child-sized indulgence deserves a few whimsical appellations like jumbles, jumbals, crybabies, plunkets and gemmels. Early cookie recipes that probably morphed into the modern sugar cookie were called gimblettes in France and cimbellines in Italy, too.
  • Sugar adds bulk and contributes to the cookies’ color. There are often different types of sugar used in a single recipe. With more light brown or dark brown sugar, the finished cookies will be darker in color.
  • Americans consume over 2 billion cookies a year … about 300 cookies for each person.
  • The average American eats 35,000 cookies in a lifetime.
  • 95.2 percent of U.S. households consume cookies.
  • Half the cookies baked in American homes each year are chocolate chip.
  • Animal Crackers, introduced by Nabisco in 1902, were the first commercial cookie to be massed-produced in the U.S.
  • The Oreo was the best-selling cookie of the 20th century. Americans spend $550 million on Oreos each year.
  • Little Debbie cookies, produced by McKee Foods, were branded in the 1960s after owners O.D. and Ruth McKee’s granddaughter, Debbie, then four years old.
  • Girl Scouts sell 200 million boxes of cookies a year.
  • Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603) is credited with overseeing the first biscuits cut into the shape of men from ginger dough, the precursor to today’s gingerbread men.
  • Early American tinsmiths first made cookie cutters by hand in the 1700s.
  • The Cookie Cutters Collectors Club, a nonprofit organization, was founded in 1972 as a way for aficionados to collect and use cookie cutters.
  • The largest collection of cookie jars numbers at 2,653 and belongs to Edith Eva Fuchs, a resident of Metamora, Indiana
  • Legislation in Pennsylvania to designate an official state cookie as been held up for several years as state lawmakers struggle to chose between the Nazareth Sugar Cookie and the Chocolate Chip Cookie.


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