15 Facts About Cookies for National Cookie Day

iStock/Aneese
iStock/Aneese

Today is National Cookie Day! Grab some cookies and read up.

1. Mallomars are still a seasonal item—available only from September to March. It was a necessity back in 1913, before the advent of refrigerated trucks. Now the limited availability is all about building hype. 

2. Ever wonder why Barnum's Animal Crackers have a string on the box? It's because they were originally a seasonal treat meant to be hung as an ornament and then eaten on Christmas day. 

3. Secretary of State John Kerry isn't just a smart cookie. He opened Boston's Kilvert & Forbes Bakeshop in 1976, the same year he started practicing law. Kerry sold the bakery in the mid-'80s, but still enjoys the chocolate chip cookies.

4. Who, who? The Pillsbury Doughboy's official name is Poppin' Fresh.

5. Fig Newtons are named after Newton, Massachusetts because the Kennedy Biscuit Works named their cookies after nearby cities, such as Shrewsbury and Beacon Hill. One name that was never a contender: Cambridgeport, the actual birthplace of the "fruit and cake" cookie.

6. Most people assume that Hydrox sandwich cookies are Oreo knock-offs, but it's actually the other way around. Hydrox have been around since 1908. Oreos were invented four years later.

7. How's this for Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous Amos? Wally Amos was the first African-American talent agent at William Morris, where he represented superstars including Simon & Garfunkel, Diana Ross, and Patti LaBelle. He opened the first Famous Amos bakery in 1975 with a loan from Marvin Gaye and Helen Reddy.

8. Pepperidge Farm's most famous cookie was a complete accident. The Naples was a single vanilla wafer cookie with dark chocolate topping that often melted during shipping. Cookies got stuck together, and the Milano was born.

9. In 1989, New Mexico became the first U.S. state with an official cookie—the crispy, buttery, cinnamon-and-anise-flavored bizcochito.

10. The beloved Toll House chocolate chip cookie was named after the Toll House Inn in Whitman, Massachusetts, owned by Terry and Ruth Wakefield. Around 1938, Ruth put broken pieces of Nestle's semi-sweet chocolate into her cookie batter. While commonly thought to be accidental, modern scholarship indicates that it was a purposeful experiment. The inn's guests loved them ... and so did everyone else. Supposedly, Ruth allowed Nestle to print the recipe in exchange for one dollar—which she never received. But she got a lifetime supply of chocolate, which is probably better anyway. 

11. Presbyterian minister Sylvester Graham, inventor of the eponymous graham cracker and Graham Diet, claimed that unhealthy carnal urges could be curbed by eating bland foods. Needless to say, he never had s'mores. 

12. The brand name Chips Ahoy, founded in 1963, is a play on the nautical phrase "ships ahoy." But the first well-known use of chips ahoy dates back to 1859 in a series of articles called "The Uncommercial Traveler" by Charles Dickens. Walt Disney made the name even more famous in a 1956 Donald Duck short of the same name.

13. 'C' wasn't always for cookie. Cookie Monster appeared in a 1969 commercial for Munchos potato crisps before appearing on Sesame Street. Even then, his insatiable appetite for cookies wasn't established until the show's second season.

14. Americans love their milk and cookies. But Japanese bars often serve chocolate-coated Pocky sticks in ice water.

15. Girl Scout cookies are baked by Little Brownie Bakers, a subsidiary of Keebler, and ABC Smart Cookies. Here's how to tell which bakery your cookies came from: Brand name boxes, like Samoas and Tagalongs, come from Little Brownie Bakers. Generic descriptive names, like "Peanut Butter Patties" come from ABC. Thin Mints come from both.

Celebrate the Holidays With the 2020 Harry Potter Funko Pop Advent Calendar

Funko
Funko

Though the main book series and movie franchise are long over, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter remains in the spotlight as one of the most popular properties in pop-culture. The folks at Funko definitely know this, and every year the company releases a new Advent calendar based on the popular series so fans can count down to the holidays with their favorite characters.

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Right now, you can pre-order the 2020 edition of Funko's popular Harry Potter Advent calendar, and if you do it through Amazon, you'll even get it on sale for 33 percent off, bringing the price down from $60 to just $40.

Funko Pop!/Amazon

Over the course of the holiday season, the Advent calendar allows you to count down the days until Christmas, starting on December 1, by opening one of the tiny, numbered doors on the appropriate day. Each door is filled with a surprise Pocket Pop! figurine—but outside of the trio of Harry, Hermione, and Ron, the company isn't revealing who you'll be getting just yet.

Calendars will start shipping on October 15, but if you want a head start, go to Amazon to pre-order yours at a discount.

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Make a Holiday Feast Fit for the Crawleys With the New Downton Abbey Christmas Cookbook

Dine as lavishly as the Earl of Grantham this holiday season with the Downton Abbey Christmas Cookbook.
Dine as lavishly as the Earl of Grantham this holiday season with the Downton Abbey Christmas Cookbook.
Focus Features

For Downton Abbey fans, the holidays probably haven't felt quite the same ever since the show's final Christmas episode—and series finale—aired back in 2015. But if you miss the drama, the opulence, and the familiarity of your favorite upper-crust period drama, you can try your best to recreate it with The Official Downton Abbey Christmas Cookbook, which is available for pre-order on Amazon for $31.

The publisher, Weldon Owens, has already released similar books to bring viewers closer to the Crawley clan, such as The Official Downton Abbey Cookbook ($23), The Official Downton Abbey Afternoon Tea Cookbook ($16), and The Official Downton Abbey Cocktail Book ($17). And this new Christmas edition preps you for an upscale holiday dinner, complete with recipes taken from actual vintage cookbooks. You can start your feast with a bowl of pheasant soup before digging into Yorkshire Christmas pie and finishing it all off with the traditional figgy pudding.

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Along with the directions, you'll get bits of history about each dish and how it relates to the world of Downton Abbey. You’ll learn more about the different holiday traditions and get to relive memorable moments from the series along with quotes from the characters.

Weldon Owens/Amazon

The new Christmas cookbook is now available for pre-order on Amazon and will arrive on October 27.

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