These days, you’re hard-pressed to find a coffee shop that doesn’t sell cookies and other sweets alongside quality brewed coffee and specialty drinks. Cookies and coffee. They just go together, a perfect match. This pairing combination has become a large part of culture in Western Europe and North America starting in the mid-1600’s.
The first known cookie originates from 7th century AD in Persia, when sugar started to be more widely used. With the Muslim conquest of Spain in 711 AD until 1492, the cookie integrated into European culture.
By the 14th century, the cookie was commonplace. In the time before refrigeration was available, the cookie was a convenient food, easy to transport and resistant to spoiling.
The Dutch developed the first modern-day type cookie, called “koekie” or “koekje” meaning “little cake.” When Dutch settlers arrived in the New World, what would become the US, they brought their cookie with them and the rest is history.
With so many varieties to choose from, what are the best cookies that pair well with a coffee or espresso? Of course, this is up to personal taste, but we don’t think you can really go wrong with cookies and coffee!
A very dry, long cookie from Italy, biscotti has become the go-to coffee cookie for many worldwide. The word biscotti literally means “twice baked” in Italian. Originating in the Tuscan town of Prato, the cookie could be stored for long periods of time and was eaten by Roman soldiers.
In Italy, biscotti is dipped into wine. In most other parts of the world, biscotti is dipped into a good cup of coffee. The dry texture works so well with a hot drink.
A traditional biscotti recipe has flour, sugar, eggs, pine nuts, and almonds. There are many variations to the original, adding chocolate, glaze, alcohol, and other kinds of nuts.
When the biscotti is dipped into a steaming cup of coffee, it softens just enough to not be so hard to bite and the nutty flavor remains as a savoury afterthought.
While a sugar cookie is the plain end of the cookie spectrum, it is a classic for those who like a mouthful of crumbly sweetness. The modern sugar cookie has roots with the German settlers who came to the US in the 1700s.
The simple recipe is now a traditional holiday staple, typically made into many kinds of shapes using cookie cutters and added decorations, such as sprinkles and frosting.
The plain goodness of a sugar cookie with a cappuccino is a scrumptious afternoon pick-me-up.
A variation on the sugar cookie, the snickerdoodle is a decidedly American favorite, especially in New England. It has even been named Connecticut’s state cookie.
Coated with cinnamon sugar before being baked, they were brought to the US by the English, Dutch, and Scottish immigrants. The word snickerdoodle originates with the German word schnecke knödel or “snail dumpling.”
Pair a snickerdoodle with a lightly roasted coffee and your tastebuds will jump for joy at the complement of flavors.
Chocolate chocolate chip
The chocolate chip cookie was invented in 1938 by Ruth Graves Whitfield, innkeeper at the Toll House Inn in Massachusetts. She published the recipe in her cookbook, but the recipe became popular when American soldiers in the war were sent care packages with the cookies.
The original recipe and several modifications have been printed on Nestle chocolate chip packaging ever since.
Because of the extra chocolate flavor in this cookie, it is an excellent addition to any strong cup of coffee, any time of day.
Another variation of the famed Toll House chocolate chip cookie, the macadamia nut cookie replaces chocolate chips with macadamia nuts and white chocolate chips.
White chocolate came on the market in the 1930’s. Macadamia nuts are originally from Australia and were brought to Hawaii in the late 1800s. By the 1930s, they were being mass produced for export.
We’re not sure exactly how the macadamia nut cookie developed, but it is definitely a contender in the search for best cookie to go with coffee.
There are many other great cookies that didn’t make the cut here (no pun intended), but as it’s all up to personal preference, maybe this will encourage you to think about what your favorite coffee and cookie pairing would be.
Happy dipping and sipping!