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.

McDonald’s Is Testing Out Vegan McNuggets in Norway

McDonald's has never been an especially welcoming place for vegans (until 1990, even the fries contained meat). But now, the chain's Norwegian locations are working to change that. As Today reports, McDonald's restaurants in Norway have launched a vegan nugget alternative to the classic chicken McNugget.

The new vegan McNuggets are prepared to look like the menu item customers are familiar with. They're coated with a layer of breadcrumbs and fried until they're golden-brown and crispy. Instead of chicken meat, the nugget is filled with plant-based ingredients, including mashed potatoes, chickpeas, onions, corn, and carrots.

The vegan McNuggets are only available to customers in Norway for now, but if they're popular, they may spread to McDonald's in other parts of the world. Norway's McDonald's locations also include a Vegetarian McFeast burger on its menu.

McDonald's is famous for tailoring its menus to international markets, and vegetarian options are much easier to find in restaurants some parts of the world compared to others. In India, where one fifth of the population is vegetarian, customers can order the McAloo Tikki Burger, made from potatoes and peas, or a McVeggie sandwich.

[h/t Today]

All-Marshmallow Boxes of Lucky Charms Are Back, But Not Everyone Will Be Able to Get One

Lucky Charms
Lucky Charms

Hot on the heels of a Virginia brewery's cereal-inspired marshmallow beer, another way for grown adults to feel like kids again has emerged. Marshmallow-only Lucky Charms are back—this time with unicorn and rainbow shapes. Unfortunately, only 15,000 boxes of the sweet stuff are up for grabs.

If you were already planning on treating yourself by picking up some regular Lucky Charms from your local supermarket, be on the lookout for promotional boxes that say “You could win a box of only marshmallows” on the front. The inside panels of those boxes contain codes that can be entered at MarshmallowOnly.com for your chance to win one of the rare pure-marshmallow boxes. The promotion will run through the summer, so you’ll have plenty of time to enter up to 30 codes. Here's a list of participating retailers carrying the coded boxes [PDF].

This isn’t the first time that General Mills, the maker of Lucky Charms, has held this sweepstakes. In 2015, the company gave away 10 boxes of marshmallow-only cereal (or, as it calls the sugary shapes, “marbits”). Based on the popularity of that promotion, it handed out 10,000 boxes in 2017.

"It's no secret that Lucky Charms fans love the marshmallows," Scott Baldwin, director of marketing for cereal at General Mills, said in a statement. "Consumers have flooded our inboxes and swept our social feeds begging for Lucky Charms Marshmallow Only to return. You asked, and we listened!"

If you’re not feeling especially lucky, you can buy similar versions of the marshmallows on Amazon. Retailers like Medley Hills Farm and Hoosier Hill Farm (which are apparently unrelated companies) sell one-pound bags of cereal marshmallows for $11 and $10, respectively. You can also order an 8-pound bag, or, if you’re feeling especially peckish, a 40-pound case of dehydrated marshmallows for $228. As one Amazon reviewer wrote, it's “just the right amount."

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