Abby Slutsky owns a bakery business and has been preparing desserts and breads for decades.
As someone who owns a baking business, I am astounded by the number of national holidays created to celebrate baked treats—particularly cookies. Although these are small national holidays that many people do not know about, it is still interesting that so many people and businesses have decided to honor their favorite cookies with days of celebration. I am sure that my list of cookie holidays is not exhaustive, and in upcoming years, there are bound to be more holidays created to honor other cookies.
Although there is a general National Cookie Day (celebrated December 4th), most of the holidays listed below celebrate a particular type of cookie. These holidays are great occasions to bake or purchase your favorite cookies. If you find a recipe that you love, put it in a file, and it will be ready for next year’s celebration.
Additionally, savvy researchers may be able to find bakeries, supermarkets, or cafes that offer complimentary cookies during some of these national holidays. In the past, patrons have been able to score free cookies on National Cookie Day from Insomnia, Mrs. Fields, and Great American Cookie. However, deals change, so be sure to research store policies before you go.
1. National Shortbread Day: January 6th
Although shortbread was created in the 12th century, it increased in popularity when Mary, Queen of Scots, had her French Chefs refine it. Shortbread is typically made with butter, sugar and flour. This eggless cookie has many variations and can even be made with rice flour for a gluten-conscious version.
According to the National Awareness Day calendar, shortbread was traditionally made in a circular shape and sliced into triangular pieces. The round shape is thought to be based on the appearance of the sun. Bakers and home cooks make shortbread in a variety of shapes today.
2. National Fig Newtown Day: January 16th
Although Nabisco makes other dough-wrapped fruit paste products, they are widely known for the fig newton, which is a cookie that features dough wrapped around fig paste. According to a Facty Health article, figs have antioxidants, calcium, and other beneficial nutrients. They may aid digestive health, help reduce bad cholesterol levels, and promote healthy bones.
3. National Lacy Oatmeal Day: March 18th
This holiday celebrates ultra-thin oatmeal cookies that are crispy and sweet. Since they contain fiber and iron, many think of oatmeal cookies as healthier than other varieties. These cookies can be tricky to make because they are very delicate and may break if you do not remove them from the cookie tray carefully when they are just cool. No matter the recipe you use, generously spray your parchment paper with nonstick spray.
4. National Chinese Almond Cookie Day: April 8th
According to The Nibble, the origin of the Chinese almond cookie is murky, so there is no certainty over when it was created or who was responsible for it. According to an article on Umommy, Chinese almond cookies are popular during the Chinese New Year and symbolize wealth. They typically contain almond extract and may be decorated with a whole almond in the center. If you have trouble finding them in a bakery and do not want to bake them yourself, try purchasing them at your local Chinese restaurant.
5. National Oatmeal Cookie Day: April 30th
A canister of Quaker Oats will easily share the many benefits of oatmeal. You can make oatmeal cookies with quick-cooking or traditional oats. Although many recipes call for oats straight out of the canister, you can also grind oats into a powdery, flour-like substance and substitute them for flour if you want to add some healthy nutrients to a recipe with a less noticeable oatmeal texture. Many people like to add dried fruit, cinnamon, or chocolate chips to oatmeal cookies. Try celebrating the day by gathering friends, dividing the dough, and letting each person create their own variation.
6. National Peanut Butter Cookie Day: June 12th
It is common to embellish the tops of peanut butter cookies with crosshatch patterns. These cookies became popular sometime in the early 1900s. Although many recipes call for smooth peanut butter, you can substitute chunky peanut butter for more texture.
7. National Sugar Cookie Day: July 19th
Sugar cookies are simple to make, and the ingredients are almost always on hand. Once freshly-baked sugar cookies are out of the oven, enjoy decorating them with colored or regular sugar, sprinkles, or other embellishments. If you use colored sugar, you can dress them up for almost any holiday.
Even if you do not like to bake, you can buy unadorned sugar cookies and have fun decorating them to celebrate National Sugar Cookie Day. Of course, you can always eat them unadorned or get some delicious decorated sugar cookies from your local bakery.
8. National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day: August 4th
There are so many variations of chocolate chip cookies that you are bound to find one that you can’t stop eating. There are thin and crispy chocolate chippers, cakey cookies, and soft and chewy varieties. The original recipe was developed by Ruth Wakefield when she chopped chocolate in cookies and expected it to melt. Instead, the chocolate pieces stayed firm and became a cookie favorite that still delights many people.
Although these are commonly made with semi-sweet chocolate, there is no need to limit yourself. Experimenting with different types of chocolate chips can help you find the ultimate chocolate chip cookie that appeals to your taste.
9. National Pecan Cookie Day: September 21st
Many pecan cookie recipes recommend toasting pecans before adding them to the cookie dough. Toasting pecans imparts a golden color, adds a little bit of crunchiness that improves the texture, and creates a more flavorful taste. Try using pecan pieces in your pecan cookies and decorating the top of each pecan cookie with half a pecan. The nutty flavor will delight those who want to try this nutty cookie. Although most recipes include eggs, it is possible to find eggless pecan cookie recipes too.
10. National Cookie Day: December 4th
For those who want to enjoy cookies on their special day without being told what type to eat, National Cookie Day is the perfect time to indulge. It is a day to taste the cookies of your choice by either picking them up at the market, going to your favorite bakery, or making them yourself. If you like more than one type of cookie, consider doing a cookie exchange so you and your friends can share an array of favorite home-baked cookies.
For those who are wondering, there are also cookie holidays dedicated to celebrating brownies and bar cookies. However, since I can only handle so many sweet treats in a single article, my discussion about cookie holidays is limited to actual cookies. The truth is these national holidays give you a reason to try different cookies and enjoy their taste and texture. Nevertheless, a true cookie lover does not really need a reason to taste cookies. The satisfying crunch, texture, smell, and flavor of cookies make them a delicious choice any day of the year.
© 2021 Abby Slutsky
Abby Slutsky (author) from America on February 16, 2021:
Thanks so much for reading. I haven't published in a while, so this was fun to write.
Denise McGill from Fresno CA on February 16, 2021:
What a great list. I haven't even heard of some of these. I checked out the eggless Pecan Cookie recipe. It still calls for cream cheese so it isn't vegan but I bet I could make a variation that would work. I'll have to give it a try.