In 1596 the book Goode Huswife’s Jewel was printed containing recipes for cookies, I suppose among other “jewels” of knowledge for the pretty little huswife. This was before they invented subscriptions to Goode Huskeeping. The recipe isn’t really all that much different than the modern day, except we substitute baking powder for a spoonful of Gods good. Of course, they did go best with a chalice filled with milk of a cow.
To make Fine Cakes.- Take fine flowre and good Damaske water you must have no other liqeur but that, then take sweet butter, two or three yolkes of eggs and a good quantity of Suger, and a few cloves, and mace, as your Cookes mouth shall serve him, and a lyttle saffron, and a little Gods good about a spoonful if you put in too much they shall arise, cutte them in squares lyke unto trenchers, and pricke them well, and let your oven be well swept and lay them uppon papers and so set them into the oven. Do not burne them if they be three or foure days olde they bee the better.
- Source: History of Cookies – http://whatscookingamerica.net/History/CookieHistory.htm