In America, a cookie is described as a thin, sweet, usually small cake. By definition, a cookie can be any of a variety of hand-held, flour-based sweet cakes, either crisp or sweet. According to culinary historians, the first historic record of cookies was their use as test cakes. A small amount of cake batter was baked to test the oven temperature. The earliest cookie-style cakes are thought to date back to 7th century Persia A.D. (now Iran), one of the first countries to cultivate sugar.