Saturday, December 4, 2021

Christmas Cookies History and Traditions – Food Review



December 4th is designated as National Cookie Day. It's a good time for bakers across the country to warm up the ovens for holiday baking.


History of the Christmas Cookie


Today's Christmas cookies come from recipes popular in Medieval Europe when many modern ingredients were introduced into the west.  Ingredients popular in these Christmas 'biscuits' included cinnamon, ginger, almonds and dried fruit.  


Image Source: Pixabay

The Dutch brought the earliest examples of Christmas Cookies to the United States in the 17th century. 

Then between 1871 and 1906 changes in import laws allowed for cookie cutters to be imported from Germany. These highly stylized images had subjects designed to hang on Christmas Trees. Soon, recipes began to appear in cookbooks designed to use these cookie cutters. 



Image Source: Pixabay

Using the standard sugar cookie recipe and rolling out the dough, these 'cookie cutters' allowed us to create Christmas designs as Christmas Cookies. The cookies are often cut into the shape of candy canes, reindeer, holly leaves, Christmas trees, stars or angels. 


Image Source: Pixabay
Beginning in the 1930s in Canada and in the United States the tradition of children leaving cookies and milk on a table for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve began.




Sugar Cookies Recipes


Image Source: Pixabay

Everyone seems to have their favorite sugar cookie recipe for creating cut-out cookies using their selection of cookie cutters. The one I like the best comes from Lindsay of Life, Love & Sugar. She says this recipe makes soft cookies with lightly crisp edges. The perfect sugar cookie for decorating!  


Sugar cookies are a classic holiday cookie tradition. Cutout cookies are also not just for Christmas. Using various shapes of cookie cutters, you can also make Hearts for Valentine's Day, Pumpkins for Halloween, and any shape for any holiday or event you desire. 



Summary



Holiday Cookie Tray - Wikimedia

There are numerous 'Cookie Days' throughout the year, including National Cookie Month in October and Bake Cookies Day on December 18th.  But it's never too early to begin your Christmas cookie baking, as most cookies can be frozen ahead to be ready for Christmas celebrations and Christmas gifts.  And, of course, Santa!


HAPPY COOKIE BAKING!


Image Source: Pixabay


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Christmas  Cookies History & Traditions Review written by

Wednesday Elf







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12 comments:

  1. I'm always learning something new from you Pat. I never knew cookie cutters were imported from Germany in the 1900's. What a fun post with some history. We are on target to begin our Christmas cookie baking tomorrow and that sugar cookie recipe is about the same as the one we use.

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    1. I have such great memories of the fun my kids had baking Christmas cookies over the years, especially the cookie cutter part. Thanks for stopping by, and Happy Christmas cookie baking!

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  2. Who doesn't love cookies? In our house we can never have too many. Thanks for the history of this lovely tradition and a great sugar cookie recipe. I have to get my act together and soon!

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    1. Enjoy your Christmas cookie baking time, Olivia.

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  3. Baking cookies at Christmas is a great tradition, but decorating them is simply pure fun! As a cookbook collector, I must say your featured cookbooks are quite a temptation. Thank you for sharing the history on Christmas cookies and cookie cutters. Truly a very interesting read.

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    1. Thanks, Sylvestermouse. Always fun to learn the history behind holiday and fun traditions.

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  4. I adore baking, decorating and eating Christmas cookies (and every other kind, too. When I was younger, my annual elaborate Christmas cookie assortments packaged in festive, decorative, tissue paper- and doily-lined cookie tins were practically legendary among my family and friends, lol. I love collecting vintage cookie cutters and have even made a few. I really enjoyed learning more about the history of Christmas cookies from your wonderful post. Thanks for a great read!

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    1. Thanks for your visit, Margaret. I can just picture how beautiful (and appreciated) your Christmas cookie assortments festively packaged were to your recipients. And sounds like you had a lot of fun and joy from doing it.

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  5. Cookies and biscuits are just such a lovely traditional part of Christmas. I have such happy memories as a child baking with my Mum then leaving out biscuits, cookies and milk for Santa and of course carrots for the Reindeer! It is interesting learning about the history of cookies and the cookie cutters, thank you for sharing with us.

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    Replies
    1. Cookies for Santa is always a fun tradition. Thanks for your visit to my Christmas Cookies review, Raintree Annie.

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  6. Very interesting. Thanks for sharing these holiday traditions on Christmas cookies. I love hearing about the history. And...I love making the cookies too!

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    Replies
    1. Making Christmas Cookies is always fun this time of year. :)

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