December 4th is National Cookie Day, and it’s also the time when happy bakers are whipping up dozens of Christmas cookies. Here’s a roundup of some of our favorite recipes, below. But first…
 
 
THE HISTORY OF CHRISTMAS COOKIES

Modern Christmas cookies can trace their history to recipes from medieval northern European biscuits (cookies), when many “modern” ingredients became available for the first time: almonds, black pepper, cinnamon, clove, ginger, mace, molasses, and nutmeg, along with dried fruits from southern climates, such as apricots, citron, and dates.

These ingredients were still costly, and only for Christmas would many families be able to afford to bake with them. This led to special Christmas cookies. Unlike pies or cakes, cookies had a long shelf life and could be easily given as gifts to friends and neighbors.

This led to the creation of spiced butter cookies as well as gingerbread, krumkake, lebkuchen, pepparkakor, pfeffernüsse, and springerle.

Decorating the cookies with icing began in the 1600s, when bakers used a mixture of sugar and egg whites to top the cookies. The cooled frosting looked like ice.

While gingerbread cookies existed, the first gingerbread men were created in the royal kitchens of Queen Elizabeth I of England (1533-1603), who had the cookie molded into the shapes of her favorite courtiers.

Christmas Cookies In The U.S.

The earliest examples of Christmas cookies in the U.S. were brought by German settlers in Pennsylvania (the “Pennsylvania Dutch” in the 1700s. But it wasn’t until the period between 1871 and 1906 that import laws made cookie cutters from Germany widely available, including those with holiday images that were designed to hang on Christmas trees [source].

While holiday cookies are often cut into the shape of angels, candy canes, Christmas trees, holly leaves, reindeer, stars, and other seasonal themes, some are conventional round cookies or bars in holiday flavors (eggnog, cardamom-spice, gingerbread, peppermint, etc.).
 
 
> THE HISTORY OF COOKIES

> THE 8 DIFFERRENT TYPES OF COOKIES
 
> A GLOSSARY OF COOKIES

 
 
CHRISTMAS COOKIE RECIPES

Not all of these are shaped like stars or spiced like gingerbread, but they represent holiday traditions in the U.S. Check out:

  • Chocolate Tangerine Cutouts & Molten Lava Cookies
  • Christmas Tree Brownies & Peanut Butter Cups
  • Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Crisp Ginger Snaps
  • Eight Special Recipes: Apple Cider Buttons, Almond Butter Buckeyes, Pistachio Biscochitos, Wintermint Wafers, Bananas Foster Bars, Gold Rush Bars, Chocolate Butter Pecans, and Mount Rainier Macaroons
  • Espresso Chocolate Squares & Island Sea Turtles
  • Fennel Pistachio Cookies & Rosemary Blue Cheese Ice Box Cookies
  • Gingerbread Cup Rim Cookies
  • Ginger Cookies
  • Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies
  • Holiday Meringue Cookies
  • Iced Chocolate Mint Cookies With Holiday Sprinkles
  • Iced Peppermint Butter Cookies
  • Melted Snowmen, Reindeer Heads & Santa Bellies
  • No Bake Oreo White Chocolate Peppermint Truffles
  • Penguin Oreos
  • Peppermint Nanaimo Bars
  • Pfeffernüsse, German Spice Christmas Cookies
  • Snowman Cookie Tower
  • Spice Cookies: Lemongrass Snowballs & Salted Ginger Crisps
  •  
     
    Happy Baking!

     

    Christmas Tree Brownies
    [1] Christmas tree brownies. Here’s the recipe (photo © Orange Glad | Facebook).

    Snowman Cake
    [2] Stacked snowman cookie. Here’s the recipe (photo © Lila Loa).


    [ ] Chocolate mint Christmas cookies. Here’s the recipe (photo © Wisconsin Dairy)

    Peanut Butter Cup Christmas Tree
    [ ] Peanut butter cup Christmas tree. Here’s the recipe (photo © Delish).


    [ ] Iced peppermint butter cookies. Here’s the recipe (photo © Wisconsin Dairy).

     

     
     

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    The post Christmas Cookie Recipes For National Cookie Day first appeared on The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures.
    The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures

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