Today is Bake Cookies Day! Do you bake Christmas cookies? On the right are some of my humble (but tasty) samples.
Did you know that the tradition of Christmas cookies began in medieval Europe? The Dutch brought the custom of baking Christmas cookies to the United States in the early 1600s (Wikipedia).
Cookie cutters were imported to the U.S. from Germany around the turn of the century (early 1900s, that is). In those days, people hung treats and candy from Christmas trees to be removed and eaten by children, so the cookie cutters fashioned cookies to be hung that way.
Children started leaving cookies and milk for Santa Claus in the United States in the 1930s.
What kind of cookies will you be baking this Christmas? Tip: after cooling, store sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies, spritz cookies, bar cookies and nut balls in a cookie tin with a tight-fitting lid.
Here is a poem that captures the essence of the tradition of baking Christmas cookies…
Christmas Cookies by C. F. Kelly
The mixer in the kitchen purrs;
it twists and tosses as it stirs
the cookie batter Mom will bake
and then let me help decorate.
The silver cutters wait in lines
to shape their own unique designs
when rolling pin has done its job
and flattened out the doughy blob.
She wipes her brow, adjusts her sleeves,
and starts to cut out holly leaves,
then picks the joyful rocking horse
and stars and bells and birds, of course.
The trees and Santas wait their turn,
while angels, next to snow men, yearn
to don their robes and join the crowd—
I’m sure they want to sing out loud.
The powdered sugar frosting spreads
with ease and forms the sticky beds
on which the colored sprinkles rest,
where red-hot buttons look their best.
And I would like to make it clear
that these creations disappear
because in spite of looking neat,
they’re really baked for us to eat.
© by C.F. Kelly
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