Christmas Cookies

Posted in: History- Dec 07, 2010 No Comments

Looking out onto the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains this morning, and it being close to Christmas – I thought I would write a little about the history of Christmas cookies. We at l’etoile all have our favorites – my kids love the basic sugar cookie with sprinkles. Im sure there must be thousands of favorite cookies right here in Charlottesville. I wonder if the University of Virginia has a traditional cookie themselves- I will have to look deeper into that.

Every festival has its own unique food that goes with the festive occasion The festival of Christmas is also not debarred of food. Cookies particularly can be said to be the principal food of the Festival of Christmas. The term cookies first appeared in print in 1703. The History of the Christmas Cookies goes back to 10,000 years ago when the Neolithic farmers used to bake food comprising of grain, water paste on hot stones and the cookies are believed to be the descendants of this food. Cookies are said to be the result of a devised plan associated with practicality.

The origin of the cookies lies in the Medieval European recipes. Lebkuchen (gingerbread) was probably the first cake/cookie to be traditionally related with Christmas. Cookies spread all over Europe by 1500.Therefore every house made or baked cookies in great amounts, which were either Lebkuchen or buttery Spritz Cookies. The people of Sweden preferred Papparkakor (spicy ginger and black-pepper delights), while the Norwegians took to the liking of Krumkake (thin lemon and cardamom-scented wafers). So it is seen that the cookies of one place was different in form and shape from another.

The Dutch people brought along with them the earliest Christmas Cookies. Thus began the art of making delicious cookies. The word Cookies which comes from the Dutch word Koeptje [koekje], meaning small cake, was first used by the people of the Persian Empire of the 7th century AD. The recipe books of the Renaissance period had abundant recipes dealing with Cookies.As a result of the industrial revolution cookies began to get manufactured in factories.

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