Tis the season, and mouths are hungry for cookies. Favorites vary from place to place. All are pretty much guaranteed to bring a smile to guests’ faces, and this year, you can throw in a bit of background to go with them.
According to whatscookingamerica.net, the name ‘cookie’ is derived from the Dutch word koekje, meaning “small or little cake.” Now you know.
Here are some of the top ten most-Googled Christmas cookies by state.
These classic favorites hail from Denmark. Butter cookies are Danish unleavened cookies made with butter, flour and sugar, and over the holidays, the Danes produce them and pack them in tin boxes for export.
Mmmm…chocolate peanut butter balls. This treat is named after the nut of the Ohio buckeye tree, the state tree of Ohio. This woman from Arizona claims she was the first to invent the dessert, which is now also popular in neighboring states but who knows. According to Wikipedia, it is common for Ohioans to make buckeyes at home, but they are also available in mail-order catalogs and candy shops for purchase. True, Ohioans?
We always made these cookies from the ‘Swedish cookies recipe book’ as a kid, so I like to think they’re originally from Scandinavia, but they may also be German in origin. You need a cookie press for these. Flour, sugar, eggs and butter-delicious. http://www.getabiggerwagon.com/blog/posts/spritz_cookies_have_a_long_history.html
According to Dewey’s bakery, Moravian Cookies can trace their origins all the way back to the 18th century. Settlers from the European kingdom of Moravia-a historical country in the Czech Republic and one of the historical Czech lands- participated in founding the town of Salem in America in 1766. Along the way, they created these thin cookies as a way to enjoy highly prized ingredients like molasses, allspice and ginger.
Because of the time needed to roll them out and bake them, Moravian cookies were usually only made at holiday times.
The town of Salem eventually became the community of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where the Salem Baking Company was founded in 1930.
Often referred to as sugar cookies, snickerdoodles are said to probably be of German origin. Rolled in a combination of white sugar and cinnamon, these simple cookies are sure to delight.
Sugar cookies are snickerdoodles’ non-fraternal, popular twin. According to smileycookie.com, the “modern incarnation” of the sugar cookie has a path back to the mid 1700s in Nazareth Pennsylvania. German Protestant settlers created the cookie there known as the Nazareth Cookie, later to become the sugar cookie.
Either these cookies are so modern that they have no history, or they have been around for so long that no one remembers the origins, but their history is hard to find. I would guess it’s the latter. Cake-like and dotted with nuts and cranberries, these are a holiday favorite in many Golden State homes.
Also known as gingerbread cookies, these can actually be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Egyptians. Gingerbread made an appearance in Europe when 11th-century crusaders brought spices back from the Middle East and the upper classes began cooking with them.
Ricotta cookies have their origins in Italy, but came to the US with immigration. Cheesy and delicious, these cookies are soft and moist and delicious!
Monster cookies-bright and crunchy- are accredited to this man. They are said to have started out as peanut butter cookies, but one day, oatmeal was substituted for flour, and the rest is baking history.