Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Origin of Christmas Cookies

Did you know that sugar once sold for the equivalent of $100 a pound. This is why cookies, candies and cakes were only used on special occasions like Christmas. Only at that time would our past grandparents and grandparents commit the cost of expensive ingredients to such treats.
Why cookies specifically? According to the research, that is unknown, however, cookies were just a form of a small cake, with the convenience of being hand held and easy to bake. The German tradition that led to Christmas cookies included "Lebkuchen" and "Spritz" recipes that used less sugar and more spices line cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, molasses, which were cheaper and easier to get than sugar was, as well as raisins and other dried fruits. Ginger cookies like the recipe below are just one example.

Ginger Cookies-5 Dozen

2/3 cup oil
2 tsp soda
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup molasses
1/2tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
2 cups sifted flour
1/4 cup granular sugar for dipping
Heat oven to 350. Mix oil and sugar thorougly. Add egg and beat well. Stir in molasses. Sift dry ingredients together and add. Drop by teaspoons into sugar, and roll in sugar. Placed on ungreased cookie sheet 3" apart. Bake for 15 minutes. Romove from rack. Cookies will flatten and crinkle.

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