Raise a hand if you've started your holiday baking.
Raise your other hand if you've finished your holiday baking.
If you have NO hands raised and are undecided about what cookies to bake for the Christmas season, today's post is a chance to consider holiday favorites from countries other than the USofA. Some you'll recognize because their popularity has extended across oceans and onto our land. And may we be ever so thankful for the people who brought those recipes with them!
Very popular around the holidays, pfeffernusse are fluffy cookies made with ground nuts and spices and covered in powdered sugar. The exact origin is unknown, however the Dutch believe that pfeffernusse (or pepernoten) are linked to the feast of Sinterklaas, celebrated on December 5 in the Netherlands and December 6 in Germany and Belgium. Traditional pfeffernusse recipes include almonds, walnuts and black pepper. Modern recipes might leave out the nuts and pepper, retaining only cloves, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and cardamom as flavoring. Molasses and honey are often used to sweeten the cookie.
Krumkake is another cookie with Scandinavian roots. Named for the crumbs left in your hand after taking the first bite, they were originally baked over open fires using decorative irons. These days electric or stove top irons are used to bake these wafer-thin biscuits then wrapped in the traditional cone shape.
Repostería is a Mexican type of shortbread-like cookie that's lightly baked and dipped into a cinnamon sugar blend. They're often served with hot spiced Mexican chocolate or coffee.
Springerle have been traditional Christmas cookies in south Germany and Austria for centuries. Anise flavors an egg-flour-sugar dough that's formed into geometric shapes. Specially carved presses or rolling pins imprint a design into the soft dough.
Gingerbread has existed in some form since sugars and spices were brought to Europe back in the time of the Crusades. We can thank Queen Victoria and Prince Albert for making it a cookie that is primarily associated with the Christmas season.
Sandbakelse are Norwegian sugar cookies. The dough is pressed into tins then baked. So pretty!
In the US, there are many popular no-bake cookies made during the Christmas holidays. Pinwheels, Rum Balls, Lemon Drops, Snowballs, Buckeyes and the ubiquitous Fudge. All super easy to bake and easy on your electric bill!
So that's a little tour of cookies from countries around the globe. And thanks to information at your fingertips via the Internet you don't have to buy cookbooks to get the recipes. Although a cookie cookbook with photo close-ups is a treat in itself!