(NAPSA) – Cookies have always been a sweet way to celebrate the holidays, and learning more about this holiday tradition can be a tasty idea.
Many of today’s favorite Christmas cookies have been handed down from medieval European recipes. Dutch and German settlers brought cookie cutters, decorative molds and holiday decorations with them when they came to America. In fact, the word ‘cookie’ comes from the Dutch word ‘koekje,’ meaning ‘small cake.’
Every culture that brought cookies to America brought their favorite Christmas cookies, whether they were German gingerbread, spicy ginger cookies from Sweden or Italian sprinkle cookies.
A variety of holiday traditions center around cookies, such as leaving a plate of cookies for Santa or baking cookies together with family and using them to decorate the tree. Some families bake their own cookies and institute a cookie swap. Others like to give them as gifts. Cookies are standard fare for tree-trimming parties or holiday visits or to enjoy with some hot cider or chocolate when wrapping gifts.
No time to bake? No problem. Tasty traditional favorites can be found in your grocery store. For example, Archway (Holiday Cookies are crafted into unique shapes full of holiday flavor, and many are finished with an extra-special touch of sugar crystals or topped with a light glaze of icing. This year Archway offers seven seasonal varieties:
- Bells and Stars A classic sugar cookie baked crisp in holiday shapes and topped with red and green sprinkles.
- Cashew Nougat A shortbread cookie richly flavored with finely chopped cashews, rolled into nuggets and carefully baked for a dense, crisp bite.
- Chocolate Coconut Macaroon Tender, sweetened coconut flavored with cocoa, formed into delicate cookies and baked to soft perfection.
- Gingerbread Man A favorite holiday tradition with a perfect combination of ginger and spices baked into crispy gingerbread man shapes.
- Iced Gingerbread Man A classic gingerbread cookie lightly glazed with icing and topped with red and green sprinkles.
- Pfeffernusse A German-inspired holiday favorite with molasses, raisin paste and flavorful spices combined into a perfectly round, soft cookie tossed in confectioners’ sugar.
- Wedding Cake A melt-in-your-mouth cookie with a base of shortbread and nuts, rolled into small cookies and coated with confectioners’ sugar.
Cookies are a great way to add to holiday happiness whether you give them, serve them or sample them yourself.