Open-Face Shrimp and Egg Sandwich Are you left with an over abundance of dyed hard boiled Easter eggs! This week we are going to share a few of our favorite recipes that use hard-boiled eggs. All of the recipes are super delicious and are great …
Danish Lemon Filled Spice Cookies When I came across this recipe for Danish Lemon Filled Spice Cookies I was more intrigued with the lemon filling part more so then the spice cookie part. The reasoning behind that is a simple one. I’ve never made a …
Danish Jam Ribbon Cookies
Danish Jam Ribbon Cookies or Danish Raspberry Ribbons or Hindbaerkager are ribbons of buttery cookies with a jam center. The cookie ribbon centers can be filled with any type of seedless jam from raspberry to boysenberry. We opted for two different kinds of jam, Lingonberry and Bilberry. We purchased both at the new IKEA store located in Milwaukee WI. This year we are inspired to make cookies that are “Old World Favorites.”
Throughout the world, whenever Christmas is celebrated, getting together with family and friends to make cookies is an old tradition. Cookie baking is the perfect holiday activity. People of all generations come together to make cookies, exchange recipes and share memories. I can’t think of a more heartfelt gift than a tin of homemade cookies. The word cookie comes to us from koekje, the Dutch word for little cakes.
Old World Traditions
Some believe the earliest cookies date back to 7th-century Persia. The Persians, one of the first groups to cultivate sugar, may have stumbled across these sweet treats while experimenting with their newly cultivated crops. The cookie has evolved since then, mainly due to the cookie’s ability to adapt to its surroundings. Making it easy to create Christmas cookies from the spices, nuts, fruits and berries grown and harvested in their regions.
One of Great Britain’s most popular Christmas “biscuits” or cookies, is Shortbread. Shortbread is a rich, sandy-textured, crisp cookie made with lots of butter. Its baked in a round mold that dates back to the time of the ancient Druids. After baking, the patterned mold, turns out a single cookie that is cut into wedges prior to serving. Today, many types and shapes of shortbread molds are sold in specialty gourmet stores.
Germany is famous for its “keks,” or cookies and Lebkuchen, the sacred cake which is one of the country’s favorites. Bakers throughout Germany prepare the dough several weeks prior to Christmas to allow the dough to rest and the spices to blend. Once baked, the cookies are left to age and the end result is a soft cookie with a pleasantly mellow flavor. While they are common in homes throughout the United States at Christmas, Germany was the first to produce the now familiar Gingerbread Houses and People.
In Scandinavia, baking added a bit of sunshine and warmth to the dark and dreary days of winter. With such a demand for sunshine, it’s a no wonder Scandinavian bakers are world famous for their cookie baking skills. One of their most famous is the Christmas Spritz Cookie. The cookies, which are “squirted” from a cookie press, get their name from the word ‘spritz’ which means to ‘squirt.’
Polish/Republic of Georgia
Prior to the 1600’s, honey was the only sweetener available in Europe, one reason why so many old world recipes call for honey instead of sugar. As its availability grew, sugar replaced honey in many recipes but not in all recipes. To this day, many cookies from that region, including Polish Honey Bars and Baklava are still made with honey. Brown sugar and molasses are also used in many European old world cookie recipes instead of sugar.
When the Spaniards arrived in the New World, they brought with them sugar cane. Soon sugar was readily available making the production of the old Spanish favorite, Churros, inevitable. Another Spanish-speaking country famous for its cookies is Mexico. Their favorites include “pastelitos de boda” better known as Mexican Wedding Cookies and Mexican Sugar Cookies. They both fall under the category of “polvorones” which means “sprinkled with powder” or “dusties” due to their coating of powdered sugar.