Tuesday, December 15

Cookies and Customs

I started a Santa Lucia tradition with our kids when our first 2 were 3 and 5 years old. Part of this tradition included learning about the folklore and meaning of all the decorations that we surround ourselves with during the holiday. I decided to add one tradition each year and tried to tie it into a cookie. I was young and zealous when I rolled out this plan:) That was 28 years ago, you can figure the number of cookies I have baked since then!

I will share just a few examples of favorite cookies and the lesson that went along with them:

One years we learned about wreaths:
Wreaths were first used about 2000 years ago by the Greeks. They crowned champions with wreaths.
Christ was mocked with a crown of thorns
The Christmas wreath symbolizes His eternal love; it never ceases, stops, or ends. It is one continuous round of affection.

That year we made these cookies...Cornflake Wreaths:
1/2 cup butter
30 marshmallows
1/4 teas green coloring
1/2 teas vanilla
1/4 teas salt
3 1/2 cup corn flakes

Melt the butter and marshmallows in double boiler. Add green coloring, vanilla, salt and corn flakes. Blend thoroughly. While still warm, drop on aluminum foil and mold into wreaths with fingers. Decorate with cinnamon candy and silve bagets.

One year we made Gingerbread cookies and talked about how they became so popular at Christmas time:
This was one of the first cookies made in the U. S. by early settlers...a recipe from Europe.

Gingerbread People:

  • 1 cup margarine
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 T vinegar
  • 2 slightly beaten eggs
  • 5 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Combine margarine, sugar, molasses and vinegar in saucepan. Bring slowly to a boil. Remove from heat, cool to room temperature. Add eggs to cooled mixture. Mix flour, cinnamon, ginger, soda, and salt. Stir into molasses mixture until dough is smooth and satiny.

Chill for at least 2 hrs. Let stand at room temp until pliable to roll. Roll out and cut with small 'people cutters'. Bake 375 for 7-10 mins.

I could go on, but in yesterday's post I said my kids' favorite cookie was the wheat thin/peanut butter sandwich dipped in chocolate. We named that cookie the 'magical cookie' because it magically disappeared from the tray so fast. We learned about Christmas Cards that year:
The first card was sent in 1843 by the King of England!

What we learned was short and easy to remember year after year. As more cookies were added to the tray, more lessons were learned and the whole beauty of Christmas and the decorations came alive to all of us.

No comments: