Monday, December 15, 2008

The Myth of Christmas Cookie Baking : Ch.1 Origins & Gingerbreads

Ever year at Christmas time, myself and many others are overcome by a trance like state-nay a duty-to make as many cookies as humanly possible. Some of us even work into a hysteria wearily baking for hours on end, covered in flour, with burn marks from our fingers to our forearms striving to not only make the greatest tasting cookie but also to make gluttonous amounts of the little confections. I wonder where this infectious, unavoidable need to bake at Christmas time comes from? In my world, cookie baking would have started as a ritualistic offering to the mighty and powerful St.Nick. If cookies aren't waiting for the great Santa on the eve of Christmas, he will set my house ablaze and fill it with smoke and flames instead of presents and holiday cheer!! However, if Santa receives his wanton cookies than my family and I are free from a fiery death this Christmas and have wrapping paper to tear apart to fill into many trash bags signaling that we live to survive another year. This myth of course has not validity but really puts the pressure on to turn those cookies out! ;)

This year, I am taking part in the cookie ritual and am planning on turning out 9 varieties a'la cookie: chocolate chip, gingerbread, pignoli, Italian sprinkle cookies, cream cheese apricot thumbprints, honey balls, Russian tea balls, granola squares, and chewy sugar cookies. I'm thinking about a tenth for another chocolate cookie because screw Santa and his sack'o'fireballs, I love chocolate!

The first cookies of the year are gingerbread and chocolate chip since both those doughs need refrigeration before baking. I have never ever made gingerbread before so I followed a Soft Gingerbread Cookie from I tried a bite and thought, "Ehh." I want whhaayy more spice so I will at least double up on the ginger and all spice next time. The fun of gingerbread is obviously the decorating. See if you can tell which ones I decorated and which ones Tattoos by Pete decorated?

Given that these cookies are definitely short of glorious, they will not be given to Satan-I'm sorry Santa, as an offering. Instead, we will probably drown them in tea or milk and give them a soggy end. Next time, chapter 2 is chocolate chip cookies : How St. Nick got so fat - STAY TUNED!


The Duo Dishes said...

That mean 'lil fire lighting Santa you've got on your tail sounds fiesty! We like him. :) We definitely agree that a gingerbread cookie should taste spicy and wake up those tastebuds. We swear by allspice, cloves and I bet cardamom wouldn't hurt. Can't wait to see the rest of your line up!!!! You've got a lot of good stuff in that list.

Cate said...

those cookies ARE very cute though. let me tell you that last week i made very spicy gingerbread people with the kids. they got served the next day at my daughter's preschool. very few of the kiddies, let's say, had such adventurous palates. they like those little mealy gringo cookies. black pepper, baby, black pepper.
and love your santa musings.

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