For most of us, this holiday season will bring decorating, shopping and most importantly cookie baking. If you are looking for a way to get your visitor involved this holiday season, try including them in some good old fashioned cookie baking! It is common tradition in the US to bake special cookies for the holidays, such as little Gingerbread Men or Holiday themed sugar cookies. These cookies could be made for a cheerful holiday cookie exchange party or saved for Santa on Christmas Eve.
What many Americans don’t know is that holiday cookie traditions are common all over the world. Many countries have their own recipes and ingredients to make a special cookie of their own to enjoy during the cold winter months. Let’s take a look at how different cultures make their cookies unique and maybe you and your visitor can tackle one of these recipes for your own holiday festivities!
Long ago, before sugar, monks who worked in the monastery kitchens in Nurnberg Germany would bake cookies with real honey that was given to them from bee keepers in a nearby forest. These cookies were given the name Nürnberger Lebkuchen, or for short ‘honey cookies’, and they are still made to this day to celebrate the holiday season. Click here for the recipe.
Now let’s take a look at cookies that are served to celebrate Hanukah. Commonly known as Hanukkah cookies, there are two types of cookies made for the holiday. Rugalach cookies are filled with many different sweets such as white chocolate, apricots, walnuts and brown sugar. The other type are sugar cookies cut in the shape of dreidels or of the Star of David.
Click here for Hanukah cookie recipes.
This last cookie is very common in Africa where Kwanzaa is celebrated to begin the New Year. Kwanzaa cookies, commonly known as Benne Cakes, originated in Africa where the Benne Seed comes from. In America, Benne Seeds are known as Sesame Seeds. These cakes are eaten across Africa for good luck for the start of the New Year.
Click here if you want to make your own Benne Cakes.
If you’re feeling adventurous this holiday season, try one of these new cookie recipes with your visitor. Maybe they will have a holiday cookie of their own to bake for you and to share their tradition!