‘Tis the season for baking! Whether you’re hosting a Christmas party or having a quiet holiday celebration at home, chances are cookies will be part of the equation.
The tradition of baking and sharing Christmas cookies stretches back for centuries with its roots firmly planted in Europe. As people migrated to America, so did their cooking traditions. According to McCalls’ December 1994 issue, the earliest account of Christmas cookies in America came from the Dutch in the 1600s.
With an assortment of Ginger Molasses Cookies, Swedish Overnights, Mexican Wedding Balls, and Sour Cherry Brown Sugar Shortbread Cookies, our Christmas Cookie Box is a melting pot of cultural flavors. Like folklore, some of these recipes have been shared and modified so much their origins have become blurry, but we’ve tracked down some truths about each recipe.
Ginger Molasses Cookies
As Leslie says, ginger has a natural warming quality that’s perfect for this time of year. With its recipe closely mirroring that of gingerbread, conventional wisdom tells us that the Ginger Molasses cookie is a miniature version of the sweet and spicy cake.
Mexican Wedding Balls
These cookies are perhaps the most ragtag of the bunch. Also known as Russian Tea Cakes, Snowballs and Butterballs, it’s believed that this recipe came from the Moors who invaded Spain in the 8th century. Some food historians say the recipe eventually migrated to South America and Mexico with European nuns.
No Scandinavian Christmas celebration would be complete without Swedish Overnights. Also called Swedish Heirloom Cookies, Swedish Overnights share similar ingredients to Mexican Wedding Balls. These cookies can be dusted with powered sugar, or in this case, colorful sprinkles for a festive touch.
Sour Cherry Shortbread Cookies
A classic Scottish dessert with three basic ingredients, shortbread makes a quintessential cookie. It’s a popular choice for holidays, because it’s so adaptable and can be cut into festive shapes. We’ve added coarse crystal and brown sugars, tart cherries and vanilla to our recipe for more complex flavor.
Like those before us, we hope you enjoy sharing these recipes for many years to come!