For many people, this time of year is a time for baking, sharing, and, of course, eating our favorite special cookies. The tradition of Christmas cookies goes back to Medieval times in Europe when ingredients such as cinnamon, ginger and dried fruit were introduced to the West. The practice was brought to the US by the Dutch and became particularly popular as shaped cookie cutters were imported from Germany in the late 19th century.
Many children in the US and Canada leave cookies out for Santa and cookie swaps have become a popular reason to get together during the festive season.
We did a quick poll and some of your favorites are gingerbread, thumbprint cookies and spritz along with many more. The most common favorite special cookie, however, seems to be sugar cookies. So many of you have memories attached to your particular favorites, and they are made year after year.
What about our Sunday Supper tastemakers? What are their favorites and what makes them special?
Passed down the generations
For many, there are sentimental reasons behind your favorites. One of the most common reasons is it’s a type of cookie that your grandparents used to make, and that’s no less true for many Sunday Supper tastemakers. Erica of The Crumby Cupcake loves these Russian Teacakes that her Nana used to make and called “Nut Balls.” Cynthia from Feeding Big loves Pfeffernusse as they remind her of her German grandma.
Many also love the cookies their mothers made as they were growing up, and now they make them themselves, such is the case for Cricket of Cricket’s Confections with these Gluten Free Christmas Cookies. Cindy of Cindy’s Recipes and Writings loves these Chocolate Brownie Tassies as her mom used to make traditional tassies which she misses. Favorites can also be adopted, according to Carlee of Cooking with Carlee. Her mother-in-law’s Polish Kolacky are now a must in her household too.
Baking with others
For others, some of what makes cookies their favorites is that they are made with others. Stacy of Food Lust People Love says these Silver Bell Sugar Cookies remind her of baking with her daughters, with Christmas music playing in the background and eating about as much of the dough as finished cookies. Sara of My Imperfect Kitchen says these Melted Snowman Cookies are the best for making with kids and grandkids as they’re such fun to decorate – I can kind of see why!
Some cookies are popular because they have similar flavors to other favorite baked goods, like these Cinnamon Roll Cookies from Marion of Life Tastes Good and these Creme Brûlée Shortbread from Eileen at Baking Sense (plus as she says, it’s fun to use a blowtorch.)
Something that bit different
Not just more typical cookies can be favorites. Many hold a place in our hearts for other reasons. I recently shared these Iraqi Date Cookies, Kleicha, on Caroline’s Cooking and we instantly loved the cardamon-infused date filling. It reminds me of travels in the Eastern Mediterranean and Jordan. These Lemon Ricotta Cookies from Pook’s Pantry remind Cheryl of holidays in Brooklyn. Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures loves these Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cookies and they are special for her because they are the first ones she came up with entirely herself. Meanwhile Kim from The Ninja Baker loves these Cherry Blossom Tea Cookies that bring back memories of her childhood in Japan.
There are so many cookie flavors to choose from! And while many of us have favorites we make year after year, it’s also fun to try some new ones. What will you try next? What are your old and new favorites?