What’s your favorite cookie during the holidays? One of my favorite cookies is the sugar cookie. As a child, I remember running through the front door, backpacks dumped at the door and the familiar smell of freshly baked sugar cookies. My mom made hundreds of cookies for friends, teachers, piano teachers and neighbors in the weeks before Christmas.
And, on Thursday nights we would help decorate the stacks of sugar cookies, organized by shape. Thursday nights were the best because it meant it was almost Friday.
Even then it was the precursor to Fri-yay!
Usually one of the three networks had a Christmas show or special. What was your favorite? Charlie Brown? The Grinch?
My mom always had Bing Crosby or Johnny Mathis Christmas albums on the stereo/record console. These childhood memories got me thinking about the history of sugar cookies. It turns out other inquiring minds have asked and answered the question.
The history of the sugar cookie dates back to the Middle Ages. As explained here, the Winter Solstice was a time to gather and prepare elaborate celebrations. Sugar cookies made early appearances during this time with spices playing a large part in their taste.
The popularity of the sugar cookie increased in the 17th century in Europe. Where the recipe headed to America with the early settlers. Even then travelers wanted a sugary snack after enduring months-long travel.
Of course, we didn’t refer to them as sugar cookies until much later, but the idea of a shaped sugary cookie eventually settled on the familiar name.
There is a day devoted to sugar cookies.