Food for Thought

Christmas Cookies

What is better than the smell of cookies baking in the oven? Cookies baking in the oven during the holiday season. One of the holiday staples is giving and receiving baked goods, notably cookies. Of all of the different kinds of cookies, there are specific ones that seem to be more abundant during the holidays.
The traditional sugar cookie is dressed up with sprinkles and icing during Christmas time, not to mention the fact they are cut into all different shapes and sizes. Snowmen, Christmas trees, candy canes, and stockings are just a few examples of decorative sugar cookies. One popular new idea is to cut the dough with a Gingerbread man shaped cookie cutter, then flip the shapes upside down and decorate them as reindeer. Another fun sugar cookie is to dye half of the cookie dough red, form several long ropes, and wrap them together to look like a candy cane.
Another variation of the sugar cookie is one called a snowball cookie, probably because of its resemblance to powdered snow. These cookies are small and will melt in your mouth, just like snowflakes. After they are baked, they are shaped into balls and rolled in powdered sugar.
The classic gingerbread is also a holiday favorite. The sweet and spiciness of the cookie bring warmth to the otherwise cool winter. The most popular way to serve this cookie, obviously, is in the shape of a gingerbread man (or woman).
Some special holiday treats are Christmas casserole cookies and fruitcake cookies. The name Christmas casserole cookies derives from the fact that these specialty treats are first baked in the form of a casserole, and then shaped into round balls and dusted with powdered sugar.They involve a combination of dates, shredded coconut, and nuts. Despite the somewhat poor reputation of fruitcake, in some families no holiday would be complete without it. Fruitcake cookies are a much easier version to of the classic, combining spices and dried fruit with the dough.
These are just a few suggestions of the abundance of possibilities of baked goods available during the holidays. Served best with milk, these cookies can be given as gifts, left out for Santa, or simply enjoyed by family and friends.