This page is dedicated to the many Cookie Holidays that we celebrate.
"Cookie decorating dates back to at least the 14th century when in Switzerland, springerle cookie molds were carved from wood and used to impress Biblical designs into cookies."
"The artistic element of cookie making also can be traced back to Medieval Germany where Lebkuchen was crafted into fancy shapes and decorated with sugar. The story of "Hansel and Gretel " published with Grimm's Fairy Tales in 1812 inspired German gingerbread cookie Christmas cards. Also during the 17th century, Dutch and German settlers introduced cookie cutters, decorative molds, and festive holiday cookie decorations to the United States."
"Today cookie decorating traditions continue in many places in the world and include such activities as cookie decorating parties, competitions, creating cookie bouquets and cookie gift baskets, and simply decorating cookies with children as a fun family activity."
Glaze, royal icing and fondant are all popular choices for decorating cookies.
"One of the earliest recorded forms of cookie decorating is the springerle, and the oldest known springerle mold is housed at the Swiss national museum in Zurich, Switzerland. This round-shaped mold was carved from wood in the 14th century and pictures the Easter Lamb."
"A springerle mold or press (carved rolling pins) is used to imprint a picture or design on to a cookie. These cookies have been the traditional Christmas cookies in Bavaria and Austria for centuries. To add to the decorative effect, the designs may be colored with food coloring, or when used for decorative purposes only, with tempera or acrylic paints."
"Springerle cookies originally displayed biblical scenes and were used to teach the illiterate about the Bible. Eventually, the cookies were decorated with secular scenes depicting images of life events, such as marriages and births."
"Food historians also trace the artistic element of cookie making back to Medieval Germany where Lebkuchen (gingerbread) was crafted into fancy shapes and decorated with sugar. However, the Lebkuchen guilds only permitted professional gingerbread bakers to make this, with the exceptions of Christmas and Easter when anyone was free to make their own."
"The first gingerbread man may have been a Renaissance Man! This cookie is often credited by food historians to Queen Elizabeth I, who during her reign (1558 to 1603) gifted VIP visitors to the court with gingerbread cookies decorated in their likenesses."
"These gingerbread "portraits" were decorated with cloves dipped in gold."
"During the 17th century, guild employed master bakers and artisans created intricate works of art with their gingerbread houses and cookies. It was also during this period in Germany when cookies, in the form of Lebkuchen, were introduced as Christmas decorations."
"In 1812, Grimm's Fairy Tales was published, and the tale of "Hansel and Gretel" inspired 19th century bakeries to add to their fanciful gingerbread entourage, decorated gingerbread cookie Christmas cards and finely detailed molded cookies. Tinsmiths rose to the call and crafted cookie cutters into all imaginable forms for bakeries and homemakers who relished having unique cookie cutters."
"Many a Victorian Christmas tree was adorned with decorated cookies in the shapes of animals and gingerbread men."
"Also during the 17th century, Dutch and German settlers introduced cookie cutters, decorative molds, and festive holiday decorations to the United States. Gingerbread was likely the first U.S.-made Christmas cookie. (Sugar cookies, one of the most widely decorated of cookies today, evolved from the English."
"The German cookie cutters produced more stylized cookies, many with secular Christmas subjects, and for less cost, than the local American tinsmiths. When import laws opened the floodgates to low-cost, German-imported cooking utensils, including cookie cutters, between 1871 and 1906, the American tradition of decorating cookies for Christmas tree ornamentation took hold. In response to this cookie cutter boom, U.S. published cookbooks began featuring cookies in decorative shapes such as bells and Santa Clauses."
"Today cookie decorating traditions continue in many places in the world and include: decorating cookies for Christmas and other holidays, cookie decorating parties, decorating cookies for cookie bouquets and gift baskets, trimming the Christmas tree with decorated cookies, and decorating cookies with the children, to name a few."
"Cookie decorating events can even be found at history and art museums. And they are frequently found at holiday events, community centers and classrooms. Decorated cookies also win ribbons at county and state fairs."
Cookie Cutters / Cookie Icing / Fondant
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