Thursday, December 15, 2022

Origin of Christmas Cookies

Debbie Lynne here again! Merry Christmas!

Sometimes I get in this mindset where I feel like something has always been. Christmas cookies are one of those things. I mean can you imagine Christmas without candy cane sugar cookies or gingerbread men all decked out with frosting? 

By Gandydancer - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Christmas cookies can be traced all the way back to Medieval times. Cookie origins comes from Medieval Europe biscuits.  Lebkuchen, also known as gingerbread, was probably the first cookie to be traditionally related with Christmas. By the 1500's cookies had spread across all of Europe. Different cookies were popular according to geographics. Germany favored Lebkuchen, while papparkakor  (spicy ginger and black-pepper delights) was popular in Sweden and krumkake (thin lemon and cardamom-scented wafers) was the preferred cookie in Norway.

By Jonathunder - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

The Dutch are attributed with bringing the Christmas cookie to United States early in the 17th century. But when did those cute little gingerbread men, candy canes, and Christmas tree cookies come around? In the late 1800's to early 1900's, when import laws changed, Germany began importing inexpensive products, such as cookie cutters, to the United States. Different from the homemade types and the tinsmith's wares, these cutters were highly stylized images. They were originally sold to hang on Christmas trees, but because of their availability, cookbooks began adding recipes designed to use them.

 I thought I'd leave with you a simple, but yummy shortbread cookie since my family tree and my husband's family tree have been traced back to Medieval Scotland. Here is the Scottish Shortbread recipe. Enjoy!

Cream together:
3/4 cup butter (you must use real butter)
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups all purpose flour

Put into cake pans or a small jelly roll pan and press down with your hands to 1/2". With a fork, prick all over making sure the fork hits the bottom of the pan.

Bake for 10 minutes at 350. Reduce the heat to 300 and continue cooking for 40 more minutes (or until lightly brown. Do NOT overcook). Wait 2 minutes then cut into finger size bars. Cool thoroughly in pan.

A broken heart, a controlling father, and an intrusive Scot leave Charlotte Jackson reeling. Accused of stealing an heirloom pin, she must choose between an unwanted marriage and the ruin of her family name. With the futures of her three younger sisters at stake, as well as her own reputation, Charlotte must navigate through injustice to find forgiveness and true happiness.

Eager to find the traitor who caused the death of his brother, Duncan Mackenzie comes to America and attempts to fit in with Charleston society. But when the headstrong Charlotte catches his eye, Duncan takes on a second mission—acquiring the lass's hand. After being spurned several times, he uses unconventional ways of winning her heart.

Debbie Lynne Costello is the author of Sword of Forgiveness, Amazon's #1 seller for Historical Christian Romance. She has enjoyed writing stories since she was eight years old. She raised her family and then embarked on her own career of writing the stories that had been begging to be told. She writes in the medieval/renaissance period as well as 19th century. She and her husband have four children and live in upstate South Carolina with their 3 dogs, 4 horses, miniature donkey, and 8 ducks. Life is good!


  1. Thank you for posting today, and Merry Christmas! Oh, all of these sound so good, and your shortbread recipe sounds amazing! I've never tried krumkake, those flavors are interesting.

  2. Those cookies sound good and oh so easy.