In Medieval Times, originating with the Winter Solstice Celebrations, cookies were served as a dessert. There was practicality to both the timing of the Celebration, and the focus on hearty food. The Winter Solstice Celebration was literally “the feast before the famine” of another long, bitter winter. Solstice typically marked the arrival of the first frost, which permitted animals to be killed and stored safely to eat throughout the winter, while the fermented beverages (beer and wine) that had been brewed in the spring were finally ready to drink. With the meat and the drink in order, the special occasion dessert —the cookie– was born.
Fast forward to the Middle Ages where Christmas had overtaken solstice rituals throughout much of present-day Europe. While Christmas was now the Holiday, the old feasting tradition remained. With meat and beverage preparation pretty much unchanged, these things were carried over, and maintained. The pastry world, however, was in the midst of a renaissance! Nutmeg, cinnamon and black pepper were becoming common, and dried exotic fruits like citron, apricots and dates opened up new possibilities. Sugar, lard and butter were considered premium ingredients and were reserved for the Christmas Special Occasion. The smaller size, and portability of the cookie made it easy to share and gift to neighbors and friends. Our modern Christmas cookies date back to these medieval gifts. Today, Christmas Cookies remain a staple of the season. They are the stars in neighborhood cookie exchanges, the ultimate hostess gift, and the traditional snack offering to Santa himself.
Whether you prefer black and whites, basic sugar, or crunchy biscotti, chances are you’ll enjoy some fresh baked Christmas cookies this holiday season. While the custom of the Christmas Cookie dates back hundreds of years, we say, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”
At Alpine our Christmas Cookies are legendary. With over 25 varieties, the possibilities seem endless. Ranging from classics to contemporary, and with some cookies larger than your face, we know we have something perfect for you and your Christmas Tradition. We package them by the pound and wrap them up in festive Holiday wrapping. Come in today and get yours. You can gift them to friends and associates, take them to your favorite hostess, sit back at home and keep them all to yourself, and leave a few for Santa (warning… you may not want to, but wind up at risk of being on his “naughty” list if you don’t). Whatever you decide, it’s the season to “Taste the Love.”