Saturday, December 10, 2011

Advent Calendar – December 8, 2011 Christmas Cookies

Christmas Cookies

Did your family or ancestors make Christmas Cookies? How did you help? Did you have a favorite cookie?

I don't remember making Christmas Cookies at home while growing up and I don't remember either of my grandmothers doing much baking although my grandmother Bockie made a wicked cherry pie when the cherries were harvested from the tree in our backyard.

The Christmas cookies I do remember as a child was large tin of Maurice Lennell cookies. There were multiple layers of an assortment of cookies all nestled in their little red paper cups.

The Maurice Lennell tradition continued in my marriage as my husband bought them every year from the Telephone Pioneers. The beautiful tins were saved year after year to emerge from storage to save the cookies I made at home. Every year we made the usual cutout cookies to decorate. We also made Rum Balls, my mother-in-law's favorite, and spritz cookies.

The annual cookie shipment of kolachkes from Ohio was eagerly awaited by my in-laws and also by my children and I. Grandma Mary sent her Hungarian cookies every year and they were filled with apricots, ground nutmeats, and poppyseed. Sadly the tradition was almost lost with her passing but my daughter was able to find a recipe almost as good and she also makes them every year.

In 2003 we went to Germany to visit our grandchildren for Christmas and began the tradition of building Gingerbread Houses. The very first one used a butter box as a base and graham crackers for the walls and roof. The most important part was the candy decorations. That tradition continues today even though the kids can do it without supervision.

We usually use Wilton kits and they actually eat the gingerbread. My daughter and the girls continue the traditions and add new cookied to the menu keeping both the old and the new. Yes we still have Maurice Lennell Cookies during the holidays.