Today’s Christmas cut-out cookies can trace their roots back to Medieval Europe biscuits, some of which included ingredients such as cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, almonds and dried fruit. The earliest Christmas cookies in the United States were brought by the Dutch in the early 17th century.
Between 1871 and 1906 cookie cutters became available in American markets due to a change in import laws. The cookie cutters often depicted images with subjects designed to hang on Christmas trees.
Although the shapes and designs of the cookie have changed over the years, the cut-out/roll-out Christmas cookie is still one of the favorites in Emmaus Patch.
It is definitely one of the favorites of . He likes them “rolled so thin with confectionary sugar that you can almost see through it, cut with a Santa cookie cutter, sprinkled with the red sugar crystals and baked until golden brown! They’re simply the best!!”
By Merle A. Leh from “Suppertime with Thomas and Alice Stahl’s Family”
1 c. softened butter 1 tsp. vanilla
1 ½ c. sugar 3 c. sifted flour
2 eggs ½ tsp. baking soda
Cream butter. Add sugar gradually and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Sift together flour and baking soda; add gradually to creamed mixture. Chill dough thoroughly 3 to 4 hours. Roll on well-floured surface very thin to 1/8 inch. Cut into holiday shapes. Trim as desired with colored sugars and candy decorettes. Bake in a moderate oven at 375 degrees for 6to 8 minutes or till lightly browned. Cool slightly on baking sheet; finishing cooling on rack. Makes 4 to 5 dozen cookies.
White Cut-Out Cookies
By Arlene Pysher from “Mary V. Lichtenwalner, Uncle Jeffrey Tapler Cookbook”
1 ½ c. confectioner’s sugar, sifted ½ tsp. almond flavoring
1 c. butter 2 ½ c. flour
1 egg 1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla 1 tsp. cream of tartar
Cream together sugar and butter. Mix in eggs and flavorings. Blend dry ingredients; stir in. Refrigerate 2 to 3 hours. Divide dough in half, and roll out on a lightly floured board. Cut out with cookie cutters. Sprinkle with sugar. Place on lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 7 to 8 minutes, or until delicately golden. Makes 5 dozen cookies.