For many of us, the sweet waft of freshly baked cookies from the oven conjures up many wonderful childhood memories. My Saturday mornings were spent baking with my mother.
Parchment paper has long since been a baking staple. One of the first records of baked cookies dates back to the 14th century. Also known as “fine cakes”, these small cookies enriched with egg yolks and spices were baked on parchment paper.”
– The History of Cookies, Linda Stradley, What’s Cooking America
I fondly remember her lining a long row of old tins with parchment paper, preparing them for the traditional Christmas cake, with marzipan icing and blanched almond flowers with a candied cherry in the middle. While I would pass on the cake, my two all time favorites were Date Chews with Coconut, and Gingerbread cookies with icing.
What’s old can be new again. While I love tradition, I get very excited about revamping a recipe. I’ve reworked my two favorites for this holiday season. The Date Chews have become Cranberry Coconut Chews with Walnuts and Sesame Seeds. As for the gingerbread, it has evolved to a chewy and nutty version with crushed almonds, dark rum and whole wheat flour that I call, Gingerbread Cookies with Crushed Almonds & Dark Rum.
Offering a variety of cookies makes it much more interesting for your guests. A great way to serve a variety without doing all of the baking, is to host a cookie exchange. Invite your friends over one evening and ask them each to bring one dozen of their favorite homemade cookies for each attendee. Ask them to bring copies of their cookie recipe to share as well.
…cutte them in squares lyke unto trenchers, and pricke them well, and let your oven be well swept and lay them upon papers and so set them in the oven…”
– Good Huswife’s Jewel, Thomas Dawson, 1596
Set all the plates of cookies out on a festive table and task your helpers with the responsibilities of counting and divvying up the cookies so that each guest leaves with a dozen of each cookie variety. Then treat your guests to some eggnog, hot mulled cider, wine and of course, milk. Quick easy recipes and shortcuts are always appreciated during this busy time of year. PaperChef Culinary Parchment may be the most helpful cooking companion in your kitchen this season. Here are a few easy tips and benefits for baking with parchment paper:
- Roll out cookie dough between two sheets of parchment paper to prevent dough from sticking to the work surface and the rolling pin.
- Parchment paper is non-stick so there’s not need to use a non-stick pan spray to grease your baking sheets.
- Parchment paper prevents burning, scorching and sticking and is oven-safe up to 425°
- Parchment paper makes for easy clean up – no need to wash your baking sheets.
Your holiday baking will warm any frosty night and bring smiles to many. Every bite will remind you of the spirit of the holiday season and how good, wholesome ingredients baked at home can be the best gift of all.
This festive gem is sure to be a hit at any holiday cookie exchange. East to make and quick to bake when you line your cookie sheets with Culinary Parchment paper. This versatile multi-purpose paper prevents burning, scorching and sticking plus makes for easy clean up.
The dark rum and crushed almonds puts a nice spin on this traditional holiday cookie. The dough can be frozen at ball stage prior to rolling in the sugar for future baking. Just freeze on a tray lined with Culinary Parchment paper for about one hour, then place in a freezer bag. Let thaw 10 minutes before baking then roll in the sugar. Bake for 12-14 minutes.