Advent without cookies? Unthinkable! We cannot and do not want to imagine a pre-Christmas season without shortbread, cinnamon stars or vanilla crescents. Our Beatrice is already in the middle of the preparations and buys the finest spices for her legendary treats.
Did you know that spices like cinnamon, vanilla, ginger, cloves or cardamom are "to blame" for the fact that Christmas cookies exist at all? It went like this: In the Middle Ages, the preparation of pastries for the pre-Christmas season was mainly a man's job. For baking was only done in the monasteries. But soon the gentry also wanted to serve their guests sweet treats. And from their own kitchens. After all, they were the ones. There was only one problem: vanilla, cloves and the like were sinfully expensive at the time.
After all, they had to be brought all the way from the Orient to Central Europe on horseback, camels or mules. The noble ladies and gentlemen wanted to make a big impression on their guests, but they didn't want to ruin themselves right away. So what to do? Quite simple: The cookies were simply baked teeny-weeny and much less of the precious spices were used. This is probably how the first Christmas cookies came into being.
Incidentally, the custom of serving up delicious treats in the run-up to Christmas is much older than Christmas itself: Even in pre-Christian times, people celebrated the winter solstice and with it the days growing longer again with fire, dancing and sweet sacrificial breads. We know their successors today as Christstollen. We think it's so nice that there's such a rich history behind our beloved Christmas cookies, and it really makes us want to get our fingers sticky on the cookie dough.