SHS staff members share their favorite holiday cookie flavors and holiday traditions
December 20, 2017
Holiday cookies come in all different shapes, sizes, colors, and flavors, and they come from all different cultures. Although these cookies have a variety of differences, people enjoy them the same, along with their traditions. It is common for people to celebrate the holidays by eating together and exchanging gifts, but there are also some really quirky traditions practiced over the holidays.
Benne Wafer cookies are a great way to celebrate Kwanzaa( December 26- January 1st). Brought from East Africa through West Africa, this cookie has become very popular in the south of the United States. Benne (the Bantu- word for sesame) is a sesame based cookie that is then mixed with butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and more. This combination makes for a great tasting cookie.
Another cookie made around this time of year is gingerbread. Some people actually make gingerbread men. According to Time.com, the gingerbread men started with Queen Elizabeth I. It is said that she would host banquets and ask her bakers to create gingerbread men that would represent foreign dignitaries and the people in her court.
History teacher Mr. Anthony Lanfrank said his favorite cookie is an Italian Anisette cookie.
“ I still love them even though I can’t eat them” said Lanfrank. This cookie is a little “ball-shaped”cookie topped with icing and sprinkles. As for his daughter, she isn’t as picky she enjoys all holiday cookies.
Math teacher Ms. Monica Calemmo’s favorite is sugar cookies — but only if made from scratch. She bakes them with her two children. Christmas is her kids favorite holiday because all three of them love to help set up the decorations, especially the little town she sets up outside her house.
“ The kids’ favorite cookie would have to be the peanut butter ones with the Hershey Kiss in the middle,” said Calemmo.
“ My favorite cookie is the peanut butter ones with the hershey kiss in the middle” said principal Mr. Jeffrey Sodl. He also shared a tradition in his neighborhood. The week before Christmas, a group of neighborhood women gather and hold a cookie bake — and the make a boatload for everyone to enjoy.
One of the most popular cookies baked for Hanukkah(December 12-20) is the Zalabia, according to Thedailymeal.com. This is a Jewish dessert that consists of batter that is then poured into hot oil in a thin spiral motion. This creation is then covered with honey or syrup. They are often compared to mini Amish funnel cakes.
SHS assistant principals also shared their favorite cookies and traditions.
“ My favorite cookie is chocolate chip” said Mr. George Angelopoulos. While his cookie choice might be the predictable classic cookie, Angelopoulos and his family celebrate the holidays in a variety of interesting ways, from playing Elf on the shelf to watching Christmas Vacation to driving around town and admiring all of the decorations.
“ As old as my kids are, they still love the cut out cookies”, said assistant principal Mr. Tom Burke. His favorite cookie though is definitely Magic Bar cookies. These contain a mix of graham crackers, flaked coconut, nuts, and semisweet chocolate. Burke celebrates Christmas Eve at his in-laws, and he spend Christmas at home in sweatpants and a t-shirt. He mentioned that he is also a fan of the film Christmas Vacation, which he watches everything Thanksgiving as a way to kick off the holiday season.
Below are two links related to this story. One is more information on Benne Wafer cookies and the other is the Food Network’s top holiday cookies.