Christmas Cookies, A Tradition of Sharing

Did you know that Christmas cookies trace their lineage to medieval holiday rituals and Christmas cakes?  Christmas lebkuchen (gingerbread) was probably the first “cookie” prepared for the holiday, and by the 1500s Christmas cookies had caught on all over Europe.  The Dutch brought them to the US in 1600, and nobody’s looked back since. 

This Christmas cookie history comes from Food Timeline right here on the Internet, along with lots more detail.  But history aside, how many of us have gifted or been gifted with Christmas cookies this holiday?  How many kinds have you sampled at parties?  How many packages have you bought at craft fairs or church bazaars or traded for at cookie exchanges?

This year I kept my extra baking light.  I made our traditional bishop’s cake for after-dinner snacking.  I baked a Snickers Brownie pie for a holiday party.  But there’s one more treat I’ll make to take to my son’s house on Christmas morning.  My terrific daughter-in-law has already given us a delicious assortment of Christmas cookies she made herself, but now I’ll return the favor with this holiday treat, traditional  in our household.   I’m sharing it here just in case you need a truly simple, quick and marvelously delicious Christmas cookie to round out your holiday fare.

Wherever you are, whatever you bake, whatever you eat, have a wonderful holiday.

Seven Layer Bars

1 stick margarine or butter
1 cup graham cracker crumbs–1 wrapped section crushed or whirled in food processor
1 cup flaked or shredded coconut
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk–don’t use nonfat
1 cup chopped walnuts

Melt butter in 9 x 13 inch pan

Sprinkle in order: crumbs, coconut, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and walnuts. Drizzle condensed milk over top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Variations: You can substitute vanilla wafers for graham crackers and pecans or even salted peanuts for walnuts. You can double the amount of chips, too, although I prefer the amount above.  If you use vanilla wafers,  use 2/3rds cup of margarine.

Eat and enjoy.

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