Thirteen Christmas Cookies
This little book offers recipes for making thirteen traditional cookies, served during the winter holidays, in the Netherlands, Germany, Greece, Scandinavia, Italy and Denmark. You will find recipes for making Kourabiedes, Springerle, Cavallucci, Speculatius, gingerbread, Advent pretzels, Lussekatter (Lucy Cats) Twelfth Night Cake and more. Each recipe includes an explanation of the deep historical roots of the cookie, including its symbolism, use in rituals and association with winter gods and goddesses.
It was my friend, Helen Farias, who first told me that you should bake thirteen different kinds of Christmas cookies during Advent. Even though I had never heard of this before (or since), I knew instantly that she was right. Perhaps she derived her idea from the custom in Southern France of serving 13 desserts after Mass on Christmas Eve. At any rate, if you make 3 batches of cookies a week during the four weeks of Advent (plus an extra batch one week), you will have 13 kinds of cookies ready for serving at Christmas or giving away as gifts, plus plenty to serve at your Advent gatherings.