Today is the first day of the Mistletoe Make & Bake Holiday Blog Hop, and we’ve got some really fun plans for the week! First up is Sherri Falls of This and That so be sure to hop over to see what fun project she has for you today, and be sure to check out all the other designer’s blogs for their cookie recipes. Most importantly, don’t forget to comment on the blogs…you could win a great prize!
As I was thinking about today’s theme, Christmas Trivia … myth or truth, my thoughts kept going back to my Grandfather’s love of soft peppermint candy at Christmastime. Candy canes can be found every where at Christmas, and are as much a decoration as a sugary treat. I did a little research on the origin of the candy cane, and learned that it wasn’t always crooked or striped.
Historians say that candy canes were originally all white sugar sticks used as tree decorations. In the late 1600’s a choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral in Germany bent the sugar candy sticks to resemble a shepherd’s staff, and gave the candy canes out to children to keep them quiet during long nativity services.
Striped candy canes appeared about 1900, along with peppermint and wintergreen flavors, which became the traditional favorites.
My grandfather’s favorite were the soft peppermint sticks, not the hard brittle candy canes that are usually found at this time of year. At one point, Bob’s Candies in Albany, GA (which was about 35 miles from my grandparents’ home) was the world’s largest manufacturer of candy canes, and every year someone would give my grandfather a big box of Bob’s Candies Mint Sticks as a gift. My grandmother would dole these out to the grandchildren during our visits, usually accompanied by a glass of chocolate milk. We’d sip our milk using the mint sticks as our straws until they literally dissolved…that’s how soft and porous they were! I think this is probably the reason I can’t eat chocolate and mint together today…we would make ourselves sick drinking chocolate milk with peppermint stick straws!
I do love peppermint candy, though, particularly the soft peppermints – I just love the way they dissolve on my tongue! In celebration of the candy cane, enjoy this fun recipe for Candy Cane Sugar Cookies:
To download the recipe card as a pdf file click here!
Come back tomorrow when I’ll share another cookie recipe and my tip for saving your sanity during the crazy busy Christmas season.