I’m so happy to join all these wonderful historical romance authors for this year’s Cookie Hop!
I’m a musician, so for most of my life the month of December was spent preparing and performing holiday music. I usually play in bands and orchestras, but I enjoy singing, too. This year, there won’t be any performances, but I’ll be listening to my favorite carols. When I was young, I’d occasionally join groups that went from house to house singing Christmas carols. Lately, I was surprised to read that this tradition dates back to feudal times, when the poor would literally “sing for their supper” - in other words, they would sing until someone offered them food or drink to simply go away!
Another theory is that carolers traveled door-to-door because since the songs they sang weren't part of the litergy, they were not originally allowed in churches. Others say the idea of going from house to house singing holiday songs didn't develop until the 16th century, when Anglo-Saxon peasants would go "wassailing," requesting nourishment from their superiors in exchange for singing good tidings.
Wassail was a thick, hot spiced beverage that helped keep the traveling well-wishers warm; in its heyday, the drink was just as much of a holiday tradition as eggnog is in modern times. As wassailing evolved, with children often going door-to-door, it became more associated with Christmas and caroling. Oliver Cromwell banned Christmas celebrations in England from 1649 to 1660 (he believed Christmas should be a serious holiday, and celebrated accordingly), and caroling did not experience a surge in popularity until the 19th century, when it's thought that the joyful, expressive hymns were well-received in the Victorian Era. Carolers would be invited inside for something to drink and a snack. Since I’m not much of a baker, I’d have to serve something super easy to make, like these Jello Cookies! A co-worker shared this recipe with me a long time ago. They're delicious, and I’ve enjoyed making and eating them ever since. Here’s the recipe:
¾ cup margarine or butter
½ cup sugar
3 oz. package flavored gelatin
1 tsp vanilla
2½ cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Cream margarine, sugar, jello, and eggs together.
Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
Roll dough into little balls and place on greased and floured baking sheet. Flatten with fork.
Bake 6 to 8 minutes at 350 degrees.
That’s it! Since you probably won’t need to treat hungry carolers this year, enjoy your cookies with a book. I hope you’ll check out some of mine by clicking on the Books tab above. If you do, enter the title of one of my books by clicking HERE, and on December 13 I’ll choose one random winner to receive his/her chosen book! And then be sure to join the rest of the Cookie Hop!
Here are all the stops in the Cookie Hop. Click on a name to go to that author's site. Visit all 30 and collect the cookie recipes from each, then follow the instructions at the bottom of the list to qualify for a $150 gift card!
Email your completed list of author names, with their treat names, to Heather@HeatherMcCollum.com with the heading: “Historical Romance Authors are Sweet” to be entered into the $150 gift card grand prize random drawing.