If the holiday season sends visions of snickerdoodles and gingerbread men dancing through your head, you're certainly not alone in celebrating the sweet treats of the season. Cookies are a key part of Christmas traditions around the world. While there are plenty of chocolate chip and decorated sugar cookies from which to choose, these classic favorites represent just a tiny segment of the countless cookie varieties being baked, snacked on and given as gifts.
But have you ever wondered just how these sugary snacks became such a universal part of the season, even by people living on opposite sides of the world? Well, like many other things, it mostly comes down to the economy. A couple of centuries ago, the average person couldn't pay the exorbitantly high prices for cookie ingredients like sugar, butter and many spices or seasonings. That meant cookies were a luxury to be enjoyed only on the most special of occasions. For many Christians (or for groups used to celebrating non-Christian holidays, like Saturnalia in December), Christmas ranked among the most special of days, and one that was certainly worth splurging on. That means our ancestors were busy forming delicious balls of dough and baking batches of cookies around the holidays, just like we do today in the days and weeks leading up to Christmas.
While many people head straight to the tray holding their favorite cookie variety when they arrive at a holiday party, we bet you can't name all the variations found in this quiz!