Updated: Sep 14
Having a stressful day? Let’s take a minute to talk about sugar cookies. Yes, that’s right, sugar cookies - the delicious, chewy, sprinkled cookie of our dreams. While many people associate this crowd-pleasing dessert with holiday parties and Santa Claus, this delicious little confection has its very own celebratory day right smack in the middle of the summer (whoever decided on the date seems to have taken into account that people will likely want sugar cookies more than once a year, and has given us some time to detox after a cookie filled December). Believe it or not, Americans everywhere observe National Sugar Cookie Day on July 9th, a time of joy, frosting, and stomach aches (that is, if you love sugar cookies as much as I do). National Sugar Cookie Day rolls around and people go crazy prepping their kitchens, lighting their ovens, rolling up their sleeves, and unloading all the goods. Those home-bakers whip out their rolling pins, measuring cups, pounds of softened butter, sifted flour, refined sugar, a variety of fancy-dancy sprinkles, and all kinds of decorating equipment - it’s a real sight to see.
So where did these scrumptious things actually come from? Well, despite National Sugar Cookie Day being one of the newer holidays (although I can’t imagine why it wasn’t recognized sooner), sugar cookies themselves have been enjoyed in America for centuries, brought right to good ol’ Pennsylvania by German settlers in the 1700s. According to the Vintage Recipe Project, those settlers lived in the PA Nazareth colony and used a cutter to form the dessert into a sweet little keyhole shape to represent the state’s symbol. The cookie recipe may have been simple, but it certainly caught on quickly and became popularized as the fabled Nazareth Cookie (Hillier, 2019). These days, the standard recipe hasn’t changed much (a classic example of “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”), and people everywhere continue to love bringing these babies to parties and sharing them with their friends all year round.
While the recipe may be similar,