Thursday, December 26, 2019

#BoxingDay (Christmas Around the World) and #NationalCandyCaneDay


Today our friends in Britain, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and other Commonwealth countries celebrate Boxing Day.

Let's take a look at some Boxing Day traditions.

This secular holiday is on the same day as the religious day of St Stephen’s. Boxing day originated around eight hundred years ago. However, it should be noted that there are really two Saint Stephens in history. The December 26th is for the St Stephen about whom the Good King Wenceslas carol (one of my favorites!) is written.


There are some theories about the origins of the name ‘boxing day’:

One theory is that the day is named for a box placed in church on Christmas day to collect money for the needy. Another theory suggests that ‘boxing day’ refers to a box gifted to the servants of grand houses in the past, during one of their only days off in the year (i.e. the day after Christmas). Finally, a ‘Christmas Box’ is simply a traditional name for a Christmas present!

In more recent years, Boxing Day is a Bank Holiday, meaning that many people have a day off work and some people that do work are paid time and a half, or double. The day is then an extension of Christmas celebrations. It's another wonderful opportunity to continue celebrating with friends and family.

Boxing Day is currently celebrated (or is a public holiday) in UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. In some European countries, such as Germany, there is also an unconnected festive day known as Zweite Feiertag (which is translated as ‘second celebration’).


What's any holiday celebration without food, and so on Boxing Day, the food is often a lunch typically created from leftover Christmas dinner or a roasted ham. Christmas desserts such as Mince Pies and leftover Christmas pudding are also served. 

Shopping, watching football (our soccer), and even swimming (in the UK, swimming in freezing places has somehow become a tradition) are other Boxing Day traditions. 


In honor of National Candy Cane Day, I'm sharing this delicious recipe!

Christmas Candy Cane Cookies

Ingredients

3 candy canes crushed (1/4 cup)
½ cups butter softened
1 cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg
¼ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoons baking powder
⅛ teaspoons baking soda
1-½ cup all purpose flour
½ cups powdered sugar

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease light colored baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray, line with parchment paper or use silicone baking mat and set aside.
  2. Place candy canes into a plastic food storage bag and crush using a rolling pin. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Whip in vanilla and egg. Scrape sides and mix again. Stir all dry ingredients together in a small bowl and then in pour into the mixer and slowly mix until just combined, excluding the powdered sugar. Scrape sides of the bowl and mix again briefly. Stir in crushed candy canes.
  4. Pour powdered sugar onto a large plate. Roll a heaping teaspoon of dough into a ball and roll in powdered sugar. Place on the baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.
  5. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until bottoms begins to barely brown and cookies look matte {not melty or shiny}. Remove from oven and cool cookies about 3 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
Recipe Notes
If using a nonstick darker baking tray, reduce baking time by about 2 minutes.

Recipe and image from Lauren's Latest.

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