Holiday Traditions

empty road covered with snow

Image by: Flo Byderman

The semester is officially over and Christmas is quickly approaching. Winter has officially begun so it is a time to fight through the frigid temperatures and to fellowship with friends and family. Whether it be putting cookies and milk out for Santa, decorating the Christmas tree, or giving gifts; Christmas is a time of togetherness and joyous times. For me, this time gives me the opportunity to find a new hobby or to explore new adventures that will be embarked during my break from the hectic schedules of college. But as always, I plan to bake so as I encounter this holiday season that is about to take place, I am filled with the endless ideas of all the traditional desserts that are often served around this time of year. The holidays honestly are interpreted differently to each individual person but I find that there is this common ground that it is about celebrating love with those you truly care about…those who are special and have endured some of the toughest times with you.

A traditional Christmas dessert is the Yule log cake, also known as the bûche de Noël or Swiss roll, which is an sophisticated creation that consists of a beautiful construction of a filled sponge cake that is delicately rolled and frosted with chocolate buttercream. It is usually designed to look reminiscent of a tree bark. The Yule log cake can be thoroughly decorated with an array of edible decorations such as holly crafted out of marzipan or mushroom shaped meringues. The history of this widely celebrated dessert of the Yule log cake dates back to the European medieval era. In that particular time, the Celtic Brits and Gaelic Europeans would come together to welcome the solstice of winter in the cold December months by feasting in celebration for a lingering amount of days. The cake being shaped to look like a wooden log was in dedication of the meaningful use of wood in these historic times. Wood was viewed as an offering that would be burned and the ashes were valued to protect the inhabitants in terms of guarding them from evil and being used for medicinal purposes.

yule log cake covered with frosting flowers and pinecones

Image by: Bethel Bakery

While many bakers have popularized the production of this holiday-themed confection in the 19th century and a variety of bakeries created their own representations of the classic look of the cake. But, nowadays, the Yule log cake has become somewhat obsolete as a Christmas dessert tradition; it has become almost completely replaced by the likes of apple pie and other seasonal baked goods.

So enjoy the holidays with your respective celebrations and comment below on some of your favorite holiday tradition that you partake in.

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