The Christmas season is here and tradition and nostalgia hang in the air. As an avid baker, I’m firing up the oven, stocking up on cookie supplies and polishing off the Kitchenaid. I love making cookies, and with my 4-year old an eager helper, what’s not to love? There is nothing like the smell of cookies in the oven, and the smile of my son as he sneaks a lick from the bowl of cookie dough.
Homemade creations are near and dear to my heart. And yet . . . growing up in Buffalo at Christmas meant the annual appearance of Jingle cookies. Our mouths would go slack and drool would puddle in the corners when the first box of these store-bought creations appeared in our house. The distinct scent of anise infused cookies hit the nose when we opened the box. Green and red sugar crystals glittered on the surface of cookies shaped like stars, trees, Christmas ornaments and snow men. The first crunchy bite was heaven, the second, bliss. Two bites would polish off these small cookies. A glass of milk stood sentinel, waiting to wash down the final bite. But one was never enough . . . these little bites of heaven were addictive. Before we knew it, the package was gone.
For years, we enjoyed this seasonal treat . . . until the year they disappeared from the shelf. A quick search on the internet revealed the dismal truth: the Jingle was no more. Apparently, Salerno, who made the original Jingle, was bought out by Parmalat. Salerno continued to market the cookies under the name Santa’s Favorites, but alas, not quite the same. Keebler also made a cookie after Parmalat bought out Salerno, but the recipe was nowhere near the true Jingle cookie. I know. My mom bought a package and we threw them all in the trash. So disappointing.
Now there are just rumors of Jingle purchases and sightings. Claims of finding them in stores in the midwest. I have never seen a package since. So, for all you Jingle lovers out there, keep hunting. Perhaps some lucky person will hit the jackpot.
Oh sweet star-shaped Jingle
Dressed in glittery sprinkles
Red and green,
Your anise perfume
Oh Jingle, sweet Jingle
Perhaps someone has a Jingle sighting?