Cookie Cutters


I am Gina Parducci. A second-generation Italian because my grandparents immigrated from Lucca, Italy. I am also Pennsylvania Dutch (German). Leigh Valley, Pennsylvania is where my German relatives immigrated to in the mid 1700s. The Pennsylvania Dutch are a group of people from Alsace, Germany who settled in The Leigh Valley, Pennsylvania. Today Alsace is considered a part of France. Peter Steigerwalt is my descendant from Germany. He immigrated to The Leigh Valley in time to fight in the Revolutionary War. The photo above are  cookie cutters which I still use today at Christmas. We have inherited 100 cutters we still have but I just pictured six. Cookie making is extremely important to the culture of the Pennsylvania Dutch. In the 1700s to the 1800s their cookies were known as “apees”. Alfred L Shoemaker, my great great uncle, was very important professor in Leigh Valley’s town of Kutztown. He wrote a book, Christmas in Pennsylvania, and in there it says you were supposed to make laundry baskets full of cookies and give them to homeless, neighbors, and trade them for goods. In fact, there is a whole chapter about cookie cutters and cookie baking. The cookie cutters were made of tin and still had tin surrounding them like bottom right and top left cutters. Uncle Alfred founded the famous Kutztown Folk Festival which is still around today. He had a very important role in the Pennsylvania Dutch culture and traditions. 


Place(s): Leigh Valley Pennsylvania
Year: 1770

– Gina Parducci

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more