Thursday, December 6, 2012

What Are Your St Nicholas Day Traditions?

Growing up on the Eve of St Nicholas Day (Dec 5) we would put our shoes near the fireplace or door so St Nicholas could drop off goodies (or coal for us naughty ones).  It was always a pleasant treat to see what he had brought.  I remember baking cookies throughout the season of Advent as we prepared for Christmas.  I hope to continue that tradition with my children.  BAP loves doing this (or rather eating the cookie dough as it mixes).  SSP has no real idea of what is going on but is always excited to eat a cookie or three.  Last winter I found this recipe (in this magazine) but never got around to trying it.  I wish I had.  It is really good.  As you whip them up (and bake them), your mouth will water.

St Nicholas Cookies
adapted from: Sacred Feasts: From A Monastery Kitchen

2/3 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t ground anise
pinch of ginger (used close to 1/4 t)
pinch of nutmeg (omitted)
1/4 t baking powder
1 T vanilla
pinch of salt (if using un-salted butter)
2 T milk
1 cup sliced almonds (omitted)

Cream together butter and sugar.  Add milk and vanilla. In another bowl combine flour, cinnamon, anise, ginger, nutmeg, baking powder and salt (if using).  Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ones.  Wrap cookie dough in wax paper and put in the fridge for an hour to chill.  Preheat oven to 350.  Grease cookie sheets. With a lightly floured rolling pin, roll dough out to about 1/16 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface.  Cut dough into 1 1/2 inch by 2 1/2 inch rectangles (I just used a smaller cookie cutter). Place cookies on cookie sheets.  Brush with additional milk and gently press sliced almonds into cookies(omitted this whole step).  Bake for 10-12 minutes until firm (my hardened as they cooled since I took mine out a little early)

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