Traditional celebrations of Saint NicholasDay, December 6th, included gifts left in children’s shoes (theorigin of American Christmas stockings). Good children receivetreats – candies, cookies, apples and nuts, while naughty childrenreceive switches or lumps of coal.
Recipe: St. Nicholas DayCookies with Royal Icing
For St. Nicholas Day Cookies: 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed 3 tablespoons milk 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves 3/4 teaspoons ground nutmeg 3/4 teaspoons ground ginger 1/8 teaspoon baking powder 1/8 salt 2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cup) butter, cut into piecesFor Royal Icing: 4 cups powdered sugar 3 tablespoons meringue powder 1/3 cup warm water for spreading consistency
For St. Nicholas Day Cookies: In smallbowl, whisk together brown sugar and milk; set aside.
In a large bowl or the work bowl of afood processor, whisk together flour, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg,ginger, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter with pastry blenderor drop into feed tube of processor with machine running. Blenduntil mixture resembles cornmeal. Stir in brown sugar mixture,mixing well.
Form dough into two 7×2 inch rolls andwrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 6 hours or overnight.
Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutesbefore rolling out.
Roll dough out on lightly floured boardto 1/8 or 1/4-inch thickness.
Dip cookie cutters in flour before cuttingout cookies. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake in 350°F (175°C) oven forabout 12 minutes or until cookie edges are lightly browned. Coolon baking sheet 1 minute and then transfer to wire racks.
Cool and decorate with favorite icingor royal icing.
For Royal Icing: Combine all ingredientsin a small mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Frost cookies andry on wire rack before packaging.
Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
Recipe and photograph provided courtesyof Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.
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