Merciful God, You are great in compassion and Your tenderness for us is without measure. We ask You to give us today our daily bread, and also provide for the needs of all of Your hungry children around the world. Through Christ Your Son and Our Lord. Amen.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Note to Self

Definitely make these again next year.

These are the St. Nikolaus Speculatius Cookies I made for St. Nicholas' Feast Day yesterday. The are not much to look at (and I always laugh at this particular cookie cutter because it makes St. Nick look like a burglar), but they are wonderful to taste. They're a buttery, mildly spicy shortbread cookie. And besides the holding time in the fridge, they were quick to make (and I'm not usually a big fan of rolling cookies). They might benefit visually from an icing, but the taste would not -- they are perfect as is. I halved the recipe so we would have just enough for the Feast Day, so I'm reprinting it here as such. I love that the recipe came from Maria Trapp -- yes, the Maria Trapp.

I sent some off to Geoff's German teacher this morning, and asked if she ate them as a child (she is originally from Belgium close to Germany). She said they took her right back to her childhood. How nice.

I omitted the nuts for Noah, but didn't miss them one bit. They might actually be harder to roll with the nuts in them.

St. Nikolaus Speculatius Cookies
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup dairy sour cream
2 cups plus 3 T. all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts (optional)
Cream shortening and sugar; blend in sour cream.
Add dry ingredients slowly to creamed mixture.
Stir in walnuts, if desired.
Divide into 2 portions; wrap each portion in plastic; chill several hours or overnight.
Work with one portion of dough at a time, leaving the others in the refrigerator.
Roll out very thin; cut with St. Nicholas cutters.
Bake at 350º F. for 10 minutes.
Frost and decorate if desired.



Deborah said...

These look kind fo like those Speculaas cookies I was talking about from Belgium only they were darker in colour. Your descriptions sounds spot on... crunchy spicy, buttery... oh so good! Will definitely try these! The ones in Belgium were darker in colour.

P.S. We have that same cookie cutter from Paul's Grandma. It always takes me forever to figure out what it is! ;-)

mel said...

First time on your food blog,,,yum! Great stuff! You should be running one of those menu planning sites. :)

Jessica said...

Those sound delicious!!! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe! :)

Jennifer Gregory Miller said...

This is my favorite recipe, too. I suspect the original recipe was actually from "Cooking for Christ", by Florence Berger, which was 1949. I've only found Berger and Trapp use Speculatius as the name for the cookies, rather than speculaas. Or perhaps there was there was another source circulating at the same time. Maria Trapp used a ghost writer to help her write her books.

But regardless, these cookies are delicious. No recipe rivals it. We do all butter, instead of shortening or lard.

Love your blogs!

Nicole said...

I made these today and they are really good. I agree about the icing...don't need it. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this! The cookies are fabulous and will be a part of our yearly St. Nicholas Day feast traditions.