To kick this announcement off, I want to share with you that Krystina Castella, author of Crazy About Cookies, has selected the winner of the Crazy About Cookies Virtual Cookie Exchange. There were some fun entries and I can’t wait to try them out in my own kitchen.
Please congratulate Joy and Sunshine as her Speculaas Recipe was the Crazy About Cookies Winner!
Here is what Krystina Castella shared:
I love food history and culture and this this recipe is perfectly timed- st. nicolas day was december 6 and this is the cookie of the week.
I am also a big time decorator and this are especially beautiful when painted with colored icing. A great way to savor one of the many gingerbreads of the world but also earn a new decorating technique
And for those of you who want to bake, bake, bake here’s the recipe shared by Joy and Sunshine:
This cookie dough may be cut into the shape of Saint Nicholas, following our pattern here, which can also be used for coloring. When cool, the cookies can be decorated with icing “paint” — thinned icing colored with food coloring — and applied with brushes.
This delicious ginger cookie might also be cut into other shapes, recalling other aspects of the kindly bishop’s legendary life and work: such as the three young girls to whom he threw the three bags of gold for their doweries, or the three little boys whom he brought back to life, or the sailors whom he saved from the storm.
1 Cup (2 sticks) sweet butter, at room temperature
2 cups dark brown sugar
Grated rind of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg or mace
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Optional: powdered sugar for decorative icing
In a large bowl, cream the butter with the sugar until fluffy. Stir in the eggs one at a time, blending thoroughly after each addition. Stir in the lemon rind.
Sift the spices and salt with the flour and baking powder, and stir gradually into the butter mixture. Wrap in waxed paper or plastic wrap and chill for several hours or overnight. (If you are in a hurry, start the chilling process in the freezer: leave the dough in the freezer for about 20 minutes.)
On a floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1/8 inch, or for larger figures to about 1/4 inch. Cut out with cookie cutters, or trace around a heavy paper pattern with a sharp knife. This dough can also be used with a cookie mold, or can be molded by hand.
Bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned. If you like you cookies soft, remove them from the oven when they are just set — the longer the baking time, the crisper the cookie.
Optional: Paint when cool. These cookies especially when baked in the form of Saint Nicholas are fun to paint with colored icing.
In little pots or plastic containers, mix powdered sugar with a little bit of water (or lightly beaten egg white, or lemon juice) and a few drops of food coloring, to produce the desired shades and the desired consistency for painting. Apply with small paintbrushes.
Yield:: approximately 3 dozen cookies or fewer large figures.
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