Saint Nicholas Cookies
"Speculaas Koekjes" is Dutch for Spice Cookies
2 cups brown sugar
1 ½ cups butter or hard margarine
3 ½–4+ cups flour
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp salt, scant
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¾ teaspoon cloves
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon ginger
Cream butter and sugar.
Add remaining ingredients and mix, adding enough flour to form a very stiff dough.
Refrigerate dough, covered, several hours.
Preheat oven to 350°F Lightly grease several cookie sheets.
Remove 1/4 of the dough at a time from the refrigerator. With hand, roll dough into 1 inch balls and flatten to about 1/4 inch thick, press with a cookie stamp.
Repeat with rest of dough, 1/4 at a time. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown around edges.
Remove cookies to wire rack; cool completely.
About Saint Nicholas
Born in Patara, a land that is part of present-day Turkey, circa 280, St. Nicholas was a Christian bishop who helped the needy. After his death, the legend of his gift-giving grew. St. Nicholas transformed into the legendary character called Santa Claus, who brings Christmas presents to children around the world.
St. Nicholas Day is a popular occasion for children in many parts of Europe because children usually receive gifts on this day. Some European cities such as Bari, Italy recognize St. Nicholas as the patron saint and celebrate with different activities such as gift-giving, parades, feasts and festivals.