Finding St. Nicholas and a spice cookie recipe



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I was a little reluctant to start these cookies.  My expectations were too high.

I was hoping to make in gingerbread and icing that which I could hardly sketch with pencils.

But they turned out quite nice, in my opinion.


They started out rather amorphous shapes.

Then I outlined them with royal icing.

(basically egg whites, cream of tartar and 10x sugar)

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Then after painting them with a white glaze, I started defining the design.    Because I wanted them a deep red, the icing needed a lot of red food coloring, and even then it wasn’t dark or rich enough, so I added a sprinkling of red sanding sugar.  This added the depth of color and a wonderful texture.

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The smaller St. Nick had a small ball spatter that gave it a more rustic look.


I had a lot of red icing left- so I made some apples as well and added gourmet red sugar to the look-

DSC04810 it sure added to the sparkle!

Here’s the recipe for the cookies- I tried to convert it for you metric users.

(If I were you, I’d double check my measurements- I’m not a whiz at math!)

Spice Cookies


1 cup (227 grams) shortening

3/4 cup (652 grams) brown sugar

3/4 TBS cinnamon

3/4 tsp of ginger, cloves, nutmeg

2 large eggs

1 cup (342 grams) molasses

3/4 tsp baking powder

1 1/4 tsp baking soda

4 1/2 cup (482 grams) AP flour


Cream together shortening, sugar,spices- add eggs, beating in until smooth.  Add molasses, again beating until smooth.  Stir in dry ingredients, mix until you have a sticky mess!  Well, maybe not a mess, but the dough is quite sticky! 

You will be adding flour when you roll them out – but for right now stick into the refrigerator, and leave overnight.

Roll out and cut into shapes- or make into balls and roll in sugar and bake at 375 degrees F (180 degrees C) for 8-10 minutes


And decorate to your heart’s delight!

Now I’m off to make the stuffing!

14 thoughts on “Finding St. Nicholas and a spice cookie recipe

  1. St. Nicholas Day is the first week of December and I wanted to get these done in time for the kids to pick them up on Thursday.
    A.- Stuffing’s done. It made great lunch with a side of chicken chili.
    Kim and Cynthia, thank you.

  2. Beautiful biccies, sorry I mean cookies. ! You are ingenious Heidi!

    I’ve been reading a whole lot of spice cake and biscuit recipes lately, the Dutch are very keen on them and I’m toying with the idea of making one which has a layer of marzipan in the middle, can’t remember now what it is called.

  3. Magnificent! I didn’t know there was a separate St Nick day – I thought these might have been for Christmas. I’d love to play around with royal icing now that I’m confident about my egg whites and I love the almost stained glass effect in the last photo. Just gorgeous, Heidi.. 🙂

  4. Jo- those sound good- if you find the recipe, I’d love to try it.
    Celia, thank you- apparently St. Nicholas is a true saint- Church approved – and celebrated in the calendar of saints.
    I buy meringue powder and reconstitute it if I’m not sure about the freshness of my eggs. But I have a farmer who sells them to me and his eggs sell out daily.

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