September 17: Feast Day of St. Hildegard of Bingen
Food bloggers and chefs may appreciate St. Hildegard of Bingen, a 12th century German saint who wrote her own cookbook. The multi-talented nun believed in the holistic and natural approach to healing. So her recipes included organic ingredients, such as spelt and spices. Below is an adaptation of her spice cookies which she believed will improve one’s outlook in life. Have a happy Feast Day of St. Hildegard and bake these ancient biscuits called “Hildegardplätzchen.”
(Adapted from Cooking With the Saints by Ernst Scheugraf)
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter
- ¾ cup sugar (granulated white or brown)
- 2 eggs
- 3 ½ cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and ground cloves.
Gradually add the flour mixture and blend until a soft dough is formed. Add a little water if it is too dry. Make into a ball and flatten into a disc. Roll out into about ¼-inch thick and cut out 3-inch circles. Place on a cookie sheet.
Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 12-15 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Yield: Approximately 3 dozen cookies.
- A mixture of all-purpose and spelt flours may be used in this recipe. St. Hildegard advocated the use of spelt over other wheat-based flours because the former is easier to digest and contains more protein.
- St. Hildegard developed a spice cake version of her cookies for another saint. We made “Margariten Lebkuchen” on the Feast Day of St. Margaret of Antioch on July 20.
- Learn more about St. Hildegard of Bingen from Catholic Online.