Monday, July 20, 2009

Magdalenenstriezeln (St. Magdalen Fingers)

July 22nd marks the feast of St. Mary Magdalen, the first witness to the resurrection of Jesus.
When Mary Magdalen came to the tomb and did not find the Lord's body, she thought it had been taken away and so informed the disciples. After they came and saw the tomb, they too believed what Mary had told them. The text then says: "The disciples went back home," and it adds: "but Mary wept and remained standing outside the tomb."

We should reflect on Mary's attitude and the great love she felt for Christ; for though the disciples had left the tomb, she remained. She was still seeking the one she had not found, and while she sought she wept; burning with the fire of love, she longed for him who she thought had been taken away. And so it happened that the woman who stayed behind to seek Christ was the only one to see him. For perseverance is essential to any good deed, as the voice of truth tell us: "Whoever perseveres to the end will be saved."

from a homily by Pope Saint Gregory the Great

Last year Ruth shared a recipe for Madeleine's in honor of her feast day. Since I never did get around to ordering a Madeleine Pan, I've decided to try baking the recipe for Magdalenenstriezeln (St. Magdalen Fingers) found in Cooking With the Saints. The author shares that it is an "old German recipe for almond-covered cookies. There are quite a few German recipes that associate almonds with Mary Magdalen." They sound fairy simple to make and look delicious!

(St. Magdalen Fingers)

1/2 cup Butter
1/2 cup Sugar
3 Eggs
3 tablespoons Sour Cream
2 cups flour
1/2 cup almonds, slivered  (I used chopped almonds)
1/2 cup cube sugar

Use an electric beater to cream butter and sugar until light. Add eggs 1 at a time and continue beating. Add sour cream. Finally, fold in flour.

Butter baking sheet and spread mixture finger-think onto it.

To make course sugar, crush sugar cubes with a rolling pin. Cover dough with slivered almonds and the course sugar.

Bake until golden brown at 350°F (175°C) for about 35 minutes.

While still warm, cut into pieces as long and as wide as a finger.

Makes about 30. 


Saint Mary Magdalen, woman of many sins, who by conversion became the beloved of Jesus, thank you for your witness that Jesus forgives through the miracle of love.

You, who already possess eternal happiness in His glorious presence, please intercede for me, so that some day I may share in the same everlasting joy. Amen.

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  1. I don't think that Mary Magdalen is the same Mary that is the sister of Martha. I think that she is referred to as "Magdalen" in her name to differentiate her from the other Marys in scripture.

    1. Mary Magdalene is the sister of Lazarus, good friend of Jesus.

  2. I was unaware that Mary Magdalen is sister to Martha and Lazarus. Is this an official Curch teaching connection?

  3. I could very well be wrong and only learned that last night myself while reading Catholic Culture:

    Looking at other sites I was unable to verify that so I updated the post. Thank you!

  4. I found the following article by Father Sanders very interesting and he points out that "In the West, particularly since the time of Pope St. Gregory the Great, the three characters have all been identified as St. Mary Magdalene." (meaning: Mary Magdalene, a follower of our Lord (Jn 20:11-18); the anonymous penitent woman (Lk 7:36-50); and Mary of Bethany, the sister of Martha and Lazarus (Lk 10:38-42))

    Here is a link to the article.

  5. Jessica,
    The recipe says to "butter baking dish" but doesn't say what kind of dish. I've never made a recipe like this. Do you think they were thinking of a cookie sheet or a 9x13 dish or something else?

  6. Charlotte ~ Apparently I should not be posting late at night! The cookbook says sheet not dish. =) I will update the post with the correction. However, looking at the picture in the book I would have thought they used a pan (perhaps a 9x13) I am hoping to make these later today for tomorrow and will let you know how it goes!

  7. This article was helpful for me and it comes with a beautiful prayer by Saint Anselm for
    Mary Magdalen

    Liturgy of the Hours

  8. To my understanding the Church has always taught that Mary Magdalene was the sister of Martha. Reference Dom Gueranger's set The Liturgical Year under the Time After Pentecost on Mary Magdalene's Feast day. There are plenty of references there confirming that she was Martha and Lazarus' sister. Also another book called The Sinless Mary and the Sinful Mary Imprimatured sources and all confusion is lifted :)