Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Footprint Cookies on St. Stephen's Day

Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the feast of Stephen
When the snow lay round about
Deep and crisp and even
Brightly shone the moon that night
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor man came in sight
Gath'ring winter fuel.

"Hither, page, and stand by me
If thou know'st it, telling
Yonder peasant, who is he?
Where and what his dwelling?"
"Sire, he lives a good league hence
Underneath the mountain
Right against the forest fence
By Saint Agnes' fountain."

Having some cookie dough already made up in the fridge and knowing that tonight our Christmas book was Stephen's Feast, I decided to make some footprint cookies in honor of St. Wencenslaus and the miracle of his footprints on this special day. I used this template to cut out the shape of the cookies. My first thought was to fill them in with icing and topping them with red and yellow sprinkle sugar.

"Bring me flesh and bring me wine
Bring me pine logs hither
Thou and I will see him dine
When we bear him thither."
Page and monarch forth they went
Forth they went together
Through the rude wind's wild lament
And the bitter weather.

"Sire, the night is darker now
And the wind blows stronger
Fails my heart, I know not how,
I can go no longer."
"Mark my footsteps, my good page
Tread thou in them boldly
Thou shalt find the winter's rage
Freeze thy blood less coldly."

But then they looked less like footprints and more like sprinkled blobs. That was when I decided on the outline of the shoe print. The sprinkles represented the warmth felt in holy King's steps. I used a simple cookie icing recipe that called for light corn syrup. I was out of light corn syrup so I substituted with honey.

In his master's steps he trod
Where the snow lay dinted
Heat was in the very sod
Which the Saint had printed
Therefore, Christian men, be sure
Wealth or rank possessing
Ye who now will bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing.

Cookie Icing

1 cup confectioner's sugar
3 tsp. milk
2 tsp. honey
1/4 tsp. almond extract

Stir together sugar and milk. Add honey and extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick add more honey or milk.

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