Archive for December, 2012

Hildegarde of Bingen’s Joyful Days Cookies

By Dikki-Jo Mullen

Hildegarde of Bingen lived from about 1098- 1179. Known as The Sybil of the Rhine she had ability as a prophetess, herbalist, healer, poet and musician. She was distinguished in her own lifetime. Today, almost 1000 years later, her compositions and writings continue to offer divine inspiration. She was from a German family and lived her entire life, from the age of 8 on, as a cloistered Benedictine Nun. She explored the cosmos with her visions and became a powerful figure in the arts and politics eventually. These easy to make cookies are a modern adaptation of her recipe. St. Hildegarde (she was canonized in May, 2012 by Pope Benedict, despite his not very liberal views on feminism) was perhaps the first to recognize a link between diet and well being. The spices (clove, nutmeg, cinnamon) and (probably with) an almond are a combination she served to dispel depression and promote happiness. Hildegarde wrote that her cookies would sweeten the spirit, promote happiness and overall well being. Try one and youll surely feel any hint of the recession blues melt away!

This contemporary sugar cookie recipe with the spices and almond Hildegardes writings suggest added is the basis for this modern adaptation of her 12th Century recipe.

Ingredients: ½ C butter, 3/4 C sugar, 1 egg, 1 T milk or cream, ¼ tsp salt , 2 C flour. 1 tsp vanilla extract, ¼ tsp each cinnamon, clove, nutmeg. ¼ C or more sliced almonds.

Directions: Cream butter and sugar together, beat in egg, milk, vanilla. Blend spices, salt into flour, add nuts, mix flour into egg mixture. Knead, chill and let dough rest for at least 20 minutes. Shape into thin cookies, with buttered hands. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes on a cookie sheet.

… excerpt from one of Hildegarde’s Poems (Chant this while preparing the cookie dough for extra happiness and power)

“Fiery Spirit,

Fount of courage,

Life within Life

Of all that has being,

O sacred breath O Blazing

Flooding In The Heart

With the Fragrance of Good!”


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