cookies - Related Content

Food and Memories

Monday, November 28th 2022 6:00 am

Food and Memories

I hope you had a memorable Thanksgiving and that you can savor all the moments of Advent and Christmastime. I want to share what The Seasoned Franciscan’s focus will be for the upcoming weeks with a story.

One year, I joined my quilting friends at a craft camp: like a hunting camp for crafters! I’m not a quilter, but I did bring a wooden box of my Mom’s recipe cards and newspaper clippings faded and shaggy. I was determined to organize and enjoy them. And it was an adventure! Besides sorting them into categories (there were 45 cake recipes!), smells and stories brought me back to her table and kitchen. I laughed and cried and peppered by friends with her presence throughout the weekend.

Have you ever looked through family recipes? What memories did you discover in this cake or that bread or in a special Christmas cookie? Food is a meaningful part of our lives, in particular during the holidays.

During December and possibly into 2023, The Seasoned Franciscan invites you to: send in a favorite Christmas cookie or other celebration recipe. We encourage you to share a story of the memories the recipe evokes. Send it to ecopact@fspa.org or bring it to the SRC reception desk.

Let’s explore how food brings us together. How favorite dishes help create community, make memories and carry the stories and values of people in a unique way. We saw this in recipes from the heritage of American Indian people. How do food and memories create a connection in your heritage?

Also, on November 28th at 7 pm, PBS will air a special called “Food and Memories” by Jerry Apps and his daughter Susan Apps-Bodilly. Check your local listings for the station if you get PBS Wisconsin OR go to pbs.org and watch live on your computer.

Jerry is an author, storyteller and historian who has other specials on farm life and more. In this special, the Apps trace the food memories of their family that might spur a memory in you. Whether we grew up in town, in the city or in farm country, we can all relate to his memories around the table. Jerry says: “Food is so much more important than merely nutrition, so much more than something to eat.” Food can connect us to a much bigger story.

Learn more about food and culture:

Unless we descend from Native Americans, we all come from immigrants, right? We can look back at how food expresses our origins. To learn more about immigrant food cultures other than white European, check out another favorite PBS series called No Passport Required.

In this series, Chef Marcus Samuelson goes to major US cities to explore how immigrant populations keep culture and values alive through food. An Ethiopian adopted by a Swedish family, Chef Marcus has a unique sensitivity to how food expresses identity. He visits Philadelphia’s Italian American sub-culture through delis, food “clubs” and restaurants. In Houston, he explores Nigerian and West African food traditions. He does all of this with great questions, respect and a sense of fun.

Here are some of his travels for surprising cultures and food traditions. Go with him to Boston for Portuguese, Brazilian and Cape Verdean food, Las Vegas for Chinese, Chicago for Mexican, LA for Armenian, Seattle for Filipino, New Orleans for Vietnamese, Detroit for Middle Eastern, Queens, NYC for Indo-Guyanese, Miami for Haitian, and Washington, DC for his own Ethiopian foods. Marcus shows us the connections between food, culture and identity in an educational and fun adventure: no passport required.

If you would like to be notified when we share new recipes, be sure to scroll to the bottom, provide your email address, check the box confirming you are not a robot, click on a few photos to prove it and click subscribe! You will then receive an email after each new post. Remember, we're always looking for new recipes, so keep sending them to ecopact@fspa.org!

Spritz Cookies

Monday, December 26th 2022 6:00 am

Spritz Cookies

Ingredients for Cookies:
1 C unsalted butter, softened
2/3 C granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 1/2 C all-purpose flour

Ingredients for Decorating:
1/2 C semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
1/2 C white chocolate chips, melted
Sparkling sugar
Finely shredded coconut
Christmas sprinkles

Directions (cookies):

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium until creamy, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add egg, vanilla, salt and almond extract. Beat on medium speed until well combined, about 1 minute.
  4. Reduce speed to low and add flour, beating until just incorporated.
  5. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill.
  6. Using a cookie press, stamp the cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheets using the desired decorative templates. If the dough becomes too warm, chill it for 15 to 30 minutes and then continue stamping.
  7. If desired, sprinkle cookies with Christmas sprinkles.
  8. Bake the cookies until light golden, 9 to 12 minutes, rotating baking sheets halfway through the cook time.
  9. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes. 

Directions (decorating):

  1. Place the semisweet chocolate chips and white chocolate chips in 2 separate small microwavable bowls.
  2. Microwave on high for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, stirring every 20 seconds, until melted and smooth (or, melt in a double boiler or a bowl over boiling water).
  3. Drizzle the melted chocolate on the cookies or dip them, topping with sparkling sugar, finely shredded coconut and Christmas sprinkles, if desired. Chocolate is common when making Swedish Spritz.

Story:
Spritz are a Christmas favorite in lots of households and it takes practice (and cookie press or pastry bag skills) to make them!  My father-in-law learned to bake in the Navy and eventually had his own family bakery. He inherited the treasured wooden cookie press (pictured above) from one of his employers.
 
Spritz are crisp, fragile and buttery tasting. They originated in Germany around the 16th century. They are also known as Spritzgebäck (German), Swedish Butter Cookies or Pressed Butter Cookies. The original German name, “Spritzgeback” refers to verb “Spritzen”, meaning “to squirt”. German style Spritz cookies were made through squirting or pushing the soft dough through a cookie press. Norwegian style Spritz is traditionally in shapes of S's and O's.

If you would like to be notified when we share new recipes, be sure to scroll to the bottom, provide your email address, check the box confirming you are not a robot, click on a few photos to prove it and click subscribe! You will then receive an email after each new post. Remember, we're always looking for new recipes, so keep sending them to ecopact@fspa.org!

Pepperkaker Cookies

Monday, January 2nd 2023 6:00 am

Old Fashioned Pepperkaker

Ingredients:
2 C sugar
3/4 C plus 2 T butter
1/3 C light syrup*
2/3 C heavy cream
1 T cognac (optional) brandy, wine or sherry also work well
4 tsp ginger
4 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp black pepper
4 tsp cloves, crushed *
1 T baking soda
6 -7 C flour

Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan, add the sugar, butter and syrup. Stir together and heat until melted. Set aside to cool.
  2. Once the mixture has cooled down a bit, stir in the heavy cream and cognac, if using.
  3. Add the spices, baking soda and a little flour at a time to the mixture. Check the dough just before you have added 6 C flour. You want a smooth and relatively firm dough, so you may not use all of the flour.
  4. Take the dough out of the pan, cover with plastic and place in the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours, preferably overnight.
  5. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Allow the dough to stand at room temperature for a little while before rolling out the dough. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  6. On a lightly floured surface, roll out pieces of the dough to a thickness of about 0.5 cm (even slightly less) and cut into shapes as desired. Place on a prepared baking sheet.
  7. Bake in the center of the oven for about 10-12 minutes. You want the edges to brown a little and crisp up. Cool on a wire rack.
  8. You can decorate the pepperkaker with icing or powdered sugar or anything else your heart desires. Store in cookie tins and enjoy!

Notes:
*Syrup (or sirap) in Norway is made from sugar beets, not corn. It is a kind of light liquid molasses syrup with a caramel flavor. Therefore, you may substitute light syrup with golden syrup (like Lyle’s Golden Syrup). It is possible to use corn syrup, but light syrup in Norway is fairly thin and sweet with a taste of brown sugar. Alternatively, you can swap in some molasses for a darker color and deeper taste.

*You may crush whole cloves rather than use ground cloves. Crushed cloves are more coarse, which gives some texture and a more pronounced flavor. Adds to that rustic feel.

Story:
“This recipe is one which I have made the last few years for Christmas,” said Director of Affiliation Michael Krueger. “It is a Norwegian gingerbread recipe. Due to freshly ground cloves and pepper, it has a spicier taste to it. Using either molasses or light syrup, you can create a darker or lighter dough when preparing the cookies.”

Pepperkaker means “pepper cookies.” In Sweden, pepperkaker is eaten at Christmas and during Fika, meaning at any coffee break. It is also often served with Glögg which is Swedish mulled wine. They also taste great with milk! It is also very common to make pepperkakshus or gingerbread houses. They are made with a template for walls and roof and are thicker so the parts are easier to assemble with melted sugar and decorated with icing and candy. The Swedish Architecture and Design Center in Stockholm have hosted yearly competitions where children, architects and designers compete. So, Pepperkaker are taken seriously in Sweden!

If you would like to be notified when we share new recipes, be sure to scroll to the bottom, provide your email address, check the box confirming you are not a robot, click on a few photos to prove it and click subscribe! You will then receive an email after each new post. Remember, we're always looking for new recipes, so keep sending them to ecopact@fspa.org!

Mexican Wedding Cakes for our Lady of Guadalupe

Monday, December 12th 2022 6:00 am

Mexican Wedding Cakes

(Also known as Russian Tea Cakes or Snowball Cookies)

Ingredients:
1 C butter, softened
8 T of powdered sugar
2 C all-purpose flour
1 C chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 T milk
Powdered sugar (to roll cookies in after baked)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray cookie sheets with non-stick spray or line with parchment paper.
  2. Mix all the ingredients together with a mixer.
  3. Roll the dough into walnut-sized balls and place on cookie sheets. Bake 10-12 min
  4. Cool, then shake in a plastic bag of powdered sugar. Consider making a batch without nuts.

Story:
In Mexico and among many connected with cultures south of the U.S. border, Dec. 12th is a favorite Marian feast day. People dress up and many bring roses as they attend early morning Mass, complete with Mariachi music. All are welcome to celebrate with food. The devotion and reverence are unlike anything you have ever seen.

Our Lady’s image preserved on the cloak of Juan Diego is one of a dark-complected, pregnant woman standing in the posture of a conqueror over evil and resembling a revered Aztec princess. Her appearance as a woman who looked like them drew the hearts of the native people to embrace the Christian mystery of the Incarnation. Isn’t it just like our God to come in the familiar!

An old friend, Ana Maria makes these “Mexican Wedding Cakes” that are just like the Russian Tea Cakes or Snowball Cookies other cultures make for the holidays. A good thing by any name is loved by all! In Our Lady's honor, bake!

If you would like to be notified when we share new recipes, be sure to scroll to the bottom, provide your email address, check the box confirming you are not a robot, click on a few photos to prove it and click subscribe! You will then receive an email after each new post. Remember, we're always looking for new recipes, so keep sending them to ecopact@fspa.org!

Kolaczki Cookies

Monday, December 19th 2022 6:00 am

Kolaczki Cookies

(Koe lach' kee - Polish filled cookies)

Ingredients:
8 ounces cream cheese
1 1/2 C butter
1 tsp vanilla extract (or pure vanilla if you have it) *See note #2 below.
4 T sugar
3 C flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 C filling, such as fruit preserves or jam, nut or poppy seed or any Solo brand filling
1/4 C powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. Cream the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy.
  2. Add vanilla. Stir in flour and salt.
  3. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for an hour. Preheat oven to 350.
  4. Roll out the dough by first dusting the surface (mat or countertop) with granular sugar.
  5. Roll to 1/8 inch and cut into 2-inch squares. Use a knife or pizza cutter. A fluted pastry cutter creates a zig-zag pattern along the edge of the cookies.
  6. Place a tsp of filling in the center of each square. Fold over opposite corners and seal well with a dab of water on one corner.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes or until corners just begin to brown. When cool, dust with powdered sugar.

Note #1: The original recipe for this cookie calls for 1 small packet or 1 T of “vanilla sugar” which is readily available in Europe, but not in the U.S. unless you want to make your own or get it from Amazon! Many “old world” baking products and methods did not travel well with immigrants and they made do with what was available in America. For example, sugar was either very expensive (in the colonies) or rationed (in WWII), so sorghum or maple syrup had to suffice!

Note #2: To make your own fruit filling, combine 3/4 cup dried apricots (or other dried fruit), 1 1/2 cups water, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 1 teaspoon lemon juice in a saucepan. Simmer until the fruit is tender, about 15 minutes. Let it cool and mash or purée with an immersion blender or food processor.

Story:
Father Conrad Targonski, OFM (chaplain at Viterbo University) replied “Kolaczki”, when asked to name his favorite Polish Christmas cookie!

There is a lot of debate as to the origins of kolaczki and different ways to prounounce its name. The Polish claim it, but so do the Slovaks, Croatians, Czechs, Scandinavians and others. To Bohemians, Kolaczki is a sweet pastry like a breakfast roll. For other Eastern Europeans they are round thumb-print style cookies with jam in the middle of the circle. Square, diamond-shaped, or traditional crescent filled as in the recipe above are all sometimes referred to as Kolaczki. The boundaries of Eastern European countries and perhaps their food cultures were shared and fluid, dependent on who was in power! In every case, they are made with pride in tradition and often with stories.

What foods are traditional in your heritage? Why not try them this year at Christmas or Easter or explore the cuisine of another culture in your winter and Easter baking?

If you would like to be notified when we share new recipes, be sure to scroll to the bottom, provide your email address, check the box confirming you are not a robot, click on a few photos to prove it and click subscribe! You will then receive an email after each new post. Remember, we're always looking for new recipes, so keep sending them to ecopact@fspa.org!

Christmas Chip Cookies

Monday, December 19th 2022 6:00 am

Christmas Chip Cookies

Ingredients:
1 C white sugar
1 C brown sugar
1 C butter (2 sticks)
1 C vegetable oil
1 C flaked coconut
1 C regular oatmeal
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla 
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 pkg (12 oz) mixture of caramel and chocolate chips or 3/4 C each
3 1/4 C all purpose flour
1 C Rice Krispies

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients and drop by spoonful onto a cookie sheet.
  2. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Makes 4-5 dozen cookies.

Story:
This chocolate chip cookie recipe was passed on by Bonnie Sacis to Sister Antona Schedlo. “The cookies just melt in your mouth”, says Sister Antona! Sounds like a sweet treat recipe for any time of year.

If you would like to be notified when we share new recipes, be sure to scroll to the bottom, provide your email address, check the box confirming you are not a robot, click on a few photos to prove it and click subscribe! You will then receive an email after each new post. Remember, we're always looking for new recipes, so keep sending them to ecopact@fspa.org!


Tour Chapels
Explore our Ministries