Catholic Recipe: Nameday Sugar Cookies
Symbolic cookies cut with sharp cookie cutters are ideal for namedays. Cutters may be found in local craft tores or at the Maid of Scandinavia (http://www.sweetc.com/maid.htm), which carries the widest selection we know. Cross-shaped cookies can be used for any saint because each followed in his own way the commandment: "Take up your cross and follow Me." Crown-shaped cookies likewise can be made for any saint's day.
Most of the saints have particular emblems; thus for St. Michael, Raphael, Gabriel, Frances and Ladislaus — an angel cookie; for Sts. Germaine, Isabel, Serafina (Fina), Hugh, Flora, Dorothy and Elizabeth — a flower-shaped cookie; for Sts. David, Devota, Dominic, Scholastica, Benedict, Regina, Remy, Hilary, Gregory, Fabian, Clare, Celestine and Emily — a dove-shaped cookie; for saints of the Old Testament — a six-pointed star cookie; for Sts. Thomas, Nicholas, Fidelis and Bruno — a five-pointed star cookie.
A few tips may be helpful. Avoid the use of flour in rolling the dough by rolling it between sheets of waxed paper. Chilled dough is more easily handled than warm dough. If there is time, chill it for an hour. Better still, make the dough on the eve of the feast. It is wise to bake a trial cookie. If the batter is thin, add a bit of flour; if too thick, add a little liquid. Use a spatula to remove hot cookies from the pan. Place them on a cake rack to cool. For this recipe you will need:
Cream butter. Gradually add sugar and cream until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Sift together flour, soda, salt and baking powder. Add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream. Chill dough overnight. Roll out half the dough 1/8-inch thick on a lightly floured board or pastry cloth. Keep remaining dough chilled until ready to be rolled. Cut the dough into symbolic designs. Sprinkle with colored granulated sugar. Place on a greased baking sheet. Bake in a moderate oven (350° F.) 5 to 8 minutes.
Recipe Source: My Nameday — Come for Dessert by Helen McLoughlin, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN, 1962