Catholic Recipe: Initial Cookies
New Year's is a day of hospitality among many people, especially the French. In England it was a day set aside for godparents; and godcakes are still given to children on this day in many places. It should be easy to keep New Year's day as a feast on which we honor godparents and repay them for the responsibility they have assumed toward our children.
An idea is to hold open house and let the children's godparents drop in when they please. Have ready beer or ale for grown-ups, and a children's punch. Perhaps you might serve beer which has been blessed and pretzels for grown-ups, punch plus initial cookies for children. Pretzels, incidentally, were originally made in the shape of a hand by medieval monks who gave them to children visitors.
These cookies are shaped in the initials of the important people of the celebration. These cookies can be used for Baptismal parties, engagement parties, weddings, showers, namedays, birthdays, Christmas, Easter, etc. The decorations can be changed to suit the occasion. The coarse sugar can be colored, and the almond flavoring can be changed to vanilla or other type.
Cream butter and sugar, add eggs and blend together until smooth. Add almond flavoring and flour. Chill for 1 hour in a long roll. Then form into the initials of the godparents visiting for the day, or the person celebrating his/her nameday or birthday, or all the initials of the people for the special celebration. Allow to stand 2 or 3 hours on a cookie sheet to dry the surface. Then brush with egg white mixed with a tablespoon of milk; and sprinkle with chopped almond and sugar. Bake in a moderate oven (350° F) for about 15 minutes. These cookies are like almond pretzels.Recipe Source: Christmas to Candlemas in a Catholic Home by Helen McLoughlin, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota