St. Hildegard Cookies

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This month the theme of Montengarde Culinary Night is “Vegetables or German Food”. I’ve had this one sitting in my drafts for a bit, and since it’s a German cookie recipe it seems like a good time.

I came across references to St. Hildegard’s “Cookies of Joy” or “Happy Cookies” in a few places but no one had the original recipe. Instead it was a modern cookie with butter, sugar, egg, baking powder, and a lot of spices (nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon). I knew that was a far remove from what she must have been talking about in 12th century Rhineland so I looked into it a bit more.

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Spice Blends

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Here are three common spice blends that I’ve made over the years.  It’s not that hard to create your own version.  Most versions have the same ingredients in differing quantities.

Grains of paradise can be difficult to come by.  I use a combination of cardamom and pepper to get a similar taste.  If you live in the US it’s a bit easier to come by than in Canada, though I don’t know why that is.

Galingale is fairly easy to come by, as long as you don’t mind using the South-East Asian version of the spice.  The version which is native to Europe has not been cultivated in several hundred years.

Powder Douce:

Source: Janet Hinson’s translation of Le Ménagier de Paris

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