Kind old man Saint Nicholas dear,
Come into our house this year.
Here’s some straw,
And here’s some hay,
For your little donkey, grey.
Saint Nicholas Day is a festival more commonly observed in Europe than here in the United States. It wasn’t until my kids began attending Waldorf preschool that I’d ever heard of it as it’s own holiday. On the evening of December 5th, children set out their shoes before bed and wake to a treat from Saint Nicholas in the morning. In exchange they leave cookies for Saint Nicholas and a treat for the donkey that he rides through town to visit all of the children. If any of this sounding familiar, you know that many of the Saint Nicholas traditions have been absorbed into American Christmas celebrations. I’m a fan of anything that extends the magic of the holiday season so when my kids wake up Tuesday morning, they’ll find golden chocolate coins and a clementine in their shoes.
I’m also a fan of cookies. I don’t really love sugar cookies. but my daughter insists on sugar cookies for Saint Nicholas so I’ve searched high and low for a delicious, chewy, sugar cookie that doesn’t taste like sugar-coated cardboard. This year’s recipe is a winner. In fact, I’m hoping that there actually are some left to leave out on Monday night. I found this recipe on AllRecipes and it definitely delivers.
2 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups butter
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Extra sugar to roll cookies in before baking.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In one bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt, and set aside for later.
In a larger bowl, cream together sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, and then add the vanilla.
Gradually stir in dry ingredient mixture, a little at a time, until just blended together.
Roll the dough into golf ball sized balls and roll them in sugar.
Place approximately two inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for approximately 8-10 minutes until lightly browned at the edges. Let cool before eating.
*We have a propane oven and it took 15 minutes per batch for our cookies. I know our oven often takes a bit longer than recipes call for when baking, so if you know your oven runs hot or takes longer, adjust your timing as necessary. The very edges should be just turning golden brown when you pull them out of the oven.