Advent feasts: recipes

this page:
of Advent
see also:
Fasts and Feasts
of Advent

Advent candle



A Season
of Preparation

Advent Wreath:
Prayers - Customs

Meditations for
Each Week

About St. Nicholas


Fasts and Feasts

Fasts and Feasts:

Christmas tree


Prayers and Customs

Prayers for
the Home

Prayers for
the New Year

Prayers for
the Family

Feast of
the Epiphany

Site Introduction


Compiled by Mary Ann Castronovo Fusco

On this page:

Crispy St. Nicholas Cookies
Svenska Pepparkakor (Swedish Gingerbread Snaps)
Cuccia di Santa Lucia (St. Lucy's Sweetened Wheat Berries)
Panelle (Chickpea Flour Fritters)
Links to recipes for Glögg (Mulled Wine), Lussekatter (Lucia Buns, Santa Lucia Crown, and Saint Martin's Goose

Crispy St. Nicholas Cookies
From Nancy Berzinac, Mechanicsburg, PA, as published in "Cookies Unlimited" by Nick Malgieri (HarperCollins, 2000)
Makes about 36 cookies, depending on the size of the cutter used
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
2 or 3 cookie sheets or jelly roll pans covered with parchment or foil

  1. In a bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt; stir well to mix.
  2. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together on medium speed the butter and sugar until light and whitened, about 5 minutes. Beat in the egg and lemon zest and continue beating until smooth and light, another 2 minutes.
  3. Scrape down the bowl and beater with a large rubber spatula and, on low speed, add the flour mixture. Continue mixing until the dough is smooth.
  4. Remove the bowl from the mixer and complete the mixing with a large rubber spatula.
  5. Scrape the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and press it into a square or rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Wrap and chill the dough until it is firm, about an hour or two.
  6. When you are ready to bake the cookies, set racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
  7. On a floured surface, roll out a third of the dough at a time until it is about 1/8 inch thick. Use a fluted cutter between 2 and 3 inches in diameter, or any kind of decorative cutter you wish. Just be sure to dip it frequently in flour. As they are cut, place the cookies on the prepared pans about an inch apart in all directions. Repeat with the remaining dough. Save, press together, chill, and reroll the scraps to make more cookies.
  8. Bake the cookies about 15 to 20 minutes, or until they first become dull and dry-looking and feel slightly firm when pressed with a fingertip. If you overbake the cookies, they will be very dry. Slide the papers from the pans onto racks.
  9. Store the cooled cookies between sheets of parchment or wax paper in a tin or plastic container with a tight-fitting cover.

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Svenska Pepparkakor (Swedish Gingerbread Snaps)
From Solweig von Minden, Byram Township, NJ
Makes 60 cookies
2/3 cup shortening
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
3 tablespoons boiled, cooled water
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
21/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
11/2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cardamom

  1. Cream together first 2 ingredients. Add molasses, water, and lemon rind.
  2. Sift dry ingredients together. Add to creamed mixture, a little at a time, blending well. Chill overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough really thin on lightly floured surface and cut with cookie cutters.
  4. Bake on buttered cookie sheets for 9-10 minutes, or until browned.

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Cuccia di Santa Lucia (St. Lucy's Sweetened Wheat Berries)
From "Sicilian Feasts" by Giovanna Bellia La Marca (Hippocrene Books, 2003)
Serves 4-6
1 cup wheat berries (available at Italian groceries)
2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
Grated peel of 1 lemon
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup chopped candied fruit

  1. Place the wheat berries in a pot and cover with cold water plus 2 inches. Bring the water to the boil, cook for 10 minutes, turn off the heat, and let stand overnight.
  2. Place the milk in a pot, add the sugar and grated lemon peel. Bring to the boil, add the drained wheat berries, and simmer very gently, stirring often, until all the milk is absorbed, about 30 minutes. Cool. Spoon onto a serving platter and add the honey, stir, and top with the candied fruits.

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Panelle (Chickpea Flour Fritters)
From "Celebrating Italy" by Carol Field (HarperPerennial, 1990)
Serves 6-8
3 3/4 cups ceci (chickpea/garbanzo bean) flour, sifter after measuring
6 cups cold water
2 to 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, optional
Sunflower or safflower oil for frying

  1. Gradually whisk the sifted ceci flour into the cold water in a 6-quart pot, being sure to avoid lumps. Add the salt and cook over a medium fire, stirring almost nonstop, until mixture comes away from the sides of the pot, about 15 minutes. Stir in the parsley and cheese.
  2. Working quickly, spread the mixture 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick on a moistened marble surface or wet baking sheet. Leave to cool. Cut the panelle into rectangles 3 1/2 by 2 1/2 inches.
  3. Heat the oil in a deep pan to 365 degrees F. Slide in several panelle, being sure they are not crowded and can move freely, and fry until golden brown on each side, about 5 minutes. Drain on absorbent paper and serve immediately.

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Links to recipes for:

Glögg (Mulled Wine)
From Judith Pierce Rosenberg, at Swedish Kitchen
Lussekatter (Lucia Buns)
From Judith Pierce Rosenberg, at Swedish Kitchen
Santa Lucia Crown
From Fleischmann's Breadworld site
Saint Martin's Goose
Martinsgans mit Apfelfüllung - from the German Embassy in Washington, D.C.

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Copyright 2003 - Mary Ann Castronovo Fusco
Reproduced on the World Wide Web by permission.
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