Ever since I first researched Saint Nicholas Day traditions I've wanted to make gingerbread cookies for the holiday, since they're a sweet associated with Saint Nicholas festivities in many countries. Every year I've put it off due to being busy and a bit intimidated by making roll-and-cut cookies, which I've never personally made and which we hardly ever made in my family. This year, though, I had some time and felt more practiced in baking, so I fetched out a couple of cookbooks, chose a recipe, and gave it a whirl!
I was pleasantly surprised by how easy the whole process was, and how perfect the cookies came. I used a recipe from The Williamsburg Tavern Cookbook, substituting 1/4 cup maple syrup for the same amount of molasses because I didn't have the latter on hand, adding an extra 1/2 cup of flour since the einkorn flour I used is naturally moister than regular all-purpose, and tinkering with the spice mixture. While the recipe I used called for creaming the butter and sugar together, I actually followed the method of a gingerbread recipe in Williamsburg's Raleigh Tavern Cookbook, which called for melted butter. After mixing the dough by hand and chilling it in the fridge, I rolled it and cut it with fluted and heart-shaped cookie cutters. We don't have any Christmas-shaped ones, but the hearts are actually a traditional shape for Scandinavian Christmas cookies.
The cookies are quite delicious, and relatively light in butter and sugar, which makes a nice alternative to the decadent treats people often have for the holidays. I think I'll make them for every Saint Nicholas Day from now on, schedule permitting!