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A Recipe for Saint Nicholas Cookies
As Seen in Aaron Shepard’s

The Baker’s Dozen

A Saint Nicholas Tale

For more treats and resources, visit Aaron Shepard at www.aaronshep.com.

Copyright © 2010, 2014, 2023 Aaron Shepard.

This recipe appears in the Skyhook Press editions of my picture book. (This is the ebook version.)—Aaron

Here is a recipe for making your own Saint Nicholas gingerbread cookies. The original recipe came from Gene and June Wilson of HOBI Cookie Molds, a maker of handcrafted wooden molds (www.cookiemold.com). It was modified by my wife, Anne L. Watson, for her book Baking with Cookie Molds and appears there and here by Gene’s permission. (For more on Anne’s book, visit www.annelwatson.com.)

A pattern for making the cookies can be found on the back cover of this story’s paperback and hardcover editions from Skyhook Press, or free on the Extras page of my Web site (www.aaronshep.com/extras). To use the pattern, just photocopy, trace, or print it out, cut out the shape, then use that to make a sturdier pattern from cardboard. Lay the cardboard pattern on your flattened dough and trim around it.

Instead of a pattern, you can use a Saint Nicholas cookie cutter, like the one made by The Fussy Pup (www.thefussypup.com). Or to be truly traditional, use a Saint Nicholas cookie mold like one of Gene’s, along with Anne’s book for secrets to its use.

The recipe uses U.S. measurements and cooking terms but includes approximate metric equivalents and British terms in parentheses.

1 cup (225 grams) unsalted butter

1 large egg

½ cup (120 milliliters) honey

1 tablespoon milk

1 teaspoon almond extract

½ cup (110 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon salt

About 4½ cups (630 grams) all‑purpose flour (plain flour)

1. Melt the butter and set it aside.

2. Beat the egg in a large bowl until the yolk and white are fully mixed.

3. Stir the honey, milk, and almond extract. Add to the egg and beat until well mixed.

4. Mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. Add to the egg mixture and beat until well mixed. (Brown sugar should be firmly packed when measuring, but sift to remove lumps before adding it to the cookie dough.)

5. Add the melted butter slowly and beat until well mixed.

6. Add flour slowly until the mixture is solid enough to knead.

7. Transfer to your work surface and knead in more flour to make a soft, slightly sticky dough.

8. Shape the cookie with a pattern, cookie cutter, or cookie mold.

9. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C), or lower for especially thick cookies.

10. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the cookies are slightly browned at the edges.

11. (Optional) After the cookies have cooled, paint them as Saint Nicholas with red and white icing.

Book cover: The Baker’s Dozen
Read the book!

The Baker’s Dozen
A Saint Nicholas Tale
Told by Aaron Shepard
Illustrated by Wendy Edelson

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