Recipe

Saint-Nicolas Biscuit Recipe: A Belgian Tradition

November 28, 2023

In Belgium, the beginning of December is marked by the charismatic figure of Saint-Nicolas. More than just a precursor to the modern Santa Claus, Saint-Nicolas is a beloved cultural figure celebrated on December 6th. According to tradition, he brings gifts and sweets to well-behaved children on this day. Among these treats are the delicious Saint-Nicolas biscuits, filling Belgian homes with joy and flavor during this festive season.

The Myth of Saint-Nicolas in Belgium

Saint-Nicolas is a legendary figure based on Saint Nicholas of Myra, known for his generosity and kindness. In Belgium, especially in the Flemish-speaking regions, he is revered. The myth says he visits children's homes on the night of December 5th to 6th, riding his white horse and accompanied by his assistant, Zwarte Piet. Saint-Nicolas checks whether the children have been good and, if so, rewards them with gifts and sweets. Among these treats are the famous biscuits named after him, a traditional recipe loved by both children and adults.

Saint-Nicolas Biscuit Recipe

These biscuits are renowned for their spiced flavor and unique texture. Here is the recipe for you to enjoy this delightful Belgian tradition at home.

Ingredients

  • 500g of flour
  • 250g of brown sugar
  • 150g of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons of biscuit spices (such as cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and ginger powder)
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • A pinch of salt

Instructions

Dough Preparation:

  1. Mix flour, baking powder, spices, and salt in a large bowl.
  2. In another bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, followed by orange zest.
  3. Gradually incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet mixture to form a uniform dough.

Chilling:

  1. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Shaping and Cutting:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Roll out the dough to 5 mm thickness and use thematic cookie cutters to cut out shapes.

Baking the Biscuits:

  1. Bake on a lined baking sheet for 10-12 minutes.

Cooling and Decorating:

  1. Let cool before transferring to a wire rack. Decorate as desired.

Celebrate the festive season in Belgian style with these delightful Saint-Nicolas biscuits!

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