Tuesday, January 18, 2022

St. Hildegard’s cookies

"Take one whole nutmeg, add equal amounts of cinnamon and a pinch of cloves, grind it together until it forms a fine powder; add the flour and a little water. Make small cookies and eat these often. They will reduce the bad humors, enrich the blood, and fortify the nerves.” — Hildegard of Bingen, Physica, Book 1, XXI. Nutmeg

I gave a day of reflection on Hildegard of Bingen at a local retreat house. One of the conferences was on Hildegard’s Physica where she recommends mint for the digestion and spicy cookies to fortify the nerves. I sent retreatants home with tea and ginger snaps. 

It’s the start of the semester for me tomorrow, so I’m in need of something to fortify the nerves with. I’m on Zoom to start, while students await test results. Next week — back in person!

St. Hildegard’s cookies

1 3/4 c sugar
3/4 c butter
1/4 c molasses
1 egg
2 c flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
extra sugar for rolling

Beat sugar and butter until fluffy. Add molasses and beat until well blended. Add egg, beat on low to combine. Add flour, baking soda, salt and spices to batter and blend well. Chill dough, covered, for at least 1 hour.

Roll dough into 1 1/4 inch balls. Roll the balls in extra sugar. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake at 375F for 8-10 minutes. Cookies should just be brown around the edges. Cool on a rack, cookies will firm up as they cool. Store in airtight container or freeze.


  1. I think you mean beat sugar and butter until fluffy....

  2. I do!! Fixed it, thanks!

  3. Made the recipe yesterday. Did not have molasses so had to improvise. Still quite good and a keeper recipe.

    1. Glad it was tasty! Math Man is a big fan, too.