Monday, December 5

Sweet Taste of the {Moravian} Holiday Season

Old Salem celebrates Christmas the same way the Moravians did over two hundred years ago, with creches, candles, carols, and the lovefeast...

The Moravians were a religious group that left Moravia (present-day Czechoslovakia) and settled in Germany, then started sending missionaries to the New World in the mid-1700s. They came first to Georgia, but ended up in Pennsylvania and North Carolina.  Old Salem, founded in 1766, became a trade center where Moravian craftspeople sold their wares.

Christmastime today is still marked by the traditional lovefeast, with coffee and buns, singing and prayer.  At the end of the love feast, everyone has met and broken bread together to symbolize the brotherhood and unity of man.  The wrapped candles symbolize the light of God shining in the darkness.  While these cookies aren't technically a part of the lovefeast ritual, they are most certainly a taste of Christmas that you will quickly grow to cherish!

Spiced Moravian Cookies

  • 1 qt molasses
  • 3/4 lb shortening
  • 3/4 lb light brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 3 Tbsp cloves
  • 2 Tbsp ginger
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 3 Tbsp baking soda
  • 5 lb flour
  • Heat molasses, sugar, and shortening on medium until dissolves together.  Stir continuously.  Do not boil!
  • Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm.
  • Sift spices and baking soda to remove lumps, then stir into molasses mixture.  (Foam may occur; this is ok)  Let mixture cool.
  • Add flour into mixture a bit at a time, thoroughly mixing.  Cover and store dough overnight in refrigerator.
  • Flour a hard surface.  Turn out dough and knead until it is shiny and smooth.
  • Heat oven to 225 F.
  • Pull off a small piece of dough and roll with a rolling pin until it is so thin you can see through it.  Cut with cookie cutter, if desired.
  • Place onto greased cookie sheet.  Repeat with all the dough.  Bake 8-10 min.

Love Feast Resources

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