St. Nicholas

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Candy
Marzipan Sint Nicolaas
Marzipan Sint Nicolaas
The Netherlands
Marsepein(Dutch Marzipan)
Sinterklaas Borstplaat (Dutch Fondant)
Borstplaat (Dutch Sugar Candies)
Marzipan Potatoes (German and Dutch)
Marzipankartoffel (German Potato Marzipan)
Sinterklaas Squares (Confection with Dutch Kruidnoten)
Sinterklaas Squares II (Another version)
Schokoladekugeln (German and Austrian Chocolate Balls)
Nikolausschnitten (German Saint Nicholas Dainties)
Saint Nicholas Sweetmeats (Italian)
Italian Brittle Candy (Croccante)
St. Nicholas Candy

Marsepein (Dutch Marzipan)

1 cup blanched almonds
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 egg white
¼ teaspoon lemon juice

Grind the almonds. Add the sugar, the egg white and the lemon juice. Grind the mixture very fine. Let the marzipan stand for 24 hours, under a damp cloth. Form hearts, dolls, letters, animals and other fancy figures.

From The Real Dutch Treat Cook Book, by Rie Ykema-Steenbergen, Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1949

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Sinterklaas Borstplaat (Dutch Fondant)

Borstplaat is one of a rich variety of traditional Sinterklaas candies and it comes in many shapes, sizes, flavours and colours.

1 cup granulated sugar to 3 tablespoons of liquid (water, milk, or light cream)
1 teaspoonful of butter
a few drops each of flavouring or extract and a food colouring

In a small, heavy saucepan, stir sugar and liquid to a paste. Heat slowly to boiling and cook on low heat without stirring until syrup spins a thread. Remove from heat at once, add the butter and a few drops of extract and food colouring. Stir long and vigorously until the mixture thickens. Drop from tip of spoon onto waxed paper, pour into a greased pan, or put into a mold. Cool to solidify. Flavouring can be fruit or other extract, coffee or cocoa.

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Borstplaat (Dutch Sugar Candies)

½ cup water
2 cups sugar
Colored fruit essence or
   6 drops oil of peppermint

Pour water over sugar until absorbed. Boil without stirring until syrup can be spun into a thin thread. Remove from heat and beat until the syrup becomes opaque. Add flavoring. When syrup is creamy and smooth, drip from tip of spoon onto wax paper or pour into water-cooled shallow molds. If mixture becomes too thick, reheat.

From Festive Recipes and Festival Menus  by Sula Benet, Abelard-Schuman, 1970, p. 84.

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Marzipan Potatoes (German and Dutch)

For the Feast of St. Nicholas

Marzipan Potatoes
Marzipan Potatoes

This recipe is very simple. Almond paste is thoroughly combined with powdered sugar in a ratio of two parts almond paste (best measured by weight) to one part powdered sugar. Great care must be taken with one essential: all equipment that comes into contact with the almond past and sugar must be kept most scrupulously clean, since otherwise the marzipan will begin to spoil if stored for an extended period.

Sift the powdered sugar onto a clean work surface, cut the almond paste into dice, and knead to a smooth mixture together with the powdered sugar, in one smooth operation. Do not work the mixture too long, since the marzipan may become too greasy to be handled (the almond oil will separate from the solid matter).

Shape into a long roll and cut into equal-sized pieces. Roll these into balls and immediately roll in cocoa. Tap off excess cocoa and score the potatoes with a knife to suggest split potato skins.

From Christmas Baking: Traditional Recipes Made Easy by Christian Teubner. Gräfe and Unzer GmbH, West Germany, 1983; Barron's Educational Series, Inc., English-language edition, 1985. Permission pending.

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Marzipan Carrots
Marzipan Carrots
The Netherlands

Marzipankartoffel (German Potato Marzipan)

For the Feast of St. Nicholas

¼ pound potatoes, boiled, grated and chilled
1 pound confectioners' sugar
1 pound almond paste

ONE
Mix potatoes, sugar to smooth paste. Add almond paste. Mix until dough becomes firm, smooth. Chill 1 hour in refrigerator.

TWO
Form marzipan into varied fruits, vegetables, flowers, using food coloring to give real appearance. Carrots and potatoes are popular for St. Nicholas Day. Dry 5 minutes in oven at 250º F. Yield, 2 pounds candy

From The Catholic Cook Book: Traditional Feast and Fast Day Recipes by William I. Kaufman. The Citadel Press, 1965.

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Sinterklaas Squares

Sinterklaas Squares  (Confection with Dutch Kruidnoten)

A variation on Rocky Road for the Feast of St. Nicholas—the little spice cookies are a lovely complement to chocolate and add a nice crunch, too. Kruidnoten are available in season from Dutch import shops.

12-oz. package semi-sweet chocolate morsels
5 tablespoons butter
8.8-oz package Kruidnoten (200g)
2 cups miniature marshmallows (about 4 oz)
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 tablespoon molasses (or use 3 tablespoons Golden Syrup for corn syrup and molasses)

1) Butter an 8 or 9-inch square baking tin. Place mini marshmallows and kruidnoted in a large bowl.
2) Melt butter, chocolate pieces, corn syrup, and molasses together, stir until smooth.
3) Pour 2/3 of the chocolate mixture over marshmallows and kruitnoten. Keep the remaining chocolate over very low heat so it stays liquid.
4) Gently mix until the marshmallows and kruitnoten are all coated in chocolate.
5) Put mixture into baking tin; press down firmly to make it somewhat even.
6) Pour reserved chocolate on top; spread to cover the top.
7) Refrigerate until set (several hours). Cut into squares with sharp knife (it is easiest to get a clean cut if the block is removed from the pan).

Adapted from the Diary of a Cake Maker

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Sinterklaas Squares II

Sinterklaas Squares II  (Another version with Dutch Kruidnoten)

Another Rocky Road variation for the Feast of St. Nicholas. This one has a softer, more fudge-like traditional Rocky Road-type chocolate. The little spice cookies are still a lovely complement to chocolate and add a nice crunch.

12-oz. package semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons butter
8.8-oz package Kruidnoten (200g)
3 cups miniature marshmallows (about 6 oz)

1) Line a 13 x 9-inch pan with waxed paper; place mini marshmallows and kruidnoten in a large bowl.
2) Melt butter, chocolate pieces, and sweetened condensed milk together, stirring until smooth.
3) Pour 2/3 of the chocolate mixture over marshmallows and kruitnoten. Keep the remaining chocolate over very low heat so it stays liquid.
4) Gently mix until the marshmallows and kruitnoten are all coated in chocolate.
5) Put mixture into baking tin; press down firmly to make it somewhat even.
6) Pour reserved chocolate on top; spread to cover the top.
7) Refrigerate until set (several hours).
8) Lift waxed paper out of pan; cut into squares using a sharp knife.

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Schokoladekugeln

Schokoladekugeln (German and Austrian Chocolate Balls)

For the Feast of St. Nicholas

1 cup grated milk chocolate
1 cup sugar
1 cup ground filberts
1 egg
1 tablespoon rum
1 cup cocoa

Mix chocolate, sugar, nuts, egg, rum. Shape into balls. Roll in cocoa. Dry several hours at room temperature. Yield, 1 pound candy

From The Catholic Cook Book: Traditional Feast and Fast Day Recipes by William I. Kaufman. The Citadel Press, 1965.

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Nikolausschnitten (German Saint Nicholas Dainties)

For the Feast of St. Nicholas

1 pound mixed nuts
1 pound mixed citrons, dates, figs
1 pound mixed raisins, crystallized ginger, candied cherries
brandy
1 cup sugar

Grind fruits and nuts in food grinder. Moisten with brandy to make dough, roll out. Cut into small rectangles. Roll in sugar. Dry at room temperature. Yield, 3 pounds candy

From The Catholic Cook Book: Traditional Feast and Fast Day Recipes by William I. Kaufman. The Citadel Press, 1965.

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Saint Nicholas Sweetmeats (Italian)

1 pound mixed unsalted nuts, such as peanuts, cashews, and walnuts
1 pound mixed dried fruit, such as dates, raisins, and figs
1 pound candied fruits, such as orange, lemon, and pineapple
Few pieces crystallized ginger
¼ cup brandy
Sugar for coating

1. Put nuts, all the fruit, and ginger through a food grinder, or chop in food processor.

2. Moisten the mixture with the brandy, 1 tablespoon at a time, until a dough forms. (You may not need all the brandy.)

3. Break off pieces, shape them into balls, and roll them in sugar. 10 dozen.

From Festa: Recipes and Recollections of Italian Holidays by Helen Barolini. 1988 Harcourt Brace Jovanovich; 2002 University of Wisconsin Press. Used by permission.

A delightful collection of Italian recipes for many saints days and other Italian festivals. Purchase from amazon.com, amazon.ca or amazon.uk.

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Italian Brittle Candy (Croccante)

1 ½ cups blanched almonds
1 cup sugar
Juice of 1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 450º F.

1. Spread almonds on a baking sheet. Toast in the center of the oven until lightly brown, about 6 minutes.

2. Chop the toasted almonds very fine.

3. Put the sugar in a small, heavy saucepan, and cook over moderate heat until sugar melts. When it becomes pale blond in color, add the almonds and lemon juice. Stir with a wooden spoon until the color turns dark blond. Watch very carefully; caramel can burn in an instant.

4. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Quickly pour the mixture out onto a baking sheet or marble slab moistened with half a lemon. Spread to a thickness of 1/8 inch. Before the candy cools, cut it deeply into diamond shapes.

5. When candy is cool, wrap it in aluminum foil, and store it in a jar. The candy keeps for a long time. 4 dozen pieces.

To make a topping for ice cream or custard, crush the candy in a mortar, blender, or food processor, and sprinkle over each serving.

From Festa: Recipes and Recollections of Italian Holidays by Helen Barolini. 1988 Harcourt Brace Jovanovich; 2002 University of Wisconsin Press. Used by permission.

A delightful collection of Italian recipes for many saints days and other Italian festivals. Purchase from amazon.com, amazon.ca or amazon.uk.

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St Nicholas Candy
The Candy Calendar

St. Nicholas Candy

4 tablespoons gelatin
1 cup cold water
1 ½ cups boiling water
4 cups granulated sugar
Red and green food coloring
1 teaspoon extract cloves
½ teaspoon extract peppermint

Soak gelatin in cold water 5 minutes. Add boiling water and stir until completely dissolved. Add sugar and boil slowly 15 minutes, stirring constantly. Divide mixture into two portions. When somewhat cooled add to one red coloring and extract of cloves. To the other green coloring and extract of peppermint. Turn into separate pans wet with ice water to inch depth and chill over night. Turn out next day, cut in squares and roll each in sifted granulated sugar.

From The Candy Calendar: Being a collection of 150 pure candy recipes for home cookery arranged by months by Woman's World Magazine. Copyright © 1927 Woman's World Magazine Co., Inc., Chicago.

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Links

St. Nicholas Chocolate Molds

If you are looking for vintage metal St. Nicholas chocolate molds, Old Molds is a good source. Because these European molds are not in production, availability changes frequently. If you purchase something be sure to tell Carolyn that you came from www.stnicholascenter.org and she'll give you a 10% discount.

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