Imbolc Crescent Moons

The crescent Moon is a symbol of the Goddess, or in this case the Maiden. During Imbolc, the Goddess is still young and inexperienced but full of energy which she is ready to share with the earth and all the beings living on it. With Imbolc come the first signs of spring and fertility which is why common symbols and ingredients are seeds, dairy products and nuts (which there is plenty of in this recipe and which is what makes these cookies so appropriate for this time of year). To help you recall the full meaning of this Sabbat, you can read my previous posts entitled "Imbolc" and "Blessed Imbolc 2014".

These cookies are fairly easy to make but I suggest you take care when baking them because they are very thin and can easily get burnt. This is why I ask you to follow the recipe. :) 

You Will Need:

For the dough:

  • 220g butter
  • 250g sugar (although I always put a bit less in)
  • lemon zest (from one grated lemon)
  • a pinch of salt
  • 185g flour
  • 225g ground walnuts (you can go all the way up to 340g if you wish)
  • lemon juice (from 1 lemon) - you can use vanilla or peppermint extract if you prefer

For the frosting:

  • 250g confectioners' (a.k.a. powdered) sugar
  • lemon juice (from half a lemon)
  • 4-5 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon softened butter

How to Prepare:

The dough:

  1. Grate one lemon and put the lemon zest aside in a bowl.
  2. In a larger bowl, mix softened butter and sugar and then add lemon juice (from one lemon). Mix with an electric mixer until the mixture is fluffy and light.
  3. In the first bowl mix lemon zest, salt, flour and ground walnuts.
  4. Add the walnut mix to the butter mix and knead the dough with your hands until it is compact. 
  5. Wrap the dough in plastic foil and leave in the fridge for 2 hours (you can leave it a bit more if you prefer but the dough should be harder and even more compact).
  6. Heat the oven to 175°C.
  7. Roll out the dough until it is a few millimeters thick and cut it into crescent moons (you can use a cookie cutter in the shape of a crescent moon or a normal round cookie cutter with which you will cut a circle out and then with this same shape cut a curved line in the middle of the cookie).
    Note: before rolling out the dough make sure to flour your working surface, the dough and your rolling pin very well because the dough will still be quite sticky. Repeat the every time before rolling out the dough (as you will gather the excess dough each time into a ball and then roll it out again).
  8. Cover your baking pan with baking paper and place the cookies on it taking care to leave 1-2cm between each cookie so they don't stick together during the baking process.
  9. Bake for 6-8 minutes.
  10. Take out the cookies and leave them to cool down for a few minutes. While they are still warm, spread the frosting on them with a spoon/knife or using a syringe (I recommend a stripy pattern with a syringe).

For the frosting:

  1. Mix the ingredients in a bowl until the mix is compact and about the same density as ice-cream (it should be thick enough to not seep out of the syringe; you should be able to control how it goes out).
  2. Leave the mix in the fridge for 5-10 minutes so it can get a bit thicker.
  3. Using a syringe, glaze the cookies the way you like. If you don't have a syringe, you can make a paper piping bag out of baking paper as described here.

The above quantity of ingredients yielded about 60 cookies for me. I hope that this will be enough to satisfy your sweet tooth and make your celebration all the more festive! :)

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