Lord God of hosts, you clothed your servant Martin the soldier with the spirit of sacrifice, and set him as a bishop in your Church to be a defender of the catholic faith: Give us grace to follow in his holy steps, that at the last we may be found clothed with righteousness in the dwellings of peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
- Collect for St. Martin from Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2006
The night was dark and our lights were bright. The story was told in the center of the labyrinth with figures and candles. The children were joyful on their nighttime adventure and the cookies were warm. "Let it Shine, Let it Shine" and "You are the light of the World..." rang out through the mild November night. I do believe the Martinmas lantern walk is my favorite remembrance of a saint.
We've settled on the following cookies as our Martinmas tradition. The cookies are cut in starts, moons and christmas lights to represent the light of sharing. We all broke our first cookie after the walk in half and shared the larger half with the person beside us in the spirit of St. Martin sharing half his cloak with the beggar. The children who ate a second (or third) cookie still wanted to share half with someone, much to our delight.
Martinmas Gingerbread Cookies
adapted from Apples for Jam
These are a subtle gingerbread cookie and go wonderfully with coffee. We dipped the left overs in dark chocolate for a special treat.
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
7 oz. cream (whipping or pouring)
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter
4 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
warm maple syrup and spices in a small saucepan. Stir until all spices are disolved.
Mix in cream.
Beat sugar and butter together for 2 minutes. Add eg. Mix in flour and baking powder alternating with the syrup/spice mixture.
Cover and refrigerate for 4 or more hours. Using a generous amount of flour cut out shapes.
Bake at 375 degrees for 10-14 minutes (if making tiny cookies check sooner.)
Sift powdered sugar on the cooling cookies.