I loved this book when I first read it back in the early 90's. I was in graduate school at the time studying John Paul II's Anthropology, as well as keeping up with my reading in natural medicine on the side. This saint came along as somewhat of a synthesis of all that interested me! (OK. Maybe not everything.)
Fast forward to 2013: This book needs to be updated. The context in which the authors present her medicine involves an antiquated view of nutrition that was popular about three decades ago! Not a thousand years ago, during the period in which she lived.
OK, so where are these cookies?
St. Hildegard is definitely what we would call a proponent of holistic health. She places a lot of emphasis on one's mental and spiritual state and how they relate to health. For example, she has a list of "happy" foods. Yes, mood and mental state can apparently be influenced by food, and perhaps even intelligence?
So into the kitchen with Hildegard's recipe for nerve cookies. We paid special attention to the warning:
Don't give the children too many, or they may outsmart their teacher. Yeah right! The 12+ dozen we made almost lasted two whole days! Anyway, while we are waiting for the intelligence to kick in, here is the recipe (and pictures!):
1 1/2 cups butter
3 cups Rapadura/coconut sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
6 cups spelt flour
2 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
2 1/4 teaspoons nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
Cream butter and sugar.
Combine dry ingredients.
Add to creamed mixture.
Place on stoneware with small scoop.
Press flat with the bottom of a bowl or glass.
Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes.
Cool for a few minutes and place on cooling racks.
Hide them and use only as directly, 3-5 a day!