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The third Sunday in Advent is sometimes called Gaudete Sunday, from the latin word for joy.  Many churches light a pink candle on the Advent wreath to commemorate the joyous announcement that the angel brought to Mary: that she would bear a child who would be God's Son.  

Here's a recipe that is over a thousand years old called "Cookies of Joy".  It is attributed to the abbess of a medieval German Benedictine community, and comes to us courtesy of St. Hildegard's Sanctuary in Vancouver at  They make good medicine for all at this time of year.


3/4 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 cups flour (traditionally spelt, but whole wheat is fine)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon clove (or allspice)

Cream butter and sugar well.  Beat in egg.  Add dry ingredients and mix.  Roll dough into walnut-sized balls and place on baking sheet.  Press to flatten if desired.  Bake 12-15 minutes in a 350 C oven.  

Dosage:  maximum 5 daily for adults and 2 for children (this from the original recipe!)