25 August 2016

Legend of The Sand Dollar

We had a lovely Margaritaville Themed Wedding Shower for my neice this weekend.  The weather finally broke and rain parted and the photographer got beautiful photos on our deck overlooking the pool and hill side ridge.   We had a regular Seafood Party, everything came out delicious!!   One of the many things I made was these beautiful Sand Dollar Cookies, a symbol of T/K having Christ in their lives as they begin their journey in this life together.  Have you heard of the story?


The Legend of the Sand Dollar

Margaret C. Gallitzin
It is difficult to find a shell so rich in symbolism as the sand dollar. When I was a girl, I saw my first sand dollar – which I later learned was called the key hole sand dollar – and my uncle, a priest, explained to me how it represented the story of the Birth, Crucifixion and Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. I never forgot that lesson of how to see God in visible Creation.

The sand dollar - front above, and back below

The sand dollar is flat-looking burrowing sea urchin belonging to the order Clypeasteroida. It lives on the floor of shallow sandy waters along the coasts of ocean waters in the Northern Hemisphere. The mollusks are washed up on Oregon Coast beaches regularly.

After the urchin is washed up on the beach and bleached by the sun, it looks like a large silver coin, such as the old Spanish or American dollar. Ergo, its simple American name. In other places it is known as the sea biscuit or pansy shell.

It was not long, however, before a legend rich in Catholic symbolism developed about the poorly named sand dollar. This was the story my uncle told me:

On the top part of the shell you can clearly see in the center a star, which represents the Star of Bethlehem that led the Wise Men to the manger when Christ was born. Around it is the outline of the Easter lily, a sign of Our Lord’s Resurrection.

At the edges of the star are four holes and in the center another one. These remind us of the four Sacred Wounds of Our Lord on His Hands and Feet that He bore after being nailed to the Cross. A center hole, the fifth, represents the pierce Wound to His Sacred Heart made by the spear of Longinus.

If you turn the sand dollar over, you will find an outline of the Poinsetta, the Christmas flower.
The sand dollar always has five doves inside
Finally, if you break open the sand dollar, five "doves" emerge – the doves of the Peace and Joy of Christmas. There are always five doves every time you open one.

Many poems have been written about the legend of the sand dollar. This one, author unknown, is my favorite:

The legend of the Sand dollar
That I would like to tell
Of the birth and death of Jesus Christ
Found in this lowly shell.

If you will examine closely,
You'll see that you find here
Four nail holes and a fifth one
Made by a Roman's spear.

On one side the Easter Lily,
It's center is the star
That appeared unto the shepherds
And led them from afar.

The Christmas Poinsettia
Etched on the other side
Reminds us of His birthday,
Our joyous Christmas tide.

Now break the center open
And here you will release
The five white doves awaiting
To spread good will and peace.

This simple little symbol,
Christ left for you and me.
To help to spread His Message
Through all eternity.

So here are the cookies and the fabulous recipe that was so easy to make.   I made the dough the night before and place in the fridge until the following afternoon, about four hours before the shower.  I took two minutes off the time but still had a little browning around the edges and bottom, perfect!








Sand Dollar Cinnamon Sugar Cookies
Tools:
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Mixer
  • Spatula
  • Plastic wrap
  • Rolling pin
  • 2 5/8”(68mm) circle cutter
  • Pastry mat or a clean floured surface
  • Pastry brush
  • Parchment paper
  • Baking sheets
  • Cooling racks
Sand Dollar Cinnamon Sugar Cookies
Yield: Yields 4 dozen 2 5/8” circle cookies (or 3 dozen sand dollars & 7 misc. shapes ;)
Do you love sand dollars as much as me?! Try these easy to make sand dollar cinnamon sugar cookies - that look just like the real thing! Yummy & perfect!
Ingredients

1 cup unsalted butter, softened (15 sec in the microwave & another 5 sec will get you there, if you don’t want to wait for butter to soften on its own – HA – it is like watching paint dry – it’s simply fascinating ;)

2 cups powdered sugar (mmm mmm mmm…can taste the sugary goodness already!)
2 eggs whole
2 eggs separated (yolks in one bowl/whites in another – c’mon it’s fun!)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 pinches of kosher salt
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
cinnamon sugar (this gets sprinkled on top)
sliced almonds

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and powdered sugar; Mix until very creamy. (I may or may not have taken a lick after this step – HA! ;)
  3. Add the 2 whole eggs and 2 yolks only (reserve the whites for later from the egg separation above); Beat until well combined.
  4. Add vanilla and salt; Blend well.
  5. Add flour and baking powder; Stir until the dough is very soft.
  6. Form a ball with the dough; Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours (I left mine in the fridge overnight).
  7. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  8. Roll out the dough to 1/4" thick on a floured surface and cut out 2 5/8” circles.
  9. Brush the circles with the reserved egg whites.
  10. Sprinkle each circle lightly with cinnamon sugar and press 5 almond slices into the center of each circle to make a sand dollar (like the pic above).
  11. Bake at 350° F for 3 minutes.
  12. After 3 minutes, remove the baking sheet from the oven and press the almonds in again, making slight indentations in the circle.
  13. Add more cinnamon at this point too, if need be, to adjust the overall coloring of the final cookie.
  14. Place the baking sheet back in the oven and bake until the edges are golden brown, another 10 minutes (this time will vary depending on how thick you cut the circles, so just keep an eye on them around the 7 minute mark).
  15. Remove from oven; Let rest on baking sheet for 3 minutes.
  16. Transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.
  17. Dig in!!!
  18. Store in an airtight container to keep up to 5 days (Yeah right, these won’t last 5 minutes!)
Notes
Adapted from Delicious Inspiration




1 comment:

  1. Haven't heard the story before. Nice though and the cookies look delicious.

    ReplyDelete