These Legendary Cookies Have Been Made in Michigan For 75 Years
It seems that enjoying endless cookies is only acceptable during the holiday season. I, however, argue that cookies should be enjoyed year-round. In moderation of course...I mean...a sleeve of cookies is moderate, right?
Whether you love cookies year-round or just enjoy them around the holidays, it's nice to know that you can find some that were created in Michigan 75 years ago.
Steenstra Almond St. Claus Windmill Cookies are not only Michigan-made with a family recipe that's been preserved to this day but, they also come with a legend. A Christmas time story, if you will.
Being from Florida, I was surprised to recognize these cookies when I spotted them in the Facebook group, Michigan History. Clarance C. White recently posted a picture of these cookies along with the caption,
Hudsonville, Michigan's Steenstra family began a bakery to make their family's delicious speculaas cookie recipe back in 1947. The Steenstra Almond St. Claus Cookies tells the story of the Santa Claus legend. Each package comes with cookies in five shapes, a Windmill, a Rooster, Santa on a horse, a boy & girl and finally an owl. All Steenstra's Saint Claus cookies are still made from the original family recipe, using only natural ingredients and no preservatives. You can find them in almost any grocery store here and this is a great time of year to get some. Have one with Hot Chocolate, Hot Coffee or some Michigan made Bourbon, they're really good. This Christmas keep your spending in our state and you will help us all, making you a Local Yokel.
But, what is the Santa Claus legend?
The Saint Nicholas Cookie Legend
According to stnicholascenter.org, these cookies tell a version of the legend of Saint Nick with a cookie to correlate with each part of the story. The legend goes as follows:
- The Windmill: St. Nicholas lived in a windmill by the sea
- The Rooster: Early in the morning, the rooster crowed to wake St. Nicholas so he could get ready to visit children.
- St. Nicholas on a Horse: All day long St. Nicholas rode his horse from orphanage to orphanage.
- The Boy and Girl: St. Nicholas gave cookies to all the girls and boys.
- The Owl: St. Nicholas visited children all day long, until late evening when the owl sang him to sleep
I will say...the only cookie that doesn't really look like what it's supposed to be is the owl. I've stared at that thing for five minutes and I just don't see a bird. But, I'm sure it still tastes delicious.
The site goes on to say that the Streenstra family came to Grand Rapids from the Netherlands in the 1920s and opened their bakery in 1947 to share their delicious speculaas cookies. The cookies were eventually bought by the Voorhees family in 1994. However, they vowed to honor the original family recipe and have stuck to that promise. Read more here.
Celebrating a small part of the history of west Michigan seems like a great excuse to enjoy some delicious cookies. And, I hope you do!