Samhain, Halloween, All Hallows Eve
October 31, 2022
As I’ve gotten older and have lost many loved ones, Halloween and Samhain have taken on deeper levels of significance for me. Samhain
(pronounced “sow-in”) is an ancient Celtic festival that takes place every year at the end of October, and is the origin of the holiday we know as
Halloween or All Hallows Eve.
In the northern hemisphere, people celebrate Samhain from sundown on October 31 through the morning of November 1. The festival and celebration
of Samhain has, for centuries, marked a mysterious “liminal” time of year, when the afterlife and earthly life overlap, during which time spirits
and the living can intermingle. The spirits are closer to us now; listen for their messages and watch for the signs they send.
It is during the night of Oct 31st when the barriers between the living and the souls of the dead is at its thinnest allowing them to pass through
so that they can spend time with their loved ones. To welcome them, light a few candles to guide their way, and put out a plate of these Samhain
Rosemary Remembrance Cookies. I find it is a form of comfort to make these cookies, not only because of the wonderful smells of baking but it is
something tangible and real, something that can feed the body and soul.
The cookies are eaten while telling or remembering stories or other memories of special family members and ancestors and expressing gratitude
for being a part of you and your life, as well as remembering other loved ones including friends and pets who have crossed over. Surround the plate
of cookies with photos of those you are remembering and leave a small plate with a few outside by your front door as an offering to the spirits.
I’ve lost people who I love dearly and at this time of year I find that I’m longing even more than usual to find a way to honor them, remember
them, feel connected with them and celebrate them.
Rosemary Remembrance Cookies
1 ½ cups of powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1 cup of butter (softened, not melted)
2 teaspoons of real vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of almond extract
2 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of cream of tartar
1 tsp salt
2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh rosemary (which is the symbol of remembrance, friendship and love)
In a large bowl, beat sugar, butter, egg, vanilla, almond extract until creamy. Stir in the fresh rosemary.
In another bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and cream of tartar.
Fold the flour mixture into the sugar mixture. Combine the mixtures until a dough forms.
Gather the dough into a ball, wrap, and refrigerate for at least 60 minutes or longer.
When you’re ready to start baking, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Divide the dough in half, and roll out one portion to 3/16 of an inch on a floured surface.
Cut with the cookie cutters of your preference and place cutouts on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Continue the process with the other half of dough.
Bake 1 sheet at a time in the middle of the oven for 5-8 minutes. Notes: Ovens vary and sorted shapes bake differently therefore baking time will be somewhere
between 4 to 8 minutes. Cookies will fluff up, but not brown.
Remove and let cool before either plating or you can glaze some with this yummy tart lemon glaze that goes so well together with the rosemary!
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Combine in a small bowl, stirring until all lumps have dissolved and smooth and the about the thickness of honey.
Apply to tops of thoroughly cooled rosemary cookies.
Sprinkle with a pinch of finely chopped rosemary
Let sit at room temperature for about 5-10 minutes until glaze sets.
Cards from: The Halloween Oracle by Stacey DeMarco and The Jack-O-Lantern Tarot by G. Costa and R. Paul
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