This fall I started going back to my old Unitarian Universalist fellowship; the community I first joined in 1995. I went to their Samhain service and have gone back every week since. I felt nostalgic and happy seeing old friends and singing familiar favorite UU hymns. I guess you could say I’ve been having a UU renaissance. Although my personal religion is very culture-specific (Heathenry combined with ADF Druidism), I love the idea of having a more universal outer religion to link with a larger community. It helps that the UUFF is now more awesome than ever! They don’t have a minister right now, but are lay led by a small group of dynamic, creative members. I helped with a Winter Solstice ritual there that turned out to be one of the best I’ve experienced on those grounds. They’re adopted a year-end Burning Bowl ceremony that was a favorite of mine from a different denomination, made dramatic by the special effect of flash paper! I look forward to many more happy/magical/comforting/fulfilling times within those walls and upon those grounds.
This past Sunday, I brought chalice cookies for coffee hour. This is how I made them:
For the cookie cutters, I used a large biscuit cutter, a small flame cookie cutter (from a craft store), and I couldn’t find a chalice cookie cutter, so I made one using instructions like the ones on The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle.
I made two batches of butter cookies; one of them plain, and to the other one, I substituted 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder for the same amount of flour. So I rolled out each of the doughs between wax paper, cut out biscuit shapes, then out of these, chalice shapes, and interchanged the dark and light chalice shapes directly on the buttered cookie sheets and lightly pressed seams closed. I cut out the flames and filled the cavities with crushed cherry flavored jolly ranchers candies. Then I baked them at 375°F for 8 minutes and left them on the pan to cool. They weren’t very hard to make, just a little time consuming!