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December 20


Saint of the day:

Saint Vincent Romano

Patron Saint of Torre del Greco Orphans, Sailors, Against throat tumors, and Neapolitan priests

Saint Vincent Romano

Vincenzo Romano (3 June 1751 – 20 December 1831 age 80) – born Vincenzo Domenico Romano – was an Italian Roman Catholic priest born in Torre del Greco in Naples. Romano was a parish priest of the village of Herculano who was noted for his simplistic and frugal manner of living and for his great care of orphans. But the French invaders in his area in addition to some of the Italian political groups oppressed him and his work. The people of Torre del Greco granted him the nickname "The Worker Priest" due to Romano's tireless work with the poor and for his commitment to the social needs of all people in the Neapolitan region. He was also noted for his efforts in rebuilding much of Naples following the 1794 eruption of Mount Vesuvius in which he himself cleared rubble and organized rebuilding efforts. Pope Paul VI beatified him in late 1963 after the recognition of his holiness as well as the confirmation of two miracles attributed to his intercession. The cause for his canonization had been opened on 22 September 1843 and Pope Leo XIII had named him as Venerable in 1895. Pope Francis confirmed his canonization which was celebrated in Saint Peter's Square on 14 October 2018.







Basilica di Santa Croce, Italy

Piazza di Santa Croce, 16, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy





Vanilla Pretzel Cookies

Vanilla Pretzel Cookies ~ a crisp little butter cookie loaded with vanilla beans
and topped with sparkly coarse sugar in a fun festive shape!


  • 1 large egg

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar (heaping)

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 tablespoons vanilla bean paste

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon cold water

  • 1/4 cup coarse white sugar such as turbinado. I used Organic White Sugar in the Raw


  1. Place the egg in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat then remove from the heat, cover and rest for 10 minutes. Fill a small bowl with ice water and set aside. Remove the egg from the pan and place in the ice water bath. Allow the egg to cool for 5 minutes. Crack and remove the peel. Remove the yolk and discard the white. Press the yolk through a fine-mesh strainer into the bowl of a stand mixer.

  2. Fit the stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Add the butter, granulated sugar, and salt to the cooked egg yolk. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for another minute.

  3. With the mixer on low speed, add the vanilla bean paste and mix until blended. Add the flour and mix on low speed just until combined. With a rubber spatula, press the dough together in a cohesive mass.

  4. Divide the dough in half and roll each piece into a log 6 inches long. The diameter should be about 1 3/4 inches. Wrap each log in parchment paper and twist the ends to seal. Chill the dough for 30 minutes. The dough will not be hard but firm enough to handle without being sticky.

  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

  6. Using a large thin knife (chef's knife), slice the dough into 1/4 inch thick rounds. Separate each of the rounds on the parchment paper. Roll each disc of dough into a ball, then roll into 6 inch long ropes. Form each rope into the pretzel shape and place 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the egg white mixture over the tops of each cookie, then sprinkle with the coarse sugar.

  7. Bake for 15 minutes or until the centers are pale golden brown and the edges slightly darker. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool (or if using a rimless baking sheet, slide the parchment with cookies onto the cooling rack) Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

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