Community Cookbook

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Fairport Harbor Public Library is compiling a collection of your favorite recipes. These submissions will be collected here for all to enjoy. Submit as many entries as you like.

Submit your cookbook entry here 

12/22/2020 from Shanon Sterringer, Pastor of The Community of St. Hildegard

St. Hildegard of Bingen Cookies of Joy

Looking for a way to incorporate a bit of Hildegard into your Christmas baking? We recommend a batch of her Cookies of Joy! They are sometimes referred to as “Nerve Cookies” because they are meant to calm one’s nerves by bringing joy. These cookies are often made from spelt flour (one of Hildegard’s preferred grains) and include her “Spices of Joy” mixture – cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. In Physica, she wrote: “Take some nutmeg and an equal weight of cinnamon and a bit of cloves and pulverize them. Then make small cakes with this and fine whole wheat flour (or spelt) and water. Eat them often. It will calm all bitterness of the heart and mind, open your heart and impaired senses, and make your mind cheerful.” A recipe is included below from the book, Saint Hildegard’s Kitchen: Foods of Health, Foods of Joy, by Jany Fournier-Rosset:


12 Tbsps+1tsp butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
4 egg yolks
2 ½ cups spelt flour
1 tsp salt
2 rounded tbsps “Spices of Joy”

Melt the butter under low heat, add the sugar, honey, and egg yolks, beating lightly. Add the flour and salt, combine gently. Refrigerate this cookie dough after mixing, for at least one hour. Remove from refrigerator. Roll out onto a floured surface, cut with a cookie cutter. Bake on a baking sheet at 400 F for 10-15 minutes until golden, watching closely.

11/19/2020 from Kara Cervelli (FHPL Director)

Mom’s Mini Cheesecakes

My mom made these for every holiday and any big gathering or bake sale.  As a child, I was always in charge of crushing the cookies and filling the paper cups with the crumbs.  I also loved putting the cherries on the top.  All sidebar tips are things I learned along the way from Mom.

Prep time : 30 minutes
Cook time :  15 minutes
Total time : 45 minutes
Servings:   48 mini cheesecakes

1 (12 ounce) package vanilla wafers  (Oreos or graham crackers are good too)
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese – full fat blocks and softened to room temperature to blend up
moothly and so you don’t have lumps.
¾ cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (21 ounce) can cherry pie filling  (or other favorite flavor) –  ½ a maraschino cherry works well too


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line miniature muffin tins (Mom always called these “tassie pans”) with miniature paper liners.
  2. Crush the vanilla wafers, and place 1/2 teaspoon of the crushed vanilla wafers into each paper cup.  (Mom always used a prescription medicine bottle for tamping the crumbs down in the paper cup – a copy of the recipe was stored inside)
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy.  
    • Use a good hand or stand mixer for smooth creamy cheesecake.
    • DON’T OVER MIX THE BATTER OR MIX ON TOO HIGH SPEED. Both over mixing and mixing on a high speed add more air to a batter. Too much air in a cheesecake can cause cracks
    • If your cream cheese isn’t soft enough, you’ll have to mix things more to get out the lumps. So again, be sure it’s nice and soft.
    • Add the eggs in last and beat just until combined. The longer you mix the eggs, the more air you incorporate into the batter.
  4. Fill each miniature muffin liner with this mixture, almost to the top.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes.
    • DON’T OPEN THE OVEN.  If you open up the oven during baking, you’ll let out all the good hot, steamy air and possibly cause the cheesecake to fall in the middle or bake unevenly.
    • DON’T OVER BAKE.  Over baking a cheesecake can lead to cracks.  You’ll know the cheesecake has baked enough when the edges of the cheesecake are well set and the center is set but still just a bit jiggly.
  6. Cool slowly in turned off oven or on the counter.
  7. When completely cooled, top with a teaspoonful of pie filling
  8. Cover and store in the refrigerator.

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