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Teen continues an Epiphany tradition

Cookies sparkle like the gifts of the Magi

by Donna Frischknecht Jackson | Presbyterians Today

Daniel Weisert gets ready to make his Epiphany treats for 2022. Adriane Weisert

The celebration of Epiphany on Jan. 6 — 12 days after Christmas — marks the arrival of the Magi bearing gifts for Jesus. In recent years, more Presbyterians have been embracing this day, finally opting not to have the Magi appear in December Christmas pageants, but rather wait for their cue to enter stage left in the play of salvation. Ways to celebrate have included “Star Words,” paper stars with words written on them that worshipers take. Like the star that guided the Magi, the word received is to be seen as a guiding light for the coming year.

Daniel Weisert, though, has a sweeter way to mark Epiphany. The teen, who follows celebrity chefs when not actively serving at First Presbyterian Church of Bowling Green, Ohio, makes Epiphany cookies.

The treats, Weisert says, are somewhere between a truffle and a cookie and are an adaptation of a recipe that features crushed Oreos. For Epiphany, the novice baker uses vanilla wafers instead. He then dips the cookies in white chocolate and decorates them with gold sprinkles, which he says looks “more regal.”

Regal-ness aside, the cookies are symbolic of the Magi’s gifts: the white chocolate represents frankincense, which looks like a white rock, and the sprinkles are metallic gold. As for the myrrh not being represented, Weisert jokes “not to think too much about it and just enjoy the cookies.”

As for why the teen focuses on Epiphany cookies rather than the obligatory Christmas gingerbread people, it’s because he really loves Epiphany.

“The story of the Wise Men following the star is still my favorite part of the story. I like the idea of a new start, and Epiphany is the best symbol of a new start to me,” Weisert said, adding, “And, yes, I’ll be making the cookies again. They’re tasty and I love the texture of them.”

Donna Frischknecht Jackson is the editor of Presbyterians Today.

Daniel’s Epiphany Cookies

1 package of vanilla wafers
8 ounces of cream cheese, softened
1 bag of white chocolate chips
Gold or silver sprinkles, for topping

  1. Empty the whole bag of cookies into a zip-close bag. Seal and crush the cookies until as fine as possible.
  2. Add the crushed cookies and cream cheese to a mixing bowl. Mix on medium until well combined.
  3. Using a small scoop or spoon, portion out the cookie mixture and roll into 1-inch balls. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Chill the cookie balls for 15 to 30 minutes.
  4. While cookies are chilling, place white chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave the chips for 1 minute, then stir and repeat in 30-second intervals until smooth and liquid.
  5. Using a fork or toothpick, dip the cookie balls into the white chocolate chip mixture and place on parchment paper. Top with silver or gold sprinkles before the white chocolate sets.


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