St. Catherine Wheel Cookies

St. Catherine Wheel Cookies

November 25: Feast Day of St. Catherine of Alexandria

We got a flat tire enroute from Islander’s business convention in Toronto to our summer vacation in Niagara Falls, Canada, one year. We pulled over to the side of the highway near an off-ramp to be safe. Traffic was light so no one really stopped to offer roadside assistance. We saw an auto parts store conveniently located down the off-ramp. Highlander walked the short distance to get help but only got advice. He came back to our car and used the spare tire to fix the flat. We then were able to drive to our destination and got our vehicle inspected and the tire replaced before checking in to our hotel.

We later learned that the incident occurred at Garden City, the nickname for St. Catharines, where the Canadian division of General Motors operates their car manufacturing plants. St. Catharines is a spelling variant of St. Catherine, the patron saint of wheelwrights. She is often depicted in art with a wheel, by which she was tortured for her faith. Legend states that wheel broke so she was martyred by beheading.

We believe in her miracle associated with the wheel. It seemed as if St. Catherine was protecting us when we had a flat tire in a city that bears her name. In her honor, we baked an appropriate dessert—St. Catherine Wheel Cookies. These round, crisp confections contain currants and have a subtle anise flavor. Whether for her feast day food or for a travel-time treat, wheel cookies are good to eat! Thank you, St. Catherine of Alexandria!


(Adapted from Cooking With the Saints by Ernst Scheugraf)


  • 2 teaspoons anise seeds
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup ground almonds
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tablespoons currants


Using a mortar and pestle, grind the anise seeds to a powder (or chop them finely). Add the ground anise seeds to a large mixing bowl and combine with the flour.

St. Catherine Wheel Cookies

Add the baking powder, ground almonds, sugar and cinnamon. Moisten the dry ingredients with the melted butter, milk and egg.

St. Catherine Wheel Cookies

Stir until a soft dough is formed. Fold in the currants. Pinch off one-inch balls and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet about an inch apart. Flatten with a criss-cross shape with the tines of a fork. Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Yield: Approximately 2 ½ – 3 dozen cookies.

St. Catherine Wheel Cookies


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  • Search our blog for other saints’ feast day foods.