It's early morning on December 13th -- the festival of St. Lucia.  All over Sweden, small girls in traditional costume bring spicy gingersnaps to their sleeping families.


1/2 cup butter
5/8 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon backing soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.  Add the egg white, and beat well.  Sift in flour, ginger and soda.  Mix well with a spoon to form a dough.  Sprinkle some flour onto your work surface and roll out the dough carefully until it's about 1/4 inch thick.  Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes.  Put them on a greased cookie sheet and bake in the oven for ten minutes.  Try decorating the cookies with confectioners' sugar mixed with a little water and food coloring.