Here's a traditional Springerle cookie recipe for making those amazing Christmas cookies that everyone raves about. These German cookies are crispy on the outside and somewhat chewy in the center with a delicate anise flavor.
The festive cookies called Springerle feature an assortment of embossed designs and have been a Christmas tradition in Bavaria and Austria as far back as the 14th century.
Frohe Weihnachten und ein glückliches Neues Jahr!
Adapted From Mary at the Farm and Book of Recipes (1915)
1 pound sifted powdered sugar (or confectioners' sugar)
2 quarts or about 2-1/4 pounds of flour, sifted twice
2 small teaspoons baking powder
Beat eggs, whites and egg yolks in separate bowls until foamy, then mix with sugar in a large bowl and beat well. Add enough flour until you have a stiff yet smooth dough. On a floured surface, roll out pieces of dough, which should be half an inch thick.
Lightly flour mold and then press mold on dough to make a good impression, lift the mold from the dough, carefully cut out cookies thus designed using a sharp knife or pastry cutter, brush excess flour off cookies with a dry pastry brush, and let lie until next day on a floured wooden board such as a bread board.
The next day, grease cookie sheet well (or cover with parchment paper), sprinkle roasted anise seeds over the baking sheet in which the cakes shall be baked; lightly moisten bottom of cookies by gently pressing cookie down on a damp tea towel; lay cakes an inch apart on the anise seeds, and bake in a slow to moderate oven (300°F) to a straw color.
The bottoms of the cookies are a light brown with little bumps or "feet" while the tops are pale and whitish when done. Cool on a wire rack until hard. Store in sealed container for several weeks before eating.
Depending on the mold used, this traditional Springerle cookie recipe will usually make six impressions or cakes 1-1/2 inches square, leaving the embossed design, or impression of a small figure or flower on top of the cookie surface when the dough is pressed on the form.
Springerle cookies are made by pressing a mold onto the rolled dough and letting the impression dry before baking.
Springerle cookie molds are traditionally carved from wood, though modern-day materials are now sometimes used to replace wooden molds.
Mold impressions are easier to make if the dough is chilled beforehand. Once formed, place the cookies on a lightly floured baking sheet overnight at room temperature.
The drying of the dough overnight will preserve the delicate detail of the mold's impression during baking, leaving a good print.
A carved Springerle rolling pin (mold) can also be used to stamp or impress the dough with festive symbols for the Christmas Season. Making these Old World cookies can be fun for the whole family.
Baked Springerle cookies are a low-moisture cookie that's somewhat hard like biscotti and best packed away in airtight containers to ripen for a couple of weeks to become tender and more flavorsome.
Anise tends to be the traditional flavor enjoyed, but it's not the preferred flavoring for anyone who's not fond of licorice. Lemon, orange, almond, raspberry and rum are among other flavors used.
Watch the first of her four-part video series, as Patrice Romzick
of "Springerle Joy" gives step-by-step instructions for making her
original Springerle dough consisting of only four common kitchen
ingredients. It's a keeper!
Here's the list of ingredients for Patrice's homemade Springerle dough just in case you couldn't copy it down fast enough from her YouTube video:
4-1/2 large eggs
1 pound powdered sugar
1 pound cake flour (by weight)
1 teaspoon lemon flavoring oil