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Springerle Cookies

20-Dec-2004

This is another of those recipes like the Star Cookies that came from my Dad’s mother. His family is German but this recipe can be found throughout Europe, especially in the Scandinavian countries.

To make these cookies you need Springerle molds/plaques or a Springerle rolling pin.  I remember that my grandmother didn’t care for the rolling pins as it was hard to make even impressions in the dough.  It took me years to find the plaques, although I think I just didn’t know where to look.  There are usually several available on Ebay but as they are collector’s items they are pretty expensive, even there. 

The last several years I’ve been trying to make the perfect cookie – just like my grandmother’s.  (Now, I have to tell you that my grandmother died 30 years ago so I’m not sure how realistic my memory is, but I do have my Dad to help me test!)  And I don’t quite have it yet, although I have learned several things about this recipe.  I’m using the old traditional recipe but I’ve noticed there are several "improved" recipes out there like this one on the Sur La Table site.  They add butter and liquid, which are not in the early versions.  I have found other versions similar to the one I have, though, that use cake flour or add a bit of baking soda.  I may need to try that one of these days. 

Again, this is one of those recipes that I could not do without modern tools!  The beating of the eggs takes 10 minutes with my Kitchenaid mixer using the whisk!  I did find one old version of this recipe that stated, "Put the eggs in a bowl and give to the oldest son to beat for 1/2 hour or as long as he can.  When he is finished give the bowl to the second oldest son to beat for as long as he can….." .  I thought it was hilarious!

Anyway, I’m getting close.  The batch I recently made was very close but I cooked them a little too long, or maybe the heat was a little too high.  I’ll make those adjustments when I try again in a few days.  In the meantime, if you have any hints for me let me know!  I’ve made several notes (in italics) to help me remember what I’ve learned or to help you jumpstart your learning.

Springerle

Sift 4½ cups flour with 1 tsp. baking powder.

Grease two large cookie sheets. Sprinkle them generously with anise seeds. (I prefer to add 1/2 tsp. of Anise Extract and 1 tsp. of Anise seeds to the mixture after I’ve incorporated the sugar.)

In large bowl beat 4 eggs (with whisk attachment) at medium speed until light (at least 10 minutes). Gradually add 1# (3¾ cups) powdered sugar, sifted, while beating well.

With wooden spoon (paddle attachment) blend in 1 Tbsp. grated lemon rind and flour mixture.

Wrap in plastic and refrigerate one hour. Roll dough ½” thick on lightly floured board. With floured Springerle form print pictures on surface. With sharp knife cut out cookies on lines between pictures.

Let stand on cookie sheets at least 12 hours. (This ensures that the patterns stay while the cookies bake.)

Bake at 325° 25 to 30 minutes. (Until bottoms are golden and tops are just starting to color.)

Cool, then store in airtight containers. (My grandmother always stored a piece of apple with the cookies to help keep them from drying out completely.)

Makes 40.  (This will vary depending on the size of your molds.)

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