'Tis the Springerle Season
The brown truck just brought me four nice molds. I've never made these. There are a few recipes included in a little booklet and some tips, but I thought I'd check here. Does anyone have any springerle makin' experience, tips, recipes to share?
I've made springerle. The hardest part for me was finding enough cookie sheets for the overnight drying process. You have to mold the cookies, put them on the sheet, and set aside overnight. Then when they bake, the top part stays perfect while the bottoms rise. They come out chewy and moist and utterly delicous, esp if you like anise. And, for those who don't - try peppermint or cinnamon oil. Also they freeze beautifully. Stay moister that way, too. I've never seen a recipe for springerle with butter in it. I'm intrigued. After baking, I paint mine with "egg paint' which is egg yolks & food coloring. I only have a rolling pin with various carvings, one nativity mold for christmas. I'm always looking at yard sales & stuff. Not enough Europeans settled in the KC area, cookie molds are rare (smile).
Enjoy your cookies!
I learned from recipes published in St Louis Post Dispatch, from the good folks in Hermann MO.
The recipe we use in my family is a bit simpler, but perhaps not as authentic! The suggestions above are all correct-- you have to let the cookies rest before baking, so that they firm up and don't spread and lose their fun scenes. I also vaguely remember my mother brushing them at water at some point in the process, but I can't remember for sure (that might have been for Anislaibchen, another anise-flavored cookie)
Springerle are much better if you bake them some time in advance (a few weeks in advance, even) so they can season in an airtight tin. They *do* get hard-- we've been known to have them around for many months, they stay fine but you gotta toast them a little if you want to bite them easily :)
4 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tsp. grated lemon peel
1 Tbsp. arrack or other anise flavored liquer
4 cups flour
2 Tbsp. anise seeds
Beat eggs & sugar 15 mins, until very thick; add lemon peel and arrak. Slowly stir in flour, then knead mixture until dough comes together. (If time, let dough season in fridge for one to several days, then bring to room temperature and add more flour as necessary to keep it from sticking)
Roll 1/4" thick (or a little thicker, since the springerle rolling pin will flatten them a bit too.) Sprinkle pin or mold with flour and press/roll it firmly. Cut into cookie squares, and put then onto a greased bake sheet that has anise seeds sprinkled on it. Cover (loosely) with wax paper and let dry overnight in a cool place (NOT in the fridge!) The next day, bake the cookies at 300F for 15 to 20 mins, until lightly brown on bottom but still pale/white on top. Store in an airtight container.
Springerle has been a Christmas tradition in my family and like many others here, it is a long process not to be carried out in a single day. Our family recipie requires that you let the dough refrigerate over night then add the flour as needed to be able to roll on the presses without them sticking. And then you must let the cut cookies sit overnight to air and dry out to set the mold and then bake them.
By doing this drying over night and then baking creates a icing like shell on the cookies and allows one to enjoy a crisp outer layer and a melt in your mouth inner layer especially if served with Earl Grey tea or Hot coffee
Yes, this is what I understand. They must rest overnight before baking. Now that the Thanksgiving holiday is past, I'll have time for this. I'm sure it will take me longer than a person who has experience with these cookies. I now have some flavoring oils so all my springerle will not be anise. I shall have to get these made this week to have them for Christmas. Thank you.
I made springerle years ago using a traditional recipe. They were absolutely beautiful. Stunning. But also hard as rocks. Seriously. I was afraid to give them to people, at least without a signed release absolving me from any liability for cracked teeth.
I would think the butter in Lisbet's recipe and all the eggs might prevent your from getting as hard as mine were.
Springerles are one of those Christmas cookies that need to me made in advance so they have time to mellow. Springerle is not a cookie that can be made one day and served the next. "cristina's" mom did the right thing by making them early and storing them in the air-tight tin !
Other years I used to start baking cookies the day after Thanksgiving...one cookie recipe each day, and storing them in tins. By Christmas time I had a nice variety for the holiday cookie tray. Of course, select those recipes that will do well being stored in tins.
Springerle Cookies Tried and True:
1/2 teaspoon * baker's ammonia (Hartshorn)
2 tablespoons milk
6 large eggs, room temperature
6 cups powdered sugar (1 - 1 1/2 #)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened but not melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon oil of anise, lemon or any other flavor
2 lb. box sifted cake flour (Swansdown or Softasilk)
grated rind of orange or lemon - optional (enhances flavor of the traditional anise or the citrus flavors)
more flour as needed
Dissolve hartshorn in milk and set aside. Beat eggs till thick and lemon-colored (10-20 minutes). Slowly beat in the powdered sugar, then the softened butter. Add the hartshorn and milk, salt, preferred flavoring, and grated rind of lemon or orange, if desired. Gradually beat in as much flour as you can with the mixer, then stir in the remainder of the 2 lbs. of flour to make stiff dough. Turn onto floured surface and knead in enough flour to make a good print without sticking. Follow general directions for imprinting and drying cookies. Bake on greased or baker's parchment-lined cookie sheets at 255° to 325° till barely golden on the bottom, 10-15 minutes or more, depending on size of cookie. Store in airtight containers or in zipper bags in the freezer. They keep for months, and improve with age. Yield 3 to 12 dozen.
Try various flavors, such as almond, or add lemon or orange flavoring to dough. To make them really special, brush melted bittersweet chocolate on the bottoms. This goes great with orange flavored cookies.
Hartshorn or Baker's Ammonia
*(a.k.a. Ammonium Carbonate) An old-time leavening unexcelled for any cookies, producing an especially light, delicate texture. Hartshorn and baking powder can be used interchangeably in cookie recipes. Dough’s made with Hartshorn store well and its leavening action is only triggered by heat, not moisture. Not affected by age, but will evaporate! There'll be an ammonia smell during baking, but not in your cookies!
Here are a couple of web addresses that may also be of interest:
The first time made Springerle Cookies I got the Hartshorn (a.k.a. Baker's Ammonia or Ammonium Carbonate) from my druggist at a local pharmacy.
The ingredient can also be found on the web:
http://fantes.com/baking-ingredients.html (Ammonium Carbonate)
My Mom made wonderful springerle every Christmas for about 50 years. She made them in October and stored them in airtight tins until Christmas rolled around.
One of her secrets was rolling the springerle onto a sprinkling of anise seed during the molding process. I can smell and taste it still.
The harder the cookies got, the better to dunk into a steaming cup of tea.
Springerle weren't her only Christmas cookies, though. For many, many years she made up to 10,000 cookies between October and December every year--highly elaborate, incredibly decorated, intricate and delicious.
May she rest in peace.