Springerle (German/Swiss anise cookies, so called because the molded designs on them ‘spring up’ when baked) are a wonderful holiday treat. There’s a good many springerle recipes up on the web, but none of them are this one. If you like your springerle hard on the outside but soft in the middle, follow this recipe. Please, don’t overcook your springerle; they’ll turn into charcoal briquettes!
What you’ll need:
Half an eggshell of water
1 pound granulated sugar (=2 cups)
5 or 6 drops of anise oil
(or equivalent in anise seeds, etc.)
1 pound flour (=4 cups)
3 teaspoons baking powder
A really heavy-duty mixer! This dough is _stiff_.
Someplace cool for the cookies to sit overnight, or for at least 12 hours, while they rise.
– Beat the eggs and water for 10 minutes.
(Those eggs are going to be _fluffy_.)
– Add the sugar and the anise oil.
–Mix at medium speed for 15 minutes.
– Slowly add in the flour and the baking powder
and beat until it’s all mixed in.
– Roll out the dough 1/4 inch thick. (Flour it a lot — this dough is sticky!)
– Flour up your molds or molded rolling pin.
– Press the molds into the dough gently. You want to leave a design, not cut through the dough.
– Cut out the cookies and put them on a cookie sheet.
– Let them sit overnight (or for at least 12 hours) in a cool place.
–Bake at 275 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 minutes. If your oven doesn’t have that, you can try 350 degrees for 10 minutes, but _be careful_! The cookies should be a very light golden brown when done.
Makes 90-100 cookies really, but there’s usually only 70 or so left by morning in my family. Keep the springerle in a tin with a slice of bread to keep them moist, and replace the slice of bread whenever it gets dried out.
Springerle.com is worth visiting for the historical information and pictures of molds, as well as their understanding of the hardening overnight.
But their pottery molds are very different from the wooden ones my great-great-grandmother brought over from Baden-Baden. We have two molds of four, and one with two. The mold of two has a daisy and a cornucopia. The molds of four have fish, birds, carrots and turnips, and all sorts of other designs on them. They’re nowhere near as elaborate as the wooden molds at springerlemodel.de, but I love them.
I should mention that some people use lemon rind or zest in their recipes. Whatever springs your le, I guess….