Monday, December 18, 2017

Making Springerle

Photo: - This is what store bought Springerle look like.
This Christmas I baked German springerle for the very first time. Easy and inexpensive to make, the cookies originate from Southern Germany. As an adult, I prefer Christmas cookies that are less gooey and sweet. Springerle fits the bill. The taste of anise (a spice also used in candy) is unique. Here is the recipe:



1 tablespoon butter

3 cups confessionary sugar (If out of confessionary sugar, substitute 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar.)
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon of anise oil (or 3 teaspoons crushed anise seeds, or 1 1/2 teaspoons of anise extract)
3 cups all-purpose flour
In no way do my springerle look like the pros, but they are as delicious. 
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 teaspoon salt

Optional: 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (not in the traditional cookies)

Extra flour to knead and roll the dough.


1) Cream together the butter, sugar and eggs.

2) Add the anise (and optional vanilla).

3) Dissolve the baking soda in the milk and add it. Next, combine the flour and salt into the mixture.

4) Form into a ball. Sprinkle with the extra flour to be able to touch and work with the dough. Turn out onto a flat surface and knead until elastic (about 5 minutes). Sprinkle with flour to keep the dough from sticking.

5) Using a rolling pin, roll flat about 1/2 inch thick.

6) With a springerle mold/cutter cut the cookies and press an image into the dough. (You will then get those beautiful cookies on top↑.)

Note: Unfortunately, I don't own real springerle molds, so I use a cookie cutter that has 3 reversible winter templates (i.e. stamps)↗ to press an image into the cookies. If I run across springerle molds, I'll buy them for next year. 

If you lack a mold or stamp, try curving an image (recessive, not a protruding design) into a raw potato half to press an image onto the cookies. Another option is to cut the dough into diamond shaped cookies without the traditional designs. (Some of the charm is lost, but they taste the same. Sprinkle powder sugar on top to dress up the diamonds.)

7) Lay the cookies on parchment paper or a silicone baking mat on a cookie sheet. Let the unbaked cookies sit and dry for 12 - 24 hours. This is necessary for the image to set and not bake away.

8) Pop the trays into a 250 degree F oven and bake for 30 - 40 minutes or until the dough becomes a cookie. The finished cookies should be white, not golden brown.

I think of a springerle as an adult Christmas cookie. Anise is a sophisticated flavor, and despite the cookie having enough sugar, it doesn't taste super sweet. I like the cookie's moist, soft texture and aromatic, anise spice. Plus, you get a big cookie!🎁

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Let's Plan A Wine Party
Maangchi's Homemade Kimchi
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Tomato Soup With A Grilled Cheese Sandwich

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