I finally decided to use my Springerle cookie mold I got from House on the Hill for my birthday this year. I first saw the mold on the Blackbird Designs site, in Alma's "Winter Update," and fell in love with it. So I decided I must have one for myself! I hope to collect many more of these (are you reading this, Mother??), bc I'd love a grouping of them on the wall.
Springerle cookies were a traditional Christmas cookie in Austria and Germany, and some historians believe that they got their name bc the cookie "springs up" when cooked. Others think that they were named so bc a popular design for them was a springing horse stamped on the top.
They're supposed to be made with anise - which I do have - but since I don't care for the flavor of black licorice (and anise smells EXACTLY like black licorice!), I used almond instead.
Here they are before they've been baked:
And here they are now!
Here is the recipe from House on the Hill:
Perfection Springerle Cookies
1/2 tsp. hartshorn (baker's ammonia)
2 T. milk
6 large eggs, room temperature
6 cups sifted powdered sugar (1 1/2 pounds)
1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened - not melted
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. oil of anise (I used 3 tsp. almond)
2-pound box of sifted cake flour, plus up to 2 1/2 c. more for kneading
1. Dissolve hartshorn in milk for 1 hours.
2. Beat eggs till thick and lemon colored, about 10 minutes.
3. Slowly beat in powdered sugar, then the softened butter, beating till creamy. Beat in the hartshorn and milk, salt, and flavoring oil.
4. Gradually beat in as much f the flour as you can with the mixer, then stir in the remainder of the flour to make a stiff dough. Turn the dough onto floured surface and knead in more flour till stiff enough to make a good print. Humidity and egg size wll affect the amount of flour needed.
5. On a surface well dusted with flour, roll out dough to about 1/3" thick. With a clean dry pastry brush, brush mold with cake flour and press into the dough. Cut out cookies with a knife. Place cookies on a kitchen towel, uncovered, to dry for 2-24 hours.
6. Bake on greased or baker's parchment-lined cookie sheets at 225 - 325 degrees till barely golden on the bottom, 10-25 minutes, depending on the size of your cookies.
7. Cool completely on racks and store in tins. They'll keep for months and improve with age. They can be baked in October or November for Christmas.
The yield will vary greatly, depending on the size athickness of your cookies.
Have a very Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow! I'm off to do some more baking!