This recipe comes from House on the Hill, Inc. in Elmhurst, IL.
Perfection Springerle Cookies
These whisked-egg holiday cookies date back to at least the 1600’s and are made in Bavaria, Switzerland and the Alsace area of France. For eating quality, ease and quality of prints this recipe is just perfection!
What you’ll need:
- 1/2 teaspoon baker’s ammonia (Hartshorn) or baking powder
- 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 of anise (if substituting fruit flavored oils, use 3 teaspoons)
- 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.
Method #1 – For most cookies…
Dough will be rolled approximately 1/4″ to 3/8″ thick, like pie crust (deeper molds need thicker dough). Brush confectioner’s sugar or flour on the mold image, then imprint with your press (mold), cut out shape with knife or pastry wheel, dry and bake. Remember to “press and cut, press and cut” so that adjacent images are not distorted.
Method #2 – For very deep or large cookies…
Roll out dough to desired thickness and, using a dry, clean pastry brush, apply flour or sugar and cut a piece of dough the approximate size needed for the mold. Press dough into the mold with fingers, working from center outward. You may lightly roll the back side of the cookie to smooth before turning out of the mold. Trim, dry and bake. To check your print, use light from the side – daylight or light from a floor lamp – so the shadows let you see if your prints are good.
Most printed cookies are dried 2-24 hours before baking (depending on your schedule, humidity, etc.) Drying preserves the image during baking.
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.