Springerle history dates back to the 15th Century in Southern Germany, the Alsace region of France and parts of Switzerland. These beautifully detailed cookies often depicted Biblical scenes and served as a teaching tool for the illiterate. The cookies were used to celebrate religious holidays and were sold at pilgrimage sites. Heart imprints announced a betrothal and flowers and animals signaled the seasons.
Original molds were made from clay and later were carved in wood. Many of these original molds are housed in museums or private collections. Today, these images are reproduced in resin, which make them more affordable and easy to care for. The reproductions still impart all the detail and charm of the originals. Springerle cookies are often referred to as the “Too Pretty to Eat” cookie.
Traditionally, Springerle have an anise flavoring. Anise seeds were scattered on the baking sheet and the imprinted cookies were set on top to absorb the flavor. But modern Springerle bakers have expanded their flavoring creativity to include lemon, orange, chocolate, and cappuccino to name a few.
These captivating molds have also caught the attention of crafters. The molds can create unique ornaments made from paper clay or a special card or gift tag fashioned from papercasting.
For complete instructions on baking, crafts, and mold selections, I recommend you visit houseonthehill.net.
Start whipping the eggs
Beat eggs until they are fluffy and lemon colored, about 20 minutes
Add in sugar
Add in the butter
Add flour to make a stiff dough
Turn on to floured board and knead in enough flour to print without sticking
Dust mold with confectioner’s sugar
Press mold into flour
A perfect print!
Cut out your cookie
Place cookies on tray and let them dry overnight before baking
Baked and ready to eat!
½ tsp. hartshorn or baking powder
2 Tbs. milk
6 large eggs
6 cups confectioner’s sugar
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. of anise or flavoring of choice
2 lb. box cake flour
Dissolve hartshorn in milk and set aside for 30-60 min.
Beat eggs until thick and lemon colored about 20 minutes.
Slowly beat in confectioner’s sugar, then the butter.
Add hartshorn, milk, salt and flavoring.
Gradually beat in flour, it will be very dense.
Turn onto a floured board and knead in enough flour so that you can imprint without the dough sticking to the mold.
Dust the mold with confectioner’s sugar before pressing into the dough. Lift off the mold and cut out cookie.
Place the cookies on a parchment lined cookie sheet and let them dry for 12-24 hours.
Bake at a temperature between 220-325 depending on size and depth of cookie. Cook between 10-16 minutes.
Do a test cookie first so you don’t ruin an entire batch. They will puff up when done and be slightly golden on the bottom.
After they have cooled you can paint them with gel food coloring or edible luster dust. Store in an airtight container.