When do you make your springerle?

by connie on September 25, 2008

This entry was prompted by the comment from Terri. Thanks, Terri, for bringing up this important question. Historically, Springerle cookies would not have been made until after the first hard freeze. Why? Simply because a hard freeze zaps the humidity out of the air and the cookies will keep better when the air temperature is cooler.There is certainly more leeway with this guideline now that most of us have air conditioning. The drier, cooler air facilitates the formation of the a thin crust on the top surface of the cookie which is what “sets” the embossed pattern on the top surface of the cookie. I make springerle cookies all year, but always try to avoid a rainy or very humid day, even with central air conditioning as a constant factor. If you must make them during more humid conditions, you should allow additional drying time, perhaps an 12-18 hours more.  Sometimes, in a really humid climate such as Florida in summer,  I might suggest that you turn your temperature gauge all the way down to 60 degrees F when you make the cookies.

Now, then about storage…..tightly sealed tins in a cool dry environment will allow you to keep the cookies for months. The cookies must be baked so that no doughiness remains after baking! You must make sure the cookies are completely cool before you pack them in layers with wax paper in between the layers. You want NO steam in the closed tin which may cause the cookies to mold. The cookies will “mellow” in storage and become drier. The “mellowing” is particularly important when you flavor the cookies by using only anise seed on the bottom surface of the cookie, but also a good idea for cookies flavored with anise oil. I think it is less important with the non-traditional flavors such as lemon and orange. Family tradition may dictate the dryness of the cookie that you prefer, which can vary the time that you might wish to mellow your cookies. Most people, by tradition, make their springerle around Thanksgiving time, allowing approximately 4 weeks of mellowing/drying time. For anise flavor, I would allow at least 2 weeks before serving, but I also like them as soon as they have cooled. The flavor will intensify with time, so if you need to serve them sooner, you may want to slightly increase your flavoring oil amount. In high humidity, the springerle may mold and you may consider freezing them in sealed zip bags.

It’s a great advantage to have a cookie that can be made well in advance of other baking demands. So take into account your particular weather, the date you need the springerle, your personal preferences and your available storage.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rebecca Miller 10.15.08 at 2:24 pm

Hi Connie,

Congratulations on the birth of your second grandbaby how exciting! My two daughters have just had beautiful weddings one year apart this past June. Now I wait until it’s my turn to enjoy a grandbaby or two, for now I’ll just bake springerle’s!
I just got off the phone with my mother and she asked me, “do we have enough ammonium carbonate”? She is ready to start baking! She introduced me to this wonderful cookie many years ago when her Aunt Sis taught her to make them. My mother, Sally, has been making Springerle’s over 50 years and in her heyday she is 84 now has been known to make over 90 dozen in one season. We don’t make that many now but still enjoy making memories while making Springerles! Hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season! Rebecca Miller, Loveland, OH

2 Connie 10.20.08 at 9:38 am

Rebecca, what a pleasure to hear from you! I’ve thought of you often since meeting you in Loveland. Wishing you a happy holiday season too! Best regards, Connie

3 Lily 11.12.08 at 11:51 am

Hey everyone! I am new here and have a couple of questions. How far in advance should I start making the Springerle cookies? Also, what are the benefits of using the bakers ammonia as opposed to baking powder? I’m a little uneasy about using the ammonia stuff. Thanks for the help!

4 Lily 11.12.08 at 11:52 am

oops, I meant how far in advance for Christmas?

5 Connie 11.13.08 at 10:07 pm

Lily, you can start making them right now! Mellowing Springerle 4 to 6 weeks in advance of serving them is the usual timing. As I mentioned above, many people like to make them Thanksgiving weekend. Thanksgiving is rather late this year, so start baking and store them in tins.

6 Bonnie Lewis 11.14.08 at 9:44 am

Tins are very hard to come by. Would zip-lock bags + plastic storage containers work? Also if made now would you place a slice of apple in with them to them from getting too hard?

7 Bonnie Lewis 11.14.08 at 9:46 am

oops could you use anise extract?

8 Francie 11.14.08 at 9:55 pm

why do my cookies puff out on the sides. the tops are nice and firm and the imprint is nice, but they look like the sides exploded.

9 connie 11.16.08 at 6:27 pm

Bonnie – Zip lock bags are okay, but tins are far better. There is just the right amount of air exchange in the tins. It would be worth investing in tins as they can be reused over and over again. To soften the cookies, you can put a slice of apple on a firm piece of bread a day before serving them. If you put the apple in now, your cookies may mold.

Bonnie – Yes, you can use anise extract, but it is not nearly as strong and is alcohol based. You will need to use a lot more.

Francie – They probably have a higher moisture content and it is likely that you are using baking powder rather than Hartshorn. I’ll need to review your recipe in order to better answer your question. Please email me at info@houseonthehill.net.

10 Mary Eicher 12.28.08 at 9:45 pm

Where can I find a springerie wooden rolling pin in the Dallas-FtWorth area? Please help me mine was lost in a move. We love the springerie cookie. We had German parents and that was a must at the Chirstmas season. Thanks for any help you can give to me

11 Kathleen 08.07.09 at 7:34 am

I would like to use a gingerbread recipe for the Springerle Cookie molds–will it work? Should I add anything to my recipe to help the cookie while it sits? Thanks!

12 Joyce Klokkenga 12.12.09 at 5:34 pm

I’m having trouble with my sides exploding also. I do use 2 T. baking power and I wonder about the hartshorn instead. I’m needing help

13 Sue 12.22.09 at 12:53 pm

What is the best way to clean the springerle roller and the deep molds which I purchased from House on the Hill?

Thanks.

Sue

14 connie 02.15.10 at 12:49 pm

Joyce, This seems like a LOT of baking powder, but how large is your recipe? Specifically, how many cups of flour? One advantage of hartshorn is that it reacts (i.e. rises) to heat, whereas other leavenings react to liquid or acid AND heat.

15 Sharon 11.16.13 at 2:56 am

Can you freeze springele cookies after they have been baked, and if so what is the best way to do it?

16 connie 11.20.13 at 11:37 am

Because the cookies keep so well in tins, and in fact are generally made 4 weeks in advance of eating to age, my preferred storage method is in a tightly sealed tin in a cool dry place. The traditional flavor of anise actually develops and mellows over time. They will keep for months, but will get drier and harder over time. Many people prefer them this way. You can freeze them in sealed plastic containers with wax paper between the layers of cookies, but the texture of the cookie will be denser after freezing. One of the advantages of this cookie is that you can get them done early and move on the other cookies later that are best fresher!

Happy Baking!
Connie

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