I am often asked by those who have never seen or eaten a springerle, “What is a springerle cookie?.” So for the uninitiated, let me provide a basic decription. The traditional springerle is a dense, dry, cake-like anise flavored cookie with an embossed design printed on its top surface. It is very white on top and usually is slightly golden on its bottom surface. To maintain the beautiful design, the dough is a very stiff dough that is relatively low in fat and sugar and has a high proportion of egg, which is beaten for a long time to aid in a lighter texture. There is a lower amount of leavening than other cookies, so that the cookie does not burst through the top surface.
Modern alterations to the basic cookies have primarily been to the flavor, as anise is not as popular in the US as in Europe, and certainly is one of those “love it or hate it” tastes. Although anise is still my favorite( I grew up with these cookies, only in anise), I personally like the lemon and orange flavors very much, but why not try any flavor you like? The flavor is important, since the cookie is not very rich or sweet, so use good flavoring oils and be aware that they are much stronger than extracts or alcohol based flavorings.