From the category archives:

General

Most Common Springerle Boo-Boos

by connie on December 5, 2011

Thought some “newbys” to springerle baking might need a quick rundown of the most common mistakes:

  • Not letting the cookies dry long enough resulting in less distinct impressions. The cookies will taste fine, but will not be as pretty.
  • Rolling the dough too thickly, resulting in a cookie that rises too much and overpuffs the imprinted design.
  • Rolling the dough too thinly, resulting in a springerle that is very hard.
  • Overbaking the cookies until they are rocks

It’s true that molded cookies are by no means the easiest cookies to make, but if you read every entry in this blog, many of your questions will be answered. I do find that just when I think I have answered every possible concern, another question pops up, so I’ll just keep at it. I almost always learn something new every day and that is a good thing!

And remember….it’s only a cookie!  Your cookie baking should be fun! It will take a few batches to perfect your skill.

Connie

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Want to make molded gingerbread in your springerle molds?

by connie on October 22, 2011

Here’s a recipe that I developed this summer; it will make beautiful and tasty gingerbread. Be sure to choose a deeply and boldly carved design, one without really  fine details.  You’ll make the non springerle lovers very happy!

Happy Baking!

Connie

Gingerbread cookies using M4060 Swiss Sextet

Molded Gingerbread Cookies

Put into large mixing bowl and whisk together:

  • 3  cups plus 2 tablespoons unbleached flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Measure into a large measuring cup and mix thoroughly:

  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup molasses
  • ½ cup dark corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons water

Now combine the flour mixture and the liquid mixture together either by hand or in a heavy standard mixer using the flat blade (not the whisk).  Mix until the dough holds together, adding 1 or 2 tablespoons of water only if necessary to bind the dough. Knead the dough into a solid mass and place into a tightly sealed zipper bag.  Let the dough rest for 1 hour or refrigerate overnight.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough with a plain rolling pin about ½ to 5/8 inch thick, depending on the depth of your cookie mold.  Using a pastry brush, flour the surface of your cookie mold. Press firmly onto the flat surface of the dough and then lift the mold straight up. Reflour the mold for every pressing.

Cut and place the cookies on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Let cookies dry for 8 – 12 hours.

Bake at 300 degrees for 12 minutes. Large cookies will need 14-15 minutes.

You can also use all molasses, but you will need to add an additional 6 Tablespoons of flour.

This recipe is easy to double.

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Spread the tradition!

by connie on October 16, 2011

I just returned from teaching a Springerle class at the Birmingham Bake and Cook Co. in Birmingham, AL. What a great group of enthusiastic cookie bakers we had! Thanks to the proprietor, Susan Green, for welcoming me to her shop for the class.

I am always so happy to share the tradition!

Connie

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Recipe!!! It’s long overdue!

by connie on January 20, 2011

 

It’s hard to believe that I have not yet shared Nini’s recipe on this blog! I have tried many others and tasted even more, but this is still my favorite.  I very much know that the “favorite” label has a lot to do with my family tradition and the recipe’s familiarity, but I will also tell you that many people who have said they don’t like springerle have tasted my recipe and are converts.

If you have not tried it, here is my recipe for your enjoyment! Reread my entry on hartshorn….I personally would never make this recipe with anything but hartshorn. The cookie is much harder when made with baking powder!

 

 

NINI’S PERFECTION SPRINGERLE COOKIES

 1/2 teaspoon baker’s ammonia (hartshorn) or baking powder

2 Tablespoons milk

6 large eggs, room temperature

6 cups confectioner’s sugar (1-1/2#)

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened but not melted

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon oil of anise, lemon or any other flavor

2 lb. box sifted cake flour (swansdown or Softasilk)

Grated rind of orange or lemon, optional (enhances flavor of the traditional anise or citrus flavors)

More cake flour as needed

Springerle Recipe Directions

Dissolve hartshorn in milk and set aside.  Beat eggs till thick and lemon-colored (15-20 minutes).  Slowly beat in the confectioner’s 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 a 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.  Bake on greased or baker’s parchment-lined cookie sheets at 225 degrees to 325 degrees*** till barely golden on the bottom, 10-15 minutes or more, depending on size of cookie.  Cool completely before storing in airtight tin containers.  They keep for months, and improve with age.  Yield 3 to 12 dozen, depending on size.

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Yes, it’s time!

by connie on November 15, 2010

You need to think about making those springerle for the holidays ! The year has slipped away and here in the Chicago area we have had our first frost, and the air is dry too! This is the scary thing…..Christmas is only 40 days away.

Get thee to the kitchen and bake!

Connie

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Springerle mold care

by connie on October 21, 2010

You should treat all of your cookie molds with the care you would apply to wood-handled knives or your wooden salad bowls.

If you are fortunate to own an original hand carved wooden mold, after forming your springerle,  you should brush it gently with a soft bristled brush to remove flour and dough. If necessary, scrub gently with the same brush and mild soapy water.  Rinse briefly, pat dry with a terry towel and let dry thoroughly before storing. Never soak the mold in water! You may want to occasionally  condition the the wood press with an oil designed for cutting boards or wooden salad bowls to keep the wood from drying out.

For resin and wood composite replica cookie presses, the cleaning care is the same. You should not apply a conditioning oil to resin cookie molds.

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RADIO INTERVIEW

by connie on September 13, 2010

It was my great pleasure to be a guest on “Heirloom Meals” hosted by Carole Murko on Berkshire Radio.  For those of us with honored food traditions, “Heirloom Meals” offers programs sharing treasured food memories and recipes. Carole has a vision and enthusiasm for her subject matter that will entertain you and steer you down memory lane.

Thank you, Carole, for ther opportunity to be a part of  of this project!

To listen to my interview and other heirloom meals topics, use this link. There is a very long musical intro because of some technical difficulties, so keep listening to hear our conversation!    

Connie

http://heirloommeals.blogspot.com/2010/09/we-are-live-at-heirloom-meals-radio.html

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Rain, Rain go Away

by connie on August 4, 2010

Here in Chicagoland, it has been a very wet summer. Wanting to bake springerle for a photo shoot and I just cannot get a break from rain and or humidity.  If you are experiencing the same thing, I feel for you. Might have to invest in that dehydrator.

Connie

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Unconditional Love

by connie on June 24, 2010

The phone rang at 6 am on Monday, June 9; I had been expecting the call. My grandmother, Nini, had died at 4 am at the age of 94. Those of you who know me, or have some familiarity with House on the Hill, will know that the Springerle recipe I share is called “Nini’s Perfection Springerle”. And, yes, this is the same Nini, short for Venita Patterson, who shared her holiday baking traditions with me.  When she stopped baking Springerle and I took over for my family, none of us had any idea that her baking influence would have such an impact on my life and its direction. She was so proud of me and so delighted that I was sharing her recipe. 

What you don’t know is that Nini was the most loving and caring grandmother to me. To appreciate her care, you must understand that she was my step-grandmother; in explanation she was married briefly to my grandfather and became the primary parent of my father and his brother. She continued her care of the two brothers after her divorce from my grandfather and was my father’s major mother figure always. And so she chose us, my father, then his wife, my mother, and then me and my two brothers. I had no concept of this as a child, but only thought of her as my grandmother. Not until many years later did I ponder and wonder at the gift of being chosen. There was no legal obligation, no moral imperative, nor social accountability requiring her to continue to nurture and cherish us.  And yet she did. She loved us and we loved her in return. 

My passion for Springerle was born out of the affection I have for Nini. How could I not love a cookie shared by a doting and favorite grandmother? Her heart was so much bigger than her 4 foot 10 inch body and I received so much more from her than a cookie legacy.  

How fortunate and wondrous it is to be the beneficiary of unconditional love. 

Rest in Peace, Nini. 

With grateful love,

Connie

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How would you Describe a Springerle?

by connie on February 16, 2010

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.

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