OOPS!

by connie on September 25, 2013

I made a batch of  Springerle  last week and made a mistake I thought I would never make! I failed to add the harsthorn dissolved in milk that was sitting right there next to the mixer. Yikes! In more than 20 years of making these, I have never done that.

Just keep at it, mistakes are OK. (Just never do it again!)

Happy Baking!

Connie

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Tips for Using Rollling Pins

by connie on August 23, 2013

Using  patterned rolling pins to make Springerle cookies is the fastest and most efficient way to make them. Need 1000 cookies for the church bazaar? Your family members eat them by the dozen? You are the only one in your family that still bakes them, but everyone expects you to send them for the holidays? Then, a rolling pin might be for you.

There are two main problems that may be encountered when using the rolling pins: cookies that are slanted on the top surface and cookies that are alternately thick and thin. Firstly, most of us have a stronger arm and so you need to be aware of this fact, so think about applying even pressure on both sides of the rolling pin as you roll. If you roll without considering this, those of you who are right handed will naturally have cookies that are thinner on the right side. So practice and think even pressure as you roll. Secondly, once you start rolling the Springerle rolling pin over the dough, DON’T STOP, because if you do you will release pressure and that area will be thicker and when you resume rolling the pressure will be heavier. So, COMMITT and keep rolling until you run out of dough!

These tips require that you already roll out your Springerle dough to an even thickness and slightly wider than the width of your rolling pin. I also suggest that you roll the dough a little thicker than you would for a single press and don’t forget to consider the depth of the carving on your rolling pin. And remember , it will always be easier to roll on a table level than countertop level, allowing you to apply pressure using you shoulders as well as your arms.

Go forth and make many, many  Springerle!

Connie

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Cool It!

by connie on August 8, 2013

Don’t forget to cool down your cookie sheets before baking another tray of Springerle. All time and temperature suggestions are based on using room temperature cooking sheets when you place the tray into the oven. A small but simple tip that may be helpful.

Connie

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Which cookie sheets to use for Springerle

by connie on May 3, 2013

Oh those Springerle are persnickety! They even demand their own cookie sheets!
Yep…the cookie sheets you use for baking Springerle will have an impact on the success of you cookies. I have the best results with shiny aluminum pans. Dark colored pans will overbrown and overbake Springerle. Insulated cookie sheets, while an excellent choice for soft gooey or chewy cookies, also tend to overbrown the bottoms of Springerle cookies.
Now about the size of your cookie sheets…….Make sure you have cookie sheets that have at least 2 inches of space around the sides of the pan in your oven. When I moved and started using a new oven that was wider, but less deep, I did not have much space on the front and back edges of the cookie sheet and experienced some less than good results with cookie sizes that I had never had problems with before. As soon as I replaced the cookie sheets with narrower width cookie sheets, the problems were solved. It is important to remember that much of the success of baking these Springerle cookies is that it is all about controlled leavening. Thus, it makes sense that even circulation in your oven will yeild better results!

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Metric Thickness of Dough

by connie on April 14, 2013

In making springerle, rolling the dough thickly enough before imprinting with the cookie mold will make a big difference in the beauty of the print. A couple of people have asked the thickness in millimeters. For most cookie molds I suggest that the dough be rolled to about 0.50 inches which is 12.7 mm. If a cookie mold is very shallow, roll the dough slightly thinner and if it is a very deep mold, roll the dough slightly thicker. You will be applying additional pressure when you press the mold onto the dough and if it is not thick enough, you will not get the impression of the deeper parts of the carving.

Try it! Using a medium depth mold, roll a small amount of dough about 8mm thick and press your mold into the rolled dough, and then roll a small amount of dough about 13mm thick and compare the prints! Or just try it with play dough and see the difference

Connie

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You Can Still Make Springerle

by connie on December 21, 2012

You’ve been busy; I get it. You meant to have your Springerle neatly packed in silver tins on Thanksgiving weekend, but somehow it’s only 4 days until Christmas and you finally have some time this weekend to make them. If you want the traditional flavor  anise, as I do, you probably know that aging the cookies  will develop the anise flavor.

So here’s what you can do: add some extra anise oil and enjoy your springerle on Christmas Day. I know many of you are using different recipes than mine, so add about 20% more anise oil to your batch. So in a recipe calling for 1/2 teaspoon of anise oil, I would add a scant 1/8 teaspoon of extra oil since 1/8th teaspoon would be 25% of 1/2 teaspoon. Not good with math? Here is a chart with a few measurements and the additional amounts:

1 teaspoon             add scant 1/4 teaspoon

1/2 teaspoon         add scant 1/8 teaspoon

2 teaspoons           add scant  1/2 teaspoon

1 1/2 teaspoons     add scant 1/4 teaspoon and scant 1/8 teaspoon

Don’t change the fruit oil (lemon or orange) or nut oil measurements . They will be fine. In fact, I like to enjoy the lemon and orange Sringerle right away.

Enjoy the Holidays and a Very Merry Christmas to you!

Connie

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More Summer Springerle Tips

by connie on July 11, 2012

I discovered a few more tricks that are helping me cope with the challenges of summer Springerle baking, so I’ll share them here with all of you:

  • Make the dough, place it in a tightly sealed plastic bag and then refrigerate it overnight and up to 2 days before forming the cookies.
  • When you place the cookies on a surface to dry, give them plenty of spacing, at least 2 inches of air space around each cookie.
  • Let the cookies dry longer than 24 hours. Try 36 or 48 hours for larger cookies.
  • Dry the cookies on a cookie sheet lined with flour sack tea towels, which will absorb more moisture than parchment paper and then move the dried cookies to a cookie sheet for baking.

I hope these tips will help you!

Connie

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Egg-actly! Eggs do come in all sizes…

by connie on March 21, 2012

Clearly, all eggs are not created equal. Most baking recipes call for large eggs and in general , if a recipe does not give a size, you can assume that a large egg is what is used. But chickens do not manufacture eggs to exact sizes, so here are some notes about making springerle doughs and how egg sizes might  change your procedure.

In a large batch springerle recipe, as most springerle recipes are, eggs are an important and proportionally large amount ingredient. A large egg is aproximately 2 ounces in the shell and approximately 1.75 ounces without the shell. Therefore 6 large eggs out of the shell should weigh 10.5 ounces and in a liquid measuring cup will measure 1.32 cups ( between 1 1/4 and 1 1/3 cups.) If you use other size eggs, it would be a really good idea to weigh the shelled eggs. Do remember that each size egg has a range of weight within it falls, so if you have particularly big large eggs, they may weigh more than 10.5 ounces, or particularly small large eggs, they may weigh  less than 10.5 ounces. So, the very most accurate procedure for preparing the dough is to use 10.5 ounces.

Bakeries and professional bakers working with large batch recipes are in the habit of weighing all ingredients for baking. Home bakers, accustomed to working with small batches, are not routinely weighing ingredients.  Food scales are now readily available, usually digital, small and fairly inexpensive . If you are a perfectionist, a beginner or have a scientific bent, weighing the ingredients, especially in large batch recipes, will result in more predictable  results.

Remember that baking is both a science and an art!

Connie

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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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Yep – The Gingerbread recipe is Vegan

by connie on November 27, 2011

I have had several people point out that the recipe for the gingerbread cookies is vegan. I had not thought about it before posting the gingerbread recipe, so am grateful to those of you who noticed. I have a few people in my circle who will be getting this treat , some who are vegan and some who are not!

Bake and make a vegan happy!

Connie

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