These little anise flavored gems say Christmas to me. My Grandma Wenger always had them. Often, when I would drop in to visit, her kitchen aid mixer would be beating away. It was loud and went for such a long time (1/2 hour). I had her teach me how to make them and I am so glad I did. I remember her standing next to her frig on the pull-out cutting board, rolling out and pressing the dough. She made it look so easy. There haven't been many Christmases since then that I haven't made them...or attempted to make them!
Well, after Christmas we had a springerle making party to show the next generation how to make them. It was fun!
First, beat 4 eggs separate bowls (whites to a stiff froth and yolks creamy), then beat together with 2 c sugar. Beat it for 1/2 hour or so.
Baker's amonia (hartshorn) is not at our local grocery store. I used to get it at the pharmacy, but now I get it at Hearthside (a local specialty store). Last Christmas this jar was full. They tell me it evaporates....I think they are right. Break it up and powder it, if it is clumpy (is that a word???) and add 1 t then beat it for another 10-15 minutes.
I switch out my beaters and then add the flour with this baby (instead of a spoon). I am just careful to not over-work the flour. And I always add more flour than it calls for...I use extra large eggs.
No picture of the finished dough (sorry), but when it is finished, chill it. I got the dough to this point, then put it into the frig for a couple of hours. When the girls got there, we started working.
First, pull out a small ball of dough, depending upon the size of your springerle cookie press. Knead in a bit of flour, as needed, so dough is not sticky.
Roll the dough 1/4" (or a bit more) thick. Flour the mold.
I will also lightly dust the top of the rolled out dough with flour.
Knock the excess dough off the mold and press into the dough.
Cut the cookies apart and place them on a cookie sheet. I usually put a piece of parchment paper on the sheet first.
The dough is not that yellow. It was dark by the time we made the cookies.
This must have been a fun part, cause there are lots of pics of the cutting.
Once all the cookies are cut, put the cookie sheets in a cool room and let the tops dry for about 24 hours. If I let them dry a shorter amount of time, I have trouble with them loosing their shape. You can check them, periodically. When you pick them up, look at the bottom. There should be a dry outer rim and a center square that is still moist (it will be a darker color). This becomes the 'foot' that raises when you bake them. And I always bake one cookie just to be sure I have the time and temp correct. You want the bottoms to be golden.
These are great fresh, but even better when they have been in a tin for a couple of weeks. They don't get quite as hard as a biscotti, but close.
There are some videos on youtube for making these, if you would like some extra help. I really like the one by House on the Hill.
Here is the recipe as I got it from my grandma. I would love to know if any of you have made these or try my recipe. Enjoy!
2 c sugar
10-12 drops anise oil
1 lb. flour (more)
4 eggs beaten separate (egg whites to a stiff froth and yolks in a separate bowl), then beat together with 2 c sugar. Beat ½ hour or so, then add 1 t baking ammonia which has been powdered, then beat again 10-15 minutes. Add about 10-12 drops anise oil. Add 1 lb. flour (stir in with spoon). Chill several hours. Roll out about ¼” thick on floured board. Press with springerle mold that has been dipped in flour. Cut. Put on cookie sheet and let sit overnight or up to 24 hours to dry. Bake in slow oven, 250-275 for 25-30 minutes.