½ tsp bakers ammonia (hartshorn) or baking powder
2 T milk
6 large eggs, room temperature
6 cups confectioners’ sugar
½ cup unsalted butter, softened but not melted
½ tsp salt
½ tsp oil of anise
(grated rind of orange or lemon – optional)
1 (2 pound) box sifted cake flour (Swans Down or Pillsbury Softasilk)
More flour as needed
1. Dissolve baker’s ammonia in milk, and set aside for 30-60 minutes
2. Beat eggs until thick and lemon-colored – about 10-20 minutes
3. Slowly beat in the confectioners’ sugar, then the softened butter. Add the baker’s ammonia ad the milk, salt, oil of anise 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.
4. Turn out onto floured surface, and knead in enough flour to make a good print without sticking. Roll the dough approximately 3/8 – ½ inch thick. Deeper molds need thicker dough.
5. Brush confectioners’ sugar or flour on the mold image, then imprint dough with your mold, cut out shape with knife, pastry wheel or shaped cutter, and dry. If you press a cookie adjacent to another cookie, you make distort the first image, so remember to “press and cut, press and cut” ad you go along. Most printed cookies are dried in 2-24 hours before baking.
6. Bake on greased or baker’s parchment lined cookie sheets at 225-325* until barely golden on the bottom, 10-15 minutes or more, depending on the size of the cookie.
7. Store in airtight tin container – cookies keep for months and improve with age.
** House on the Hill suggests baking a test cookie of each design before baking a batch. In general smaller cookies like the lower temperature, bigger cookies the higher temperature.
Fyi: Springerle cookies date back hundreds of years but many bakers still treasure the confections age old tradition and embossed designs. Besides a good recipe the key to these delightfully detailed cake like treats is a deeply carved mold or rolling pin.
Originated in areas of France, Bavaria, and Switzerland