Last week I tried my hand at Springerle cookies, a Christmas cookie from the Alsace-Lorraine area of France, and into Germany and Switzerland. I’d seen pictures of them before but never made them, and after being tempted into purchasing one of the cookie molds at a Christmas market at Freiburg, it was time.
Now the complicated part for these cookies doesn’t come into the actual making of the dough. That part is rather easy! With five
Tips for Making Springerle Cookies:
Where can I buy springerle cookie molds?
You find them at Christmas Markets in Europe but can purchase them online here: www.springerle.com.
Why does the springerle dough rest for so long?
There are two important points when making these cookies when the dough has to rest. The first is after making the dough. I kept the dough in the mixing bowl, pressed plastic wrap on top, and then transferred it to the refrigerator to chill and set up. The recipe said “for a couple hours or overnight” and I’m here to tell you that a couple hours is very different than overnight in terms of working with the dough. After two hours, it was still too soft, making it sticky and more difficult to work with. It was much easier after resting overnight.
The second waiting point was after the cookie mold was pressed into the dough. The 12-24 hour rest on a countertop dries the outside of the cookie ensuring the delicate design will stay after they bake.
I hate Anise seed! Can I leave it out?
I hear you. It’s not my favorite either and this is the traditional flavoring! But isn’t that the huge bonus of making them yourself? You can flavor them however you like! There are two points you can add seasonings. The first is to the dough- add any extracts or spices that you like. Extract examples
Before you bake them, you can also sprinkle seasonings on the pan. When I made these, I dusted the pan with a fun Alsatian Winter Sugar that I have which is a blend of raw sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, anise, and vanilla. In another batch, I used vanilla sugar. You can sprinkle spices as well, like ground cinnamon.
Let your imagination run wild! The options are endless!
How do I get the perfect design on top?
Make sure you following the resting times. Then when you’re ready to press the cookie mold into the dough, liberally dust the surface, your rolling pin, the top of the dough, and the mold with cornstarch. Press in the mold with even pressure. It’ll take 1-2 tries, then you’ll get it!
How do I know when Springerle Cookies are done?
This is a HUGE tip! Bake the cookies in the bottom third of your oven! They’ll rise up on a foot but they won’t brown on top because of the low temperature. Respect the baking time, and then remove from the oven and test to see if they are done by peeling one of the cookies off. The bottom will be just slightly browned.
Do Springerle Cookies Taste Good?
Yes! The top is a little crunchy but the inside is chewy and delicious like a thick sugar cookie crossed with a macaron.
Why cornstarch? Why not flour?
Cornstarch doesn’t absorb as much moisture as flour so it will stay on the surface of the dough more so than flour. And it’s easier to brush off!
I’ve pressed the mold in, now what? Tips for cutting out the cookies.
The easiest is to use a cookie cutter that is the right size to trim the access dough from around the imprint. You can use a pasta cutter as well or a butter knife.
How do I make them into Christmas tree ornaments?
Just after cutting out the cookie, take the bottom of a pen (clean!) or a kebab skewer and press it into the dough to create a hole. After they’re baked and cool, thread a beautiful ribbon through the hole and there you go!
And here’s the recipe! With lots of details du coup! I hope you enjoy making these as families have for years and years, and wish you a Merry Christmas!
A beautiful cookie from the Alsace-Lorraine area in France, Germany, and Switzerland! With their intricate design, they make for a perfect gift around the holidays or to hang on a Christmas tree.
- 4 eggs
- 500 g (4 cups) powdered sugar (icing/confectioners)
- 1 pinch baking powder
- 1 tablespoon kirsch
- 500 g (4 cups) flour (cake, or all-purpose, non-rising, T45)
- anise seed or other flavoring (optional)
Beat the eggs with the whisk attachment until fluffy in an electric mixer. Slowly add in the powdered sugar and whip on medium speed for 10-15 minutes until the mixture resembles a buttercream. In the last 5 minutes, add the pinch of baking powder, and the kirsch.
Slowly add in the flour and flavoring of your choice. Then wrap well with plastic wrap touching the surface and chill several hours or overnight.
Roll out small pieces at a time on a cornstarch-dusted surface, and press the mold into the dough. Cut around the design, and lay on a cornstarch dusted surface to rest for 12-24 hours, avoiding a drafty or humid area.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 145C/290F. Place each cookie on a damp paper towel for about 30 seconds to moisten the bottom of the cookie and then transfer to a parchment lined tray (this can be sprinkled with a seasoning of choice).
Bake for 18-20 minutes. The cookie will rise on a little foot, and be just slightly brown on the bottom when done.
Keep in an airtight container at room temperature and enjoy!