Saturday, December 1, 2012

Springerle For Christmas

Most families have at least one special Christmas tradition, many that evolve through the years.  My own family had several, but the one that stands out most, and continues to this day, is the baking and mailing of the German Springerle Cookies.
This is a 2 day process and not conducive to today's working families and busy lifestyles.  Yet each year, magically, someone manages to pull this off to make the familiar happen for the whole family.  This year, the next generation stepped up!

Notes form Laura:
Some of the best recipes begin with the fewest ingredients. One of my favorites is a family tradition passed down many generations...German Springerle Cookies taught to me by my Gammy and Gampy. Last year my Auntie Susie entrusted this years' family batch to me. :)
They take about 10-12 hours to make and you have to order two ingredients online. I have already called Gammy & Gampy three times to make sure I am getting it right. Gampy told me that of anyone he has taught, I seemed to just 'get it' right away. That is saying a LOT, because I reserve baking for the grocery store! It must be in my genes.

Also, you will need a Springerle rollerThis is a Springerle roller. Basically you roll the dough between 1/4 inch guides...then you roll over it to get the 3D pictures onto the cookies. 

Once the long drying process is over...only one more hour till baking starts. Then I start all over tomorrow! Hartshorn (ammonia carbonate) is the leavening agent used in these cookies to keep the shape of the designs from the Springerle roller. It gives off a very strong odor during baking when it is released from the cookies. Combined with the strong anise oil, Springerle cookies have a very characteristic flavor.

"These traditional German cookies are in the Leonhardt DNA." ~ Lynn (Leonhardt) Laura's Mom

This video show's Ray Leonhardt and his daughter, Lynn making Springerle in 2008.

Springerle (Enhanced) from CherLea Productions on Vimeo.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A peron either loves or hates Springerly! But I have had kids who hate them grow up to love them. It just takes time!


Beat until very light – 6 eggs
Add slowly and continue beating for at least 10 minutes on high speed

3 cups sugar
Add 1 ½ teaspoons Amonium Carbonate
and ½ teaspoon Anise Oil and incorporate it thoroughly
Fold in by hand or with dough hooks:
6 cups flour until just blended

Dust breadboard with flour. Take a small amount of dough and roll about ¼ inch with a rolling pin.
Then roll with a carved roller or block with carved design. A good susbstitute is the bottom of a cut glass or small dish.
Finished rolled unbaked cookie should be about ¼ in. thick. Place on baking paper or a wooden board and let sit overnight or about 8 to 12 hours depending on the humidity in your area.
Bake at 300 to 325 for about 15 minutes or until lower crust is beginning to yellow. Cool thoroughly before packing in airtight cans or glass jars, layering the cookies with waxed paper or parchment. -- Gammy