Author Topic: Springerle  (Read 8578 times)

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Offline franksolich

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Springerle
« on: January 09, 2009, 02:56:02 PM »
Because of this drear, drear, drear weather, encapsulating the world in unceasing, ceaseless, unrelenting, relentless, snow and ice since December 3 of last year, I need to try something new.

Maybe making cookies might dispell the madness.

What I'm thinking of are cookies my late mother used to make, around Christmas time, but I have no idea their name.

They were white, square, and the harder they were, the better they were.

One rolled out the dough using a special rolling pin that had "pictures" indented in the wood, and then one cut the dough into squares, and baked them.

One also sprinkled some sort of small long seed on them.

I suspect they were Norwegian or Danish in derivation, but why my mother made them, I have no idea, there being no Norwegian or Danish blood in her veins.

I'd like to try to make those sometime tomorrow, Saturday, when I brave the snow and the ice to go to the grocery store in the big city to get exotic things not available at the grocery store in town.

Anybody know what these cookies are, and have a recipe?
« Last Edit: December 16, 2012, 08:05:27 AM by franksolich »

Offline jtyangel

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Re: Springerle
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2009, 03:06:35 PM »
They are Springerle, Frank. They are a German cookie and the spice you mentioned is anise. I'll see if I can dig up a recipe for you.  :-*

Offline franksolich

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Re: Springerle
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2009, 03:09:11 PM »
They are Springerle, Frank. They are a German cookie and the spice you mentioned is anise. I'll see if I can dig up a recipe for you.  :-*

If you can do that, madam, I shall make them tomorrow (Saturday) and report upon them.

On edit: I recall that the maternal ancestress made them using as her guide a recipe out of the old Betty Crocker cookbook, the old three-ring bindered one.  It was one of those few times she actually used a cookbook.

"Anise" sounds familiar, but I haven't "heard" that word in decades.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2009, 03:11:54 PM by franksolich »

Offline jtyangel

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Re: Springerle
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2009, 03:11:23 PM »
http://whatscookingamerica.net/Cookie/Springerle.htm

This one has a nice little history with it too.

The thing about a lot of cookies with Germanic origins is that they were meant to be stored for a long time thereby enhancing the spices in cookies like Pfefferneuse and giving the hard texture to cookies like Springerle.

Few more recipes:

http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/springerle-cookies

This one sounds closer to the recipe your mother used:

http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1810,158167-240196,00.html

Offline jtyangel

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Re: Springerle
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2009, 03:12:42 PM »
If you can do that, madam, I shall make them tomorrow (Saturday) and report upon them.

On edit: I recall that the maternal ancestress made them using as her guide a recipe out of the old Betty Crocker cookbook, the old three-ring bindered one.  It was one of those few times she actually used a cookbook.

"Anise" sounds familiar, but I haven't "heard" that word in decades.

I have that very cookbook, Frank. In fact, I can ask my mother for her 1969 edition that she got as a 1st anniversary gift from my dad since that will likely be much truer to the orginal...I shall return :-)

Offline franksolich

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Re: Springerle
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2009, 03:16:38 PM »
Okay, jtyangel, your first link, and the third link, look promising.

The second link, from Martha Stewart, looks too hard.

The memory's now been jogged, after all these years and a couple of decades.

I remember that after rolling out the dough and cutting out the squares, the late maternal ancestress then re-rolled out the scrap dough and cut out more squares, and so on, until there was no more dough.

And now I remember why they were so rarely made; I had forgotten all about the long times of refrigeration.

Offline jtyangel

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Re: Springerle
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2009, 03:21:08 PM »
Actually, my mother has another cookbook we both own, but I do have the Betty Crocker Cooky book which even includes orginal pics from the old version. The recipe is as follows:

Springerle

2 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 1/4 cups gold medal flour
anise seed

beat eggs and sugar together thoroughly. Measure flour by dipping method(ie measuring cup into flour bag, level off with a knife or spatula, but don't tap to settle it before) or by sifting. Stir in flour until dough is well blended and very stiff. Refrigerate the dough for 3 to 4 hr. Roll out dough about 1/8" thick on lightly floured board. Press well-floured springerle board or rolling pin down firmly on dough to emboss the designs. Cut out the little squares; let dry on lightly floured board sprinked with anise for at least 10 hr. at room temperature.
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Transfer to lightly greased baking sheet. Bake 12 to 15 min. Makes 4 to 5 doz. cookies.

Note: Do not use Gold medal self-rising flour in this recipe.


There you go, my friend. Right out of the Betty Crocker Cooky Book.

Offline franksolich

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Re: Springerle
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2009, 03:24:14 PM »
Uh oh.

I recall the maternal ancestress using baking powder too.

I see your most-recent one doesn't include baking powder.

What exactly is the purpose, the function, of the baking powder?

On edit: By the way, the Betty Crocker cookbook my mother used was post 1945, pre 1951, something like that.  It was already pretty old by the time I was around.


Offline franksolich

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Re: Springerle
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2009, 03:32:08 PM »
Okay, I've decided, jtyangel.

Tomorrow (Saturday) I'm going to try the one in your #6 post, despite the absence of baking powder.

I don't have one of those fancy embossed rolling pins--just a usual standard one--but I do have an "E.II.R" cookie cutter, sterling silver, and that should work.

Offline jtyangel

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Re: Springerle
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2009, 03:40:18 PM »
Baking powder is a leavening agent(rising agent).

I've looked at some other recipes and posts and it says the baking powder gives it the hard texture you mentioned.

Doing a conversion for the recipe with 2 1/2 cups of flour above, I would add 1 teaspoon of baking powder and a 1/4 teaspoon of salt and sift that with the flour to get the result you are looking for. Another idea is to buy the self-rising flour and it will already include the baking powder in it.

Offline jtyangel

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Re: Springerle
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2009, 03:42:37 PM »
Okay, I've decided, jtyangel.

Tomorrow (Saturday) I'm going to try the one in your #6 post, despite the absence of baking powder.

I don't have one of those fancy embossed rolling pins--just a usual standard one--but I do have an "E.II.R" cookie cutter, sterling silver, and that should work.

That cookie cutter almost sounds like the kind used on shortbread. My mother used to have the wooden, rounded thistle stamping type thing for her shortbread.

Offline franksolich

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Re: Springerle
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2009, 03:43:58 PM »
Thanks, jtyangel, you're a true gentlewoman and scholar.

Now, I have to wait until tomorrow (Saturday) to get the anise seed and the baking powder--sorry, but I wouldn't feel right about not using baking power--and start getting these together.

Because of the hours of refrigeration required, of course it'll be sometime Sunday morning before the finished product is pulled out of the oven.

I'll give a "real time" narrative of the creation as it occurs, beginning Saturday morning--my Saturdays are usually interrupted in mid-day, thus the time gap.


Offline jtyangel

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Re: Springerle
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2009, 03:46:14 PM »
Thanks, jtyangel, you're a true gentlewoman and scholar.

Now, I have to wait until tomorrow (Saturday) to get the anise seed and the baking powder--sorry, but I wouldn't feel right about not using baking power--and start getting these together.

Because of the hours of refrigeration required, of course it'll be sometime Sunday morning before the finished product is pulled out of the oven.

I'll give a "real time" narrative of the creation as it occurs, beginning Saturday morning--my Saturdays are usually interrupted in mid-day, thus the time gap.



Very good, frank! I look forward to the results and hope I have guided you appropriately. Enjoy!

Offline franksolich

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Re: Springerle
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2009, 03:50:19 PM »
Ooops, damn it, the neighbor's wife is here, and just told me the grocery store in town has anise seed and baking powder; I thought I'd have to go to the big city for those exotic ingredients.

So as soon as I get done changing the cat-litter box, I'm headed for town (eight miles) to get the stuff.

It looks as if I can start tonight, instead of tomorrow.

But remember, that 10 hours of refrigeration, so it won't be until tomorrow that they can be baked.

We'll see how this goes.

Offline rich_t

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Re: Springerle
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2009, 04:02:56 PM »
Ooops, damn it, the neighbor's wife is here, and just told me the grocery store in town has anise seed and baking powder; I thought I'd have to go to the big city for those exotic ingredients.

So as soon as I get done changing the cat-litter box, I'm headed for town (eight miles) to get the stuff.

It looks as if I can start tonight, instead of tomorrow.

But remember, that 10 hours of refrigeration, so it won't be until tomorrow that they can be baked.

We'll see how this goes.

They sound tasty Frank, let us know how they turn out.
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Offline franksolich

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Re: Springerle
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2009, 04:42:32 PM »
Okay, here it is, circa 4:30 p.m. central time, 3:30 p.m. mountain time.

I got everything, and followed the instructions as given by jtyangel here, on #6.

Excepting the mixing bowl was rather big, and looked pretty empty with those dosages, so I tripled everything listed in the ingredients.

The dough mixed really good, really consistently; I did it by hand and wooden spoon.

It's uniformly consistent, and looks about as good as cookie dough can look.

Because this is quite a bit, I'm going to refrigerate it for circa 5 hours, maybe 6 hours, and then before hitting the sack tonight, I'll roll it out, and cookie-cutter all those "E.II.R"s (since I don't have an embossed rolling pin).

And then overnight, per instructions, I'll sprinkle the anise seeds on them and let them all dry out for about 10 hours.  There's cats here, of course, and so they'll be drying out on lightly greased-and-floured glassware cookie sheets in empty cupboards with the doors shut.

Now, because this requires use of a natural gas stove, in the morning, I'll have to kick all the cats outdoors, so as to be out of danger.  Since it's only about 15 minutes or so, no matter the weather outdoors, I'm confident the cats can take it.

Offline jtyangel

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Re: Springerle
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2009, 07:47:56 PM »
Very good. I too thought the ingredients were a bit..skimpy. Glad you made a larger batch. I've heard that Anise sometimes doesn't fly with many people. There are people who have modified springerle recipes with lemon, almond extract, etc to appeal to wider tastes. I must admit some of the ones I have seen are just beautiful.

Offline franksolich

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Re: Springerle
« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2009, 09:13:49 PM »
Okay, about 9:00 p.m. central time, 8:00 p.m. mountain time, I took the dough out of the refrigerator and rolled it out.  The dough looks fine, but it's rather awkward trying to work it without dumping lots of flour on it (which I didn't).

I managed to make 62 cookies out of half of the dough--I might have rolled it too thin--the idea being to keep the other half until we see how this first half comes out.

Now they're sitting to dry out, behind the closed doors of a cupboard, to keep the cats out of it.  They're on glass cookie-sheets, greased and floured.

I think they look pretty neat, with this "E.II.R" stuff on them.

I put varying amounts of anise seed on them, from moderately-heavily-sprinkled to heavily-sprinkled.

In the morning, when I get up, I resume the instructions, which involve actually baking them.

That's the progress report thus far.

Man, this is a lot of work.

Offline DixieBelle

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Re: Springerle
« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2009, 09:37:25 PM »
Will you be serving tea with the Queen's cookies? They sound yummy!
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Offline franksolich

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Re: Springerle
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2009, 09:41:22 PM »
Will you be serving tea with the Queen's cookies?

After all this work, I doubt I'll have any energy to make tea too.

This proves the old adage that it's just simpler, easier, and cheaper to buy the things.

The only problem here being, I've never seen these sorts of cookies offered for sale at grocery stores.  And then at area bake-sales, they're always sort of soft, damned near squishy, as if made for infants or something..

I prefer them rock-hard, like the maternal ancestress made them.

Offline debk

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Re: Springerle
« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2009, 12:26:25 AM »
I think Pepperidge Farm makes a type of Springerle cookie....only they call them "chess" cookies or something similar...they have a chess piece on them.
Just hand over the chocolate...back away slowly...far away....and you won't get hurt....

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Offline franksolich

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Re: Springerle
« Reply #21 on: January 10, 2009, 07:56:34 AM »
Okay, here it is, almost 8:00 a.m. central time, 7:00 a.m. mountain time.

I put all the cats outdoors before I turned on the oven per the specifications of jtyangel's comment #6. 

A phobia about gas stoves is one of three phobias that I have, all of which I consider reasonable phobias.  If I'm going to go, well, I'm going to go, but the cats shouldn't have to go with me.

The house is already filling up with the aroma of anise seed--this is a large house, and drafty, but surely no one could object to the odor of anise seed.

Offline franksolich

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Re: Springerle
« Reply #22 on: January 10, 2009, 08:02:20 AM »
Okay, I just shut off the oven and let the cats come back indoors; the cats were happy, because it's bitterly cold outside.

It appears to have taken circa 20 minutes for the cookies to bake to the preferred hardness, rather than the 12-15 minutes specified in the recipe; I'm wondering if high altitude (1500 feet above sea level) or that I used glass cookie sheets is a factor here.

Offline franksolich

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Re: Springerle
« Reply #23 on: January 10, 2009, 08:23:35 AM »
The cookies appear to have puffed up the right proportion, being about three times thicker than they were when inserted into the oven.

I don't think however I'll use the "E.II.R" cookie-cutter again, though; the pattern gets really distorted, and I mean no disrespect to H.M. the Queen.

I still have half the dough--remember I had tripled all the ingredients as specified in comment #6--and I think I'll just keep that refrigerated for another day or so, while I decide what to do other than cookie-cutter it (the "E.II.R" cookie-cutter is the only such kitchen implement I have).  Maybe I'll just roll it out and cut it into squares, no design embossed on them, or maybe I'll wait until early next week and look for one of those special rolling-pins in a second-hand store.  No point in purchasing a brand-new one, because I don't plan to make this a regular habit.

The cookies haven't had a chance to get cold and dry yet; I've tried some.

While still warm and solidly soft, they taste sort of how I remember them.....but only "sort of," because they're rather sweet.  I wonder if perhaps I should use less sugar next time.  That appears to be the only thing wrong here.

The wife of the neighbor is dropping by this afternoon, and I'll have her sample them, to tell me if they're the way they're supposed to be.  I think they're somewhat more than a bit too sweet, but she knows culinary better than I do.

The wife of the neighbor gave me grief yesterday (Friday), for thinking I had to go to the big city for baking powder, but actually I had no idea that one could get it at the grocery store in town.  Baking powder of course used to be a big kitchen item, when people did scratch-cooking more often than they do now, but in all honesty, I don't think I've laid my eyes upon a canister of baking powder since I've been an adult.

You know, this making food from scratch can be pretty long and arduous; recall, please, that I started all of this 16 hours ago.

Offline debk

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Re: Springerle
« Reply #24 on: January 10, 2009, 11:44:15 AM »
Frank....I use baking powder in my bread doughs. I also use it making potato pancakes.
Just hand over the chocolate...back away slowly...far away....and you won't get hurt....

Save the Earth... it's the only planet with chocolate.

"My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far I've finished two bags of M&M's and a chocolate cake. I feel better already." – Dave Barry

A balanced diet is chocolate in both hands.