Springerle Cookies

by on October 5, 2015 » Add the first comment.
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These are traditionally given as Christmas presents to friends and neighbors in Germany.

For the Cookies

1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons whole milk
6 large eggs, room temperature
6 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting and surface
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon anise extract
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
9 cups sifted cake flour, plus more for dusting and surface

For the Glaze (Optional)

Pure lemon extract
Luster or petal dust, for decorating

Directions

  1. Dissolve baking powder in milk in a small bowl.
  2. Whisk eggs with a mixer on high speed until very thick and pale, about 10 minutes.
  3. With machine running, slowly add sugar, beating until smooth and creamy.
  4. Add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating after each addition.
  5. Beat in milk mixture, salt, anise extract, and lemon zest until just combined.
  6. Reduce speed to medium-low.
  7. Add 6 cups flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  8. Remove bowl from mixer, and stir in remaining 3 cups flour, 1 cup at a time, until flour is incorporated and dough is stiff.
  9. Transfer dough to a floured surface, and knead until dough is smooth and not sticky, adding more flour if necessary.
  10. Divide dough into 4 pieces, and wrap in plastic wrap.
  11. Dust surface and Springerle mold with confectioners’ sugar.
  12. Roll out 1 disk of dough at a time to a 1/4- to 3/8-inch thickness (deeper molds will need thicker dough).
  13. Cut a piece of dough about the size of the mold.
  14. Press mold firmly into dough, flip over, and gently roll over dough with rolling pin.
  15. Flip over, and press onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  16. Using a knife, trim excess dough from sides of mold.
  17. Gently coax dough out of mold with fingertips and onto baking sheet.
  18. Repeat, spacing cookies 1 inch apart, and placing same-size cookies on same sheet.
  19. Let stand, uncovered, for 24 hours.
  20. Preheat oven to 220 degrees.
  21. Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until completely dry, about 1 hour. (They should not color; reduce oven temperature to 200 degrees if cookies start to color.)
  22. Let cookies cool on sheets on wire racks.
  23. Cookies will keep, unglazed and covered, for up to 2 to 3 weeks.
  24. Make the glaze:
  25. Mix lemon extract and a pinch of luster or petal dust in a small bowl, adding more dust as needed to get desired color. (You will need only a little dust; the mixture should remain runny).
  26. Using a very fine paintbrush, brush the tinted extract onto the flat portion of each cookie around the relief.
  27. Using a clean, damp paintbrush, remove smudges.
  28. Mix additional extract and luster or petal dust in 1/2 teaspoon increments as needed.

Cook’s Notes
Sources: Springerle molds: Snowman (M2129), $25, single acorn (M6212), and other designs, from House on the Hill, 877-278-4455, or houseonthehill.net. Petal and luster dust from baking-supply stores. Recipe from Martha Stewart’s Cookies (Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 2008).

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