Monday, October 3, 2011

Springerle cookies by the years

Springerle is old fashioned cookie from Germany and Swiss. It took me few attempts to really understand the nature of springerle: Either you need grandmother to bake springerle or need much practise to find little secrets of it.

My grandmother baked cakes and such, but didnt never try springerle. Finland does not have common history with cookie molds, like other countries at Europe does. Therefore it is common to hear people saying "I baked springerle with my mom or grandmother every christmas..."
Springerle is rather easy cookie to make after you get good understanding what is about. By far I am not springerle professional, but I do have few thoughts to share about it. 

Springerle in egg shell

  • Good, strongly whisked eggs are the 'soul' of springerle, it will give magical boost during baking without any leavening agent

  • Gentle treat of dough, like you would shake hands with butterfly, too roughly handled springerle dough cracks or raises unevenly
  • Correct humidity of springerle during baking, usually springerle is allowed to dry out at room temperature, but using too much flours might make it too dry too, or too wet springerle remains sticky
Springerle components

Basic springerle

For simple springerle you only need eggs, powder sugar, flour and anis seeds. Period. I strongly suggest measuring all ingridients with kitchen scale, because eggs might be bigger or smaller. 

How to bake springerle (Photos too!) 

Optional ingredients

Any other ingridient in springerle dough are optional, such as fat (butter or margarine), leavening agent (hartshorn or baking powder) or flavor and color. Sometimes there are few tablespoons milk in dough recipe, but I suppose it is for diluting hartshorn. Use of fat will help with issue about dough getting cracks like old marmor statue. Leavening agent part I tried few times, but I really cant notice that big difference with or without. 

Perfection Springerle Cookies by House on The Hill 

Other taste than anis?

Springerle can be pretty sweet as it has much sugar in it, and anis can be unpleasant choice for some. Pretty much goes aslong it wont effect that much balance between eggs and flours. I once tried adding dried strawberry crushed to dust, but it changed this balance. Taste was like strawberry yogurt, but springerle remained too wet after baking. Lemon and especially peels of citrus fruits works great because the oils they contain. Oh and of course little drops of brandy will give extra taste too.

Decorated springerle 

If you have artistic talents, unleash your springerle Michelangelo with little amount of baking alcohol, powder food dye and artist brushes. Springerle is perfect cookie for this kind of painting, because surface will take moisture in and dry fast. I always enjoy both, au naturel beutiful as snowwhite crown jewls as I do enjoy more vivid version with paint.

Lemon peel flavor and color.