These Springerle biscuits are probably the most beautiful in the world and although they may seem very difficult, they just need time and patience, and of course, some special molds that make them beautiful.
Springerle is a type of German biscuit which is left to dry before baking so that details of the mold are not lost when the cookies are baked. They are typical Christmas biscuits and with them we open our season of Christmas sweets and cakes.
Its origin goes back to at least the 14th century in the southwest of Germany (Swabia, Bavaria). The main ingredients of Springerle are eggs, white wheat flour and icing sugar. The more traditional flavor of these cookies is anise originally not be added to the cookie dough, if not used seeds of anise on the baking tray and placed over cookies taking a subtle aroma and flavor anise.
The other ingredient that characterizes these biscuits is the Hartshorn (ammonium carbonate or baker ammonia) which is used as a fermenting agent. Since the Hartshorn can be hard to find, many modern recipes use yeast, but cookies are much better when using the Hartshorn that also helps keep the design better when baking the biscuits. The process of resting-rising of the cookies make them double their volume during cooking and the details of the mold do not lose with heat.
The original molds were carved in pear wood hand and reflected images of everyday life and the Bible. Today, the moulds are made in resin with the same details as in your govern and retaining the theme of past centuries. They can be purchased at specialty stores and online confectionery stores.
The first time I made them I used the traditional recipe which carries anise (today anise essence is used in the dough), but it is not a flavor that I like it too much, so I decided to test different versions of flavors. This that I bring today is lemon and it is my favorite one. The only thing you have to keep in mind is that you'll have to do lots of biscuits because you you will run out of them in the twinkling of an eye!
- 3 eggs at room temperature
- 375 g of icing sugar
- 60 g butter at room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon Ammonium bicarbonaat or Ammonium bicarbonate which you can buy in shops. I use the Funcakes
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 500 g flour
- 3 teaspoons of lemon essence (the original recipe calls for anise oil, but I prefer the flavor of the lemon, so I made them with this essence if you prefer to use the essential oil of anise, the amount is 1/2 teaspoon)
1. dissolve the baking soda in the tablespoon of milk and reserve.
2 beat eggs for 15 minutes in mixer to maximum with rods until eggs are fluffy and have changed to a pale color. keep color very clear, this is necessary so that the cookies come out white.
3 Lower the power of the mixer to the lowest speed and gradually add sugar until it is well blended.
4. Then add the butter and beat until it is well mixed
5. incorporate the bicarbonate mixed with milk, salt and extract of lemon and beat on low speed until the dough is uniform. Stop the mixer and replace the rods with whisk attachment (which is like a K)
6 Sift the flour and add it to the lowest speed possible. The dough must NOT be eaten or tasted until the biscuits are baked since the Ammonium bicarbonate may be toxic if not baked.
7 Move the dough to table or countertop and start working it. It will be sticky at first, and we know it is in its perfect point when it does not stick to your hands. If necessary, add a little flour to work it better. I used large eggs and had to add two tablespoons of flour, but the amount depends on the size of the eggs and the humidity of the ambiance.
8 Sprinkle with flour the molds. It is easier to use a cooking brush to extend it. There shouldn't be too much because then the drawing of the mould would disappear. Extend the dough with a rolling pin and allow one centimetre of thickness approximately. Cut into pieces equal to the size of the mould. Mine is square and has four cavities. Place the dough on the baking piece and tighten so that the drawing is flagged without errors. Flat the surface with a pin but do not press too much since the cookies have to be thick. Remove from mould and cut them off. I like them round so I used a round cookie cutter of the same size as my cookie, but if you prefer you can cut them with a knife into squares.
9 Cover a baking tray with a sheet of baking paper. Place biscuits over and let stand for 12 to 24 hours, uncovered. I prefer to make the biscuits a day before then bake them the following afternoon so that they rest over 24 hours. This will make the pattern to stay still when baking and will also make the biscuit had in the outside and soft and tender in the inside.
10 Preheat oven to 150 degrees with the heat up and down. Bake 10 to 15 minutes depending on the size of the cookie. It is important not to over bake them so that they stay white because that is the beauty of these cookies.
11 Leave on a wire rack to cool completely before eating.
- Substitute lemon extract for your favorite extract or essence of anise, which is the original flavor of these cookies uses
- Store in a closed Tin or container with the vacuum fact that moisture keep away and they last longer.
- Wrap them in cellophane and you have a beautiful present to give away
- Difficulty: easy
- Preparation: 40 minutes plus resting time
- Guests: with these quantities out 45 cookies depending on the final thickness as you give and the size of the mould.