Sunday, December 30, 2007

Springlerles are Not Just For Christmas anymore

The years end has bought with it a bit more steam to our blog. Could this be an indication that we will post more often in 2008? Just before Christmas, Dieter remembered the Springerle cookie mold his mother had. It is a mold dating back to the 1800's and came from Germany with the German side of his family. Dieter's mom Elsie, told us her mother made the cookies and laid them out on a sheet covered ironing board to dry overnight before baking. We pulled out the antique ironing board and set out to duplicate the family tradition that until now had been set aside for more than half a century.

According to Wikipedia, Springerle is a type of cookie from Baden-Württemberg, Germany with an embossed design made by pressing a mold onto rolled dough and allowing the impression to dry before cooking. The cookies are traditionally white and anise-flavored. Molds are traditionally carved from wood, although plastic molds are also available. The name springerle means "little knights," and their origin can be traced back to the 14th century.

Above is a close up of the antique metal mold and the resulting cookie. We baked two versions of the cookie, one with anise oil and seed the other with only the seed. We sprinkled the mold with powdered sugar before pressing it into the dough as you can see in the image. The first recipe came from "Modern Baking" a trade magazine. Klaus Tenbergen, a master baker in Germany, South African and the United states gives this recipe:


2 Lbs baking flour
0.125 crushed aniseed (about two rounded tea spoons, up to one tablespoon if you want
a stronger aniseed flavor)
14 whole eggs
2 Lbs granulated sugar

We halved the recipe above. The combination of the two recipes yielded over 100 cookies.

Method: Sift flour three times, add the aniseed. Beat the eggs and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the flour to the egg mixture, a small amount at a time, blending after each addition. Mix until smooth after the lst addition. Roll the dough on a lightly floured board, press into the moulds, remove, and place the cookies on pans to dry overnight. Bake in a slow oven at 250 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.

The second recipe came from a blog called "A Geezer's Corner". It sounds like Springerles are a passion for this man. He adds butter, baking powder and lemon oil extract. We didn't have the lemon extract, but added i heaping tablespoon lemon zest instead. He has very strict directions "add the flavoring oils, and cream together for 10 to 15 minutes. yeah, that's what i said. if you don't, the cookies won't have the right consistency." We being law abiding citizens did just what he said.

In the end both cookies are delicious. You must be an anise lover or these cookies will be too strong for you.

According to ” Mr. Geezer"
House on the Hill is the best source for springerle moulds.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The High Art of Toasting/New Years Greetings

We like to wish all food enthusiasts a very happy new year and may your plate be filled with flavor. This painting came to my from my cousin Paul and his wife Else who live in Amsterdam. We thank them for adding a great year end image for our anthropomorphic gallery.