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Springerle Cookies


Last Christmas I made these hard, licorice-flavored cookies for the first time and had such fun learning about the history of them. I hope you will enjoy them as well. You may browse "House on the Hill" Springerle molds HERE.

3 eggs, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup salted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon water
1/4 teaspoon anise oil--if using extract, you may want to increase this amount
2 teaspoons grated orange rind
3 3/4 cups sifted cake flour

In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs until thick and lemon-colored, about 15 minutes. Slowly beat in powdered sugar, then the softened butter. IN a small bowl, whisk together baking powder and water. Add to butter mixture along with anise oil and orange rind. Gradually beat in enough flour to make a stiff dough. (May reserve 1/2 cup of flour to use while kneading.) Turn onto floured surface and knead to make a good print without sticking. 

Roll dough 3/8" - 1/2" thick (deeper molds require a thicker dough). Brush powdered sugar on the mold image, then press mold onto dough, working from center outward. Trim cookie and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat for each cookie. (If you press multiple cookies at one time, you may distort the images, so it is best to do each one-at-a-time, and remember to brush molds with powdered sugar each time as well.)

Allow cookies to dry uncovered for 24 hours before baking. Drying preserves the images during baking. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 225-300 degrees. You may want to test your oven temperature on one cookie. The smaller the cookies, the lower the temperature. Cookies may "bubble" while baking. Check once or twice during the baking process and simply press them down. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until barely golden on the bottom. Allow to cool on wire racks and then store in tin containers. They will keep for months this way and improve with age. Makes 12-24 cookies, depending on size of molds. 

*It is said that in the past bakers would make these cookies after Thanksgiving to give as gifts at Christmas, insisting that the cookies are stored in tin containers for at least 2 weeks (1 month was preferred) before allowing anyone to eat them. You will find that the licorice flavor mellows with time as does the hardening "cracker" tops. 
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