I bake Springerle cookies twice a year, in winter for Christmas and in spring for Easter. “Springerle” are traditional German Christmas biscuits which were used as gifts just like these days we give each other greeting cards for the holidays. It was a matter of pride to have a unique dough mold unlike anyone else’s, so the “baked greeting card” would be very special. Cookies were baked, put in jars and kept for six months. After a few weeks they would become very hard, but tasty, and in order to soften them up you would have to dunk them into tea or coffee. This is why Springerle was also called “dunking cookies”. Special molds for these used to be carved from pear trees. I got only three different molds like this and I love and cherish them. Maybe next Christmas I will make one more addition to my Springerle family.
I have spent two days making these beauties with the help of my family. The reason this process takes so long is the need to dry cookies for 24 hours. But it is worth it, now we have seasonal gifts for our neighbors and friends. Cookies came out beautiful and sophisticated. Real treat for the spring holiday. Happy Easter to all my readers!
Springerle Cookies for Easter
- 1/2 teaspoon baker’s ammonia (Hartshorn), don't use baking powder, your design will puff up
- 2 Tbsp. milk
- 6 large eggs, room temperature
- 6 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened but not melted
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp lemon/orange/anise or vanilla extract
- 2 lb. all-purpose flour
- more flour as needed
Dissolve hartshorn in milk and set aside for about 30 minutes. Beat eggs till thick and lemon-colored (10-20 minutes). Slowly beat in the powdered sugar, then the softened butter.
Add the hartshorn and milk, salt, preferred flavoring, and grated rind of lemon or orange, if desired.
Gradually beat in as much flour as you can with the mixer, then stir in the remainder of the 2 lbs. of flour to make a stiff dough. Turn onto floured surface and knead in enough flour to make a good print without sticking.
Follow general directions from House on the Hill for imprinting and drying cookies.
Bake on greased or baker’s parchment-lined cookie sheets at 255° to 325° till barely golden on the bottom, 10-15 minutes or more, depending on the size of the cookie.
Store in airtight containers or in zipper bags in the freezer. They keep for months and improve with age. Yield 3 to 12 dozen (depending on the size of the cookie).
For this recipe, you need Springerle cooky molds, you can buy them here.