I've always wanted to make springerles, so I turned to some German and Penn/Dutch cookbooks where I found some wonderful old recipes. I also went to my public library's website to search through their magazine and newspaper databases and hit gold there as well. Lastly I tried google web, google blog and google news and found a few things there. Now I was ready to try my hand at this old craft.
Here's my recipe:
5 large eggs at room temperature
1 lb. powdered sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
5 drops anise extract
2 teaspoons (leveled off with a knife, not heaping) baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups cake flour, sifted
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
Beat eggs on medium using the flat beater for 20 minutes or until light yellow. Slow down the mixer and add the powdered sugar. Mix until well incorporated, at least another 10 minutes. Scrape down sides, add lemon and beat another 2-4 minutes. Mix in anise extract. The batter should start to look lovely and glossy.
Sift flours, baking powder and salt. Add slowly to mixer, beating until you get a stiff dough. If the mixer is laboring, turn it off and add the flour by hand. Turn out onto a well floured countertop and knead until it's no longer sticky. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or at least 3 hours.
Prepare a baking sheet by placing a dollop of butter on each corner, center top and center bottom and placing the parchment paper, securing it with butter. Sprinkle anise seeds on the sheet.
Turn a piece of dough out on a floured board (re-cover the rest of the dough). If sticky, add a little flour and knead. With a rolling pin, roll out dough to a 1/4 inch thick or the thickness of your mold. Brush mold with flour or powdered sugar and press into the dough. Be careful to press from above, not sideways or your pattern will smear. Carefully lift the mold until the dough comes out, you might have to use a toothpick to start an edge or knock it gently on the counter. Clean out your mold occasionally to prevent bits sticking in the mold. A toothpick helps with this process. Cut out the cookies with a pizza cutter or knife. Reroll the scraps and make more cookies.
Place the cookies on the anise seeds about an inch apart. Let them dry overnight in a warm, well ventilated place out of harm's way.
Bake one springerle at 275 degrees F on the middle rack of an oven for 15-20 minutes. Check after 10 minutes because you do not want them to brown! They should rise on the bottom but keep the impression on the top. A lot of sites recommend baking one cookie, and if you like its condition, bake the rest. If it rises too much, loses its impression and looks like a pillow, lower the oven temp. Store for two to three weeks in a tin or your freezer, placing the cookies on waxed paper.
I’m also contributing this cookie recipe to the Virtual Cookie Jar for the 12 Days of Sharing, hosted by In Jennie’s Kitchen! Share Our Strength is an organization that is fighting to end childhood hunger. By sharing a favorite cookie recipe, you can all help raise awareness about childhood hunger and help to end childhood hunger by 2015. A small donation can go far. $25 can feed a child three healthy meals a day for a month (via Share Our Strength site).