Day 3: Springerle
Posted by loavesandstitches
Today’s bake is a traditional cookie that hails from Europe, specifically Switzerland and Germany. These first caught my eye years ago because they are beautifully stamped with intricate pictures. There are all kinds of different stamps that you can buy to create these beautiful cookies and there are even rolling pins that make it easier to create lots of stamped cookies at once. Most of these are very expensive, though, and I have been reluctant to try them because of that.
However, last week, while on a day trip to visit the King Arthur Flour flagship store, I found these cool cookie stamps that I thought would also work for Springerle.
So, I did a little recipe research and took off running. The dough was easy enough to make. Aside from the flavorings, it’s just eggs, sugar, and flour. No butter!
You start by whipping the eggs (here I add some grated orange peel, but you don’t have to) until they are quite thick.
The sugar and flour are added in to create a dough. Then, you roll it out.
I rolled it out between two sheets of parchment. To make sure the stamps would not stick, I dusted the top of the dough with a little powdered sugar before stamping away.
After stamping, I used a biscuit cutter to cut the cookies out and then transfer them to parchment lined baking sheets.
Then, here comes the odd part of the recipe. The cookies have to sit out and dry for a day. Some recipes say at least 24 hours. Mine dried for about 18, but it is very dry in my house right now. The purpose of this step is to make sure the decoration sets so that it will not get distorted when it is baked.
When they are ready, they are baked at quite a low temperature for awhile until they are firm and have a characteristic foot.
Can you see how there’s space between each cookie in the stack? That’s the foot that happens when the cookies are baked. Because the top and sides are dried, the only way for the cookie to rise is from underneath.
Now, to be honest, we have never had a Springerle cookie before these, so we have no standard by which to judge these and no idea how they were going to taste. And, I have to say that these are unlike any cookie that any of us have ever had.
They have a pleasant sweet citrus flavor (from the orange zest and fiori di Sicilia extract that I used in the dough), but it was the texture that was different to us. The best way we could think of to describe it is to compare it to eating a dense marshmallow. Soft and chewy. Somewhere between a french macaroon and a dense cake.
In the end, I’ve decided that I love them. Not only are they absolutely beautiful, but they are easy to make and also tasty. Today, even though I have several other cookie options in the house, I chose this one to go with my afternoon tea. Part of the reason could be because of the absence of butter. In a way, it feels like a healthy cookie, but that’s never been a criteria for a good cookie for me. Ultimately, it comes down to taste and these taste really good and they have a pleasant chewiness that keeps me going back for more.
If you want to try making these, here’s a link to the recipe I used. Just a note: for some of the cookies, I rolled the dough over some anise seeds because anise is a traditional Springerle flavor.
And here’s a link to the cookie stamps.
And, lastly, a link to some more traditional Springerle stamps.
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