I hope everyone is enjoying the new week!
Can you believe it is October?
Where does the time go?
Welcome to another installment of Tasty Tuesday!
Enjoy the sights, sorry for the lack of smells!
THIS IS A COOKIE! YOU CAN EAT IT!
Nativity Scene Springerle Cookie
Gourmet Springerle Cookies
Visit the shop on 1000 Markets!
A Brief Primer on Springerle Cookies:
These cookies are and have been the traditional Christmas cookie in Bavaria and Austria for centuries.
Springerle are white, anise-flavored cookies, made from a simple egg-flour-sugar dough. Usually rectangular or circular in shape, they have a picture or design stamped on the top. The images are imprinted with specially carved rolling pins or flat molds (Springerle presses, or boards). After the cookies are baked, the designs are sometimes enhanced with edible food colors, or with tempera/acrylic paints, if the cookies are to be used as decorations.
The name Springerle comes from an old German dialect and means "little knight" or "jumping horse."
Historians trace these cookies back to the Julfest, a midwinter celebration of pagan Germanic tribes. Julfest ceremonies included the sacrificing of animals to the gods, in hope that such offerings would bring a mild winter and an early spring. Poor people who could not afford to kill any of their animals gave token sacrifices in the form of animal-shaped breads and cookies.
Vestiges of these pagan practices survive in the baking of shaped-and-stamped German Christmas cookies such as Lebkuchen, Spekulatius, Frankfurter Brenten, and Springerle. Scenes from the Bible were some of the earliest images portrayed on the springerle molds. and were used to educate those who couldn't read or write. Eventually, other scenes were carved and the cookies soon reflected images of holidays, events, and scenes from every day life. The cookies were also used to celebrate births, weddings, and used as betrothal tokens.
Exchanging springerle during the holidays was a common practice very much like we exchange cards today.
German Springerle Cookies
* 4 large eggs
* 2 cups sugar
* 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 teaspoon anise extract
* 4 cups all-purpose flour
1.) Prepare baking sheets with greased parchment paper or use non-stick sheets. (Avoid insulated cookie sheets as they will cause the springerle cookies to brown during baking)
2.) In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs on high speed until light and fluffy.
3.) Add sugar, butter, and baking powder; beat at high speed for 15 minutes, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.
4.) Beat in anise extract.
5.) Gradually add in flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until well mixed.
6.) On a lightly floured board, knead the dough a few time (the dough will be sticky at first, so knead in just enough flour to make it manageable). Lightly flour your springerle rolling pin.
7.) On a lightly-floured board, roll out dough, using a standard rolling pin, into a rectangle about 1/2-inch thick.
8.) Using your springerle rolling pin, roll slowly and firmly over the dough to make a clear design.
9.) Using a sharp knife, cut cookies apart and trim off outside edges. Roll out scraps of dough and repeat. (Be sure to flour the rolling pin and board before each pressing, this will insure the dough will not stick)
10.) Place cookies on prepared cookie sheets. Let cookies stand, uncovered, overnight to dry. (Drying preserves the image during baking)
11.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place oven rack in middle of oven.
12.) Bake one baking sheet at a time, for approximately 10 minutes or until cookies are slightly golden on bottoms, but white on top.
13.) Remove from oven and transfer cookies to wire racks to cool. (let cookies stand overnight to completely dry before storing)
Storage: Keep cookies in a tight container for 2 or 3 weeks before using to achieve the best flavor.
The number of cookies this recipe yields depends on the size and thickness of your Springerle cookies.
Go Ahead and Indulge!