Growing up with a German grandmother, special homemade treats were always on hand when I visited. One of my very favorites were her soft, chewy Springerle Cookies with their sweet anise flavor.
Many times I helped Grandmother bake them. Her only measuring tools an old tea cup and some kitchen spoons. She could turn out a massive feast using a four-burner electric stove before the days of microwaves. She kept it all hot, too! The recipes were handwritten in German from a dog-eared little book, but she knew most of them by heart.
Luckily, as a college student, I realized these wonderful recipes should be recorded. It became our fun weekend project. Grandmother and I spent quite a few happy afternoons cooking up many family favorites while she explained and I took notes. Such happy memories now.
Grandmother is still with me every time I make these treasured recipes. And, now I am writing them down for my own children and grandchildren. And for you.
I hope you will enjoy great-grandmother’s Springerle Cookies as much as we do!
Great-Grandmother’s Springerle Recipe
2 lbs. (8 cups) white flour
2 lbs. (4 1/2 cups) white sugar
2 tsp. baking powder stirred into 5 Tbs. milk (set aside)
9 medium or 8 large eggs
2 large Tbs. softened butter (walnut-sized)
Anise seeds (2 boxes)
Mix butter, eggs & sugar together
Add 1 or 2 cups of the flour & mix
Add baking powder mixture & mix again
Keep mixing and gradually add the remaining flour until a stiff dough forms
Working on a floured board, roll out about 1/3 of the dough to 1/4 inch thick
Using cookie cutters, cut out desired shapes and place the cookies on bread boards or trays that have been liberally sprinkled with anise seeds
Let sit overnight in a cool place, then bake in the morning. Move cookies to greased or parchment covered cookie sheets.
Bake at 350F for 10 -15 minutes until cookie bottoms are golden brown. let cool.
*Note – add leftover anise to cookie tins and fill with cookies. Add a slice of bread or apple to keep fresh. Will keep for months this way. If you prefer, you can also freeze them.
Some folks use cookie presses or special rolling pins to imprint designs on their Springerle Cookies. We have always used regular cookie cutters to cut ours out. After cutting out the cookies, lay them gently on a bread board or tray sprinkled liberally with anise seeds.
Place the cookies in a cool place overnight. They will rise a bit and the tops will stiffen up. The anise seeds will adhere to the bottom of the cookies.
This recipe will make about 100 cookies depending on the size cookie cutters you use ~ perfect for parties, sharing or having on hand for unexpected company. They keep for months in cookie tins in a cool place. In fact, the anise flavor intensifies and they get a bit chewier. Happy noshing!