Anna Bladel's Springerle VChristmas Baking with SusieJ

Measurements [metric]

  • 12 medium eggs
  • 3 pound confectioner's sugar
  • 1 TBS ammonium carbonate
  • 2 TBS water
  • 7 cup flour
  • 2 ounce whole anise seeds
  • butter

Beat eggs until light. Gradually add sugar. Beat for 30 minutes. (If you have a powerful stand mixer, 15 to 20 minutes is sufficient.)

Add ammonium carbonate and water. Beat to distribute evenly.

Gradually add flour. (unless you have a large capacity stand mixer, some will have to be beaten in by hand). Dough should be very stiff and of rolling consistency. Add more flour if necessary.

Let dough rest in bowl, covered with a damp cloth while you generously butter 8 large cookie sheets. Sprinkle anise seeds over the butter.

Roll out dough about 3/8-inch thick on a floured board. Cut out circles (about 2" in diameter) or squares and place widely spaced on cookie sheets. Press designs on tops with cookie stamp. (we use a gear from a meat grinder - it's tradition!). Press just hard enough to imprint but not spread out the cookie.

Cover cookie sheets with linen dish cloths or a clean sheet and let rest overnight or at least 8 hours.

Bake cookies at 350 degrees F for 8-9 minutes, reduce heat to 275 degrees F and bake an additional 8-9 minutes. Cookies will rise and ooze out the side, but the top should remain intact. If done right, there will be a hollow area under the design.

This recipe is said to have been brought to this country about 125 years ago by my husband's great-great grandparents. We don't know how long before that it was in the family. My husbands's mother, a home economics teacher, updated the recipe for the modern kitchen (ie, with gas & electricity) These are absolute got to have at christmas for my husband and his brother.

As children my husband and his brother had to help with the beating. (at least one hour by hand). They both claim it was the only thing their grandmother made well!

When these cookies bake, the smell of ammonia can be quite strong, especially when you open the oven door. I recommend turning your head away as you open the door, unless, like me, you like the smell.