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Old Fashioned Springerle Cookies

Pennsylvania Dutch Cooking from AlansKitchen.comMakes about 40 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 6  eggs

  • 3  cups powdered sugar

  • 3  cups sifted flour

  • 1  teaspoon hartshorn or 2- teaspoons baking powder

  • 1  lemon, juice and grated rind

  • 1  Tablespoon anise seed

  •     Pinch of salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300� F. and grease cookie sheet.

Springerle could mean a small, jumping horse, probably with a thought to old-time German cookies in shapes of horses and riders. It is also reminiscent of the German word for the knight in chess. 

So, whether it derives from a horse-shaped cookie or from the resemblance to a chessboard that a springerle board has, we can't tell.

However, a springerle board is divided into squares with indentations of fancy patterns-animals, flowers, birds, and people.  This board is pressed down upon the cookie dough and the design impressed, or you can buy springerle rollers with the designs hollowed out on the rolling pin, but they are difficult to use.

Nowadays, many people content themselves with pressing the bottom of a star-patterned cut-glass tumbler upon each cookie. 

To be really beautiful, Springerle have to be made pretty much professionally. They are never given away with profusion because they are too much trouble to make. But there are sure to be one or two on every cookie plate at Christmas.

  1. The old recipes required that sugar and eggs be beaten together for at least an hour. 

  2. Then the flour was sifted several times, resifted with the hartshorn, added to the eggs and sugar, and the whole stirred again. 

  3. Then lemon, anise seed, and grated rind were added and the dough rolled out. 

  4. The pictures were separated along the dividing lines to form square cookies.

  5. Bake for about 20 minutes, watching carefully to prevent burning and coloring. 

  6. When baked they should be pale.

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