Springerle Joy Cookies
We tested this recipe and found it to be delicious using almond extract –
especially with a white chocolate layer on the bottom of each cookie... YUMMY!
2 pounds (1 bag) powdered (confectioner's) sugar
Flavoring – choose 1 edible flavoring oil or extract from the following:
3/4 tsp anise oil (tastes like licorice) or 1 1/4 tsp anise extract... or
3/4 tsp almond oil... or 2 tsp almond extract... or
1-2 tsp orange or lemon oil (to taste) plus
optional: zest of 1 orange or lemon... or
1-2 tsp peppermint or raspberry or rum or any flavor extract (to taste)
2 pounds (1 box) cake flour
Parchment paper to line cookie sheets
Sharp knife, pastry cutter or cookie cutter of your choice (we used a 2" round biscuit cutter)
Optional – for coating bottoms of cookies:
1 bag (12 ounces) Nestle's Premier White chocolate morsels or a chunk of white chocolate
(amount needed depends on number of cookies you have and how thick you apply the chocolate to the bottoms of the cookies)
Optional: 1 large or several small striped candy canes (we used 25 tiny red and white candy canes), crushed into very fine pieces
Optional – for painting cookies:
LusterDust® in colors of your choice, and Triple Sec or Vodka for mixing (do not use water)... or
food coloring of your choice. NOTE: White food coloring is very helpful to use as edible "white out" to cover up mistakes.
1 Hershey milk chocolate bar (or the dark chocolate flavor of your choice) to paint the cookies
1 paintbrush with fine tip to paint the cookies
1 plastic pallette for mixing colors
1 eye dropper
Glass of water
Optional: Latex gloves to keep food coloring from staining your fingers
Bake the Springerle Cookies
1. Beat the eggs well on high speed until the mixture turns into an airy créme (about 10 min. using the KitchenAid™ 5qt. stand mixer with wire whisk attachment).
2. With mixer on low, add the powdered sugar by 1/2 cups until all sugar is incorporated and mixture is fluffy. Add the flavoring while mixer is still on low.
3. Gradually beat in 3/4 of the flour on low speed using a paddle attachment if you have one. Do NOT overmix.
4. Knead in the last 1/4 of the flour by hand or using the bread hook attachment. If humidity is very low, then do NOT add all the flour. Reserve about a cup to see if you need it after the dough rests (Step 5).
5. Cover the dough with a damp towel and
LET THE DOUGH REST FOR 10-15 MINUTES.
6. Divide the dough, which will be sticky, into 4 parts and cover the bowl again with the damp towel to keep the dough from drying out.
7. Take out 1 part and knead in just enough flour (preferably cake flour) so that it is slightly sticky.
8. Roll out on a well-floured surface so that it is 3/8" thick. Lightly dust the rolled dough with flour (preferably cake flour) so that the dough feels like silk. Make sure there are no little lumps of flour on the surface (use a soft brush to whisk it away).
9. Use a toothbrush or pastry brush to dust the cookie stamp with flour. Make sure there are no little lumps of flour on the surface (use a soft brush to whisk it away).
10. Press the very finely dusted stamp evenly into the dough using a rocking motion to assure that all details of the stamp design are imprinted on the dough, then carefully remove. If the stamp sticks, it either has too little flour, or your dough is too sticky, or the stamp is too warm (try cooling it off in the freezer for a few minutes and see if this helps).
11. Lightly dust the edge of your cookie cutter with flour, then cut out the stamp design, and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper so the cookies will be easy to remove after baking, and
LET THE COOKIES DRY FOR 8-12 HOURS at room temperature.
If they must dry for a longer period of time, cover them with a damp towel after the first 8 hours.
12. Bake one cookie sheet at a time on the lowest rack in the oven. You may want to test your oven with a cookie sheet that has only 4 cookies and try 300-325ºF for 6-8 minutes for thinner cookies, or 275-300ºF for 12-15 minutes for 3/8"-thick cookies. Check often to see how long your cookies take to turn a light golden brown on the bottoms while remaining white or light beige on top.
NOTE: The signs of a too-hot oven are cookies that puff way up or that brown on top. In our oven, we found that 275º for 30 minutes was very nice.
Yield: 6 to 9 dozen cookies, depending on the thickness of your dough. We found that 3/8"-thick dough gave the best cookie which rose very evenly in our oven at 275º F for 30 minutes. Thinner cookies tended to rise unevenly and be more dried out in the center. A hotter oven caused them to rise unevenly, or the bottoms to turn too brown.
Optional: Add a coating of white chocolate to the bottom of each cookie
1. Melt the chocolate. White chocolate will scorch when melted at a high heat, so best to melt in the top half of a double boiler, or in a glass pirex bowl over a pan filled with water (do not let the water touch the bowl). Simmer water on low and let white chocolate morsels melt slowly while you stir. Or you can melt 1 cup at a time in the microwave on half power, stirring every 15-30 seconds until melted.
2. Optional: Add finely crushed candy canes to the white chocolate for added color and a peppermint pop of flavor in each bite (to taste). Make sure that the peppermint flavor will complement the flavor you use in the springerle cookies.
3. Use a spatula to apply melted chocolate to bottom of cookies and place back on parchment-lined cookie sheet with white-chocolate-side up to dry. This means the design-side is down, so it is best to apply chocolate BEFORE you paint the design. Make sure no peppermint pieces are sticking out of the chocolate layer – you want your cookies to lie flat when you turn them over with the design-side up.
4. Place cookie sheet in freezer for 30 minutes until chocolate is completely hardened. Store chocolate-coated cookies in an airtight container in a cool place with wax paper in between the layers to prevent chocolate transfer to cookies beneath. These cookies can be made ahead and frozen for up to 6 months.
Optional: Paint the cookies with Luster Dust®
1. If using food colors, use 10 drops or more of Triple Sec or Vodka to 1 drop of food coloring and mix with a toothpick or brush in the wells of your palette.
If using Luster Dust, add 6-10 drops Triple Sec or Vodka (not water*) to about 1/16 tsp of Luster Dust and mix with toothpick or brush. Note: To make pastel shades, mix your colors with white.
2. Paint one color at a time to just the raised portions of the design as highlights – the eye will naturally fill in the details. Rinse your brush between colors and blot with a paper towel. Try NOT to hold the cookie by the bottom edge touching the white chocolate layer, or your fingers will melt the chocoalte (a minor problem). When you make a mistake, use white food coloring full strength to cover it up.
*Note: We plunged in and used Luster Dust before we knew how, which means we used water to mix it. You can see the results on the lighter red snow bird (second photo from left above) where the water made the paint go on in globs. Happily, even ugly cookies taste delicious with this recipe, in spite of their paint job. :)
Optional: Paint the cookies with Dark Chocolate
1. Choose a bag of Hershey's chocolate chips or a Hershey bar (we used a milk chocolate bar), or a chunk of your favorite dark chocoalte. Melt it in a double boiler, stirring briskly while on a low simmer (see Step 1 in white chocoalte directions above).
2. Using a paintbrush, apply chocolate to design. You can see in the closeup of the gingerbread boy (below) that you can see the brush marks in the chocoalte. This was our first time trying this, so we're not sure how to solve this problem. Perhaps our chocolate was not hot enough.
3. Place in refrigerator or freezer for just a few minutes to harden chocoalte. Then store in airtight containers in a cool place.
Closeups of our Springerle Cookies
The red bird and "2010" below were painted using Wilton's red Brush-On Color™