Rezept: Springerle (Anise Cookies)

Probably the most fascinating from a chemistry standpoint, Springerle come from the Swabian tradition of alkalized baking. Here I believe that our family recipe is actually MORE accurate than Dr. Oetker (essentially the German “Betty Crocker”), as Oetker recommends using their own branded “Backin” baking powder instead of Hirschhornsalz (Hartshorn, Ammonium Carbonate, Bakers Ammonium)

While obtaining Hartshorn used to be the most difficult part of making this recipe, it can now be easily obtained from Amazon.

For more reading about German Cookie chemistry, I found this newsletter from NDSU very interesting:

American Recipe (courtesy of my aunt Joan Saunders)German Recipe (courtesy of Dr. Oetker)
4 egg whites
4 egg yolks
1 lb (450g) powdered sugar
1 tsp Hartshorn (Ammonium Carbonate)
1 lb (450g) flour (Swans Pound Cake)
1/2 tsp anise oil.

For the baking sheet:
Anise, whole

2 eggs (size M)
200 g (1 cup) powdered sugar
1 pack Vanilla sugar
275g (2.3 cups) wheat flour
1 pinch of baking powder
Beat 4 egg whites till partially stiff. Add 1/2 lb powdered sugar gradually. Beat 4 egg yolks in separate bowl. and add 1/2 lb powdered sugar gradually. Combine egg yolk and whites. Dissolve 1 level tsp crushed Hartshorn (Ammonium Carbonate) in 1 T water. Filter this through handkerchief and add all liquid to sugar and egg mixture. Beat 3 minutes. Add 1 lb flour (Swans Pound Cake) and 1/2 tsp anise oil.

Chill dough. Roll out dough and press on design.

Cut out and place on greased tin and let stand overnight covered with light towel.

Bake at 300 F for 10-15 minutes (do not want cookies to brown.

When rolling dough keep about 1/4 inch thick.

1 lb flour = 3 1/2 cups
1 tsp baking powder can be used instead of Hartshorn but decrease flour slightly.
Beat the eggs with a mixer (mixing attachment) at the highest setting for 1 minute until foamy. Sift powdered sugar, mix with vanilla sugar, sprinkle in 1 min. and beat for another 2 min.

Mix flour and backing powder, first stir half of it briefly into the eggs on the lowest setting. Continue to work in as much of the flour mixture in the same way until the dough is firm.
Knead the dough on the floured work surface with the remaining flour mixture. If the dough sticks, knead in some more flour.

Roll out the dough about 1 cm thick, cut out rectangles the size of the baking molds, sprinkle them with flour and press them into the floured mold, then lift them off and cut them into the embossed rectangles. Place the cookies on the baking tray and leave to dry in a moderately warm room for about 24 hours (do not place trays on top of each other).

Preheat the oven.
Top/bottom heat about 265 F
Convection about 230 F

Slide the baking tray into the oven.

As the surface of the pastry should remain white, it is recommended to place a cold baking tray into the upper tray of the oven as soon as a small base has formed on the cookie.

Bake on the middle shelf for 30 Minutes.

After baking, leave Springerle open in the air for a few days to soften them, then place them in a tightly closed tin can.

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