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Christmas cookies of my youth

December 23, 2007

Remember how that foot long hot dog with mustard tasted the day your dad took you to the ballpark, or perhaps how your Aunt Rose’s house smelled when you went there for the holidays when you were about five years old?    Often our most vivid and oldest memories are those tied to our senses.  

The holidays hold many fond memories for me, and one of the best is drinking a cup of coffee with my grandfather and eating Springerle cookies.  I think mom baked them once or twice, but as they take a bit of time, it was an infrequent thing.  The years have passed without these holiday cookies until last year, when as a gift we received the recipe and the special rolling pin required for these.   The tradition can now continue.   Here is this year’s batch, just out of the oven… (Thanks, Leslie!)


Note the patterning detail produced by the special rolling pin.  I always thought this was the coolest thing as a child and would love to play with the rolling pin when Grandmother made these cookies.


For those interested in the recipe…

4 eggs

2 1/4 cups of sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons of anise extract (or vanilla if you prefer)

2 teaspeens lemon peel

3 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 tablespoons crushed aniseed

Beat together eggs and sugar, add extract and lemon peel.  Sift together flour and baking powder and add to sugar mixture.  On floured surface, roll dough to 3/8 inch thickness with smooth rolling pin.  To prevent dough from sticking, mix 2 tablespoons of flour and 2 tablespoons of confectioner’s sugar and rub into the Springerle rolling pin.  Roll firmly over dough with the Springerle rolling pin until design and cookie cut lines are well defined.  Cut squares apar and layout on a greased cookie sheet and sprinkle with aniseed.   Allow approximately 1 1/2 inches between cookies.  Cover with paper towel and set for 12-24 hours to set the design.  Bake at 300 degrees for approximately 10-12 minutes, or until tops are pale and bottoms are lightly browned.  Cool.  Store in airtight container.   Makes approximately 60 cookies.

Note: Cookies develop the characteristic hardness after several days.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Elaine permalink
    December 24, 2007 9:55 pm

    That’s a great looking batch of cookies! How about an update on the Christmas tree adornment?

  2. December 25, 2007 11:07 am

    It’s official – you guys gotta share the wealth on that one! Happy holidays!

  3. December 28, 2007 1:20 am

    These cookies also harken back to my youth when my mother would make them for Christmas. Fantastic.

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