I’ve lost my great-grandmothers’ recipe, I know it used hartshorn as a leavening agent and she would place the cookies after being pressed with her springerle board, (she brought it with her when she emigrated to the US in the late 1870’s or early 1880’s) on anise seed to dry for 24 hrs before baking. If anyone would have a recipe from the late 1800’s I’d appreciate it if you could share it.
Betty Crocker old book had a recipe but they were much thinner than the thick ones a local German baker made. Took me a while to sort it out.
3 1/4 c flour plus more for kneading and rolling out. Our flour is more coarse than US, so I used say, 3c flour and 1/4 c. cornflour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 large eggs
2 c sugar (another recipe called for 3/4 lb confectioners sugar, but I just used regular sugar as in the Betty Crocker recipe)
1 - 1/ 1/2 tsp ground aniseed plus whole aniseed to dry the cookies on.
Beat eggs well. Add sugar and beat to ribbon stage. Add ground aniseed. Sift dry ingredients and mix in some on low. Hand mix in enough to have a soft but workable dough. You can chill this for several hours at this stage, but I never did.
Pat half the dough into a 1" thick rectangle. I had my mother’s wooden sprinerle rolling pin so I worked with the width of the rolling pin. Roll about 1/2" thick. Cut and place on floured board or kitchen paper sprinkled with whole aniseed. Roll and cut the rest of the dough. Leave to dry overnight or at least 8 hours. It was summer here, so I covered it with a food net to keep off any flies (or little fingers!).
Bake at 300F for 18-25 minutes.
My brother loved springerle and couldn’t get them in Virginia like the ones we had as children. This recipe gives the closest to the thick ones he loved. They eventually go quite hard if they last a few weeks, like the ones our German baker made.
Check your oven. Mine was a bit variable and another recipe recommended 275F for half an hour.
The Betty Crocker ones were very thin in comparison.
Thanks for posting this! I love to see recipes for our Gastro Obscura submissions!