Making Springerle to Celebrate 60 Days Til Christmas


Almost 60 days until Christmas! And I am celebrating by baking a "old world" cookie that originated in central Europe sometime during the 1600's - Springerle!

Once Springerle is baked, the cookies must be stored in an airtight container for about 4 to 6 weeks prior to eating so baking them in celebration of "60 days until Christmas" makes sense! Right?

It is very important to me to learn about and share old world, Christmas traditions that have been handed down in northern European cultures for centuries. Although some traditions enjoyed today have their roots in old world celebrations, a great many current "traditions" were devised by merchants to promote sales of holiday related items.

I am not saying this is a bad thing - because these "traditions", created and introduced in the early part of the last century, are now central to the celebrations of modern families - Christmas cards, Christmas carols, gift wrap, glass tree ornaments, mountains of toys and gifts.... There is probably no one left alive that can remember a Christmas where these were not a part of the celebration in the USA. And family Christmas memories are rich and cherished when these "traditions" come to mind.

Special holiday foods seem to have been central to many old world celebrations for many reasons - scarcity of food being one of them I am sure. To this day, these traditional foods remain a part of holiday celebrations everywhere.

Bill Penzey of Penzeys Spices tirelessly promotes the idea that cooking for and sharing food with the people around you is one of the greatest demonstrations of love. I happen to agree with him! A lot of people do! So it is no surprise to me that special foods and fancy treats play such huge roles during the holiday season.Who among us doesn't remeber a special cookie or cake or dish that Mom or Grandma made only during the winter holidays?

In that spirit and to help keep old traditions alive, it is my personal goal to try making a new (to me) traditional winter holiday cookie or sweet bread every year. Last year I made my very first Challah and my first Santa Lucia Buns. This year I am making Springerle.


My very first Springerle cookie mold!

Thanks to the good people at House on the Hill, I had a delightful time making my very first Springerle cookies! The only hard part was deciding which mold would be the first in my collection! You just can't believe how many amazing molds they offer! A suggestion - get a smaller mold for your first Springerle - easier to handle.

And the best part is that the molds are not just for Springerle! You can use them for Speculaas, gingerbread, shortbread, marzipan! The recipe booklet that comes with the mold even has a recipe for peanut butter fondant for molding with kids! All of these recipes also appear right on their site as well!

And then there is paper molding! Be sure to check out the web site right now to see the really cool Halloween molds and the really beautiful results you can get using them to mold paper to make Halloween cards and Halloween tree ornaments!!

Wander into the Crafts Gallery to see what you can do with paper and molds to create cards, gift bags, ornaments and charms!

And don't miss paper casting with kids!


Back to the cookies!

Basically Springerle takes a few simple ingredients. House on the Hill shares the recipe here!


The only essential ingredients you may not have in your cupboard are bakers ammonia and oil of anise. Both of these are available together with a recipe booklet from House on the Hill. You can also order them seperately here and here. King Arthur Flour also has baker's ammonia available here and anise oil here.

Baker's Ammonia is a leavening agent like baking powder or baking soda, except when used for cookies or crackers the resulting product is especially light, crisp and tender. I noticed a slight whiff of ammonia when I added it to the milk (first step in preparing the dough) and again during baking. This is to be expected, but it totally dissipates during baking and there is not a trace of it in the baked cookie! Caution! DO NOT eat the raw cookie dough.

Oil of Anise is much stronger than anise seeds or ground anise. And using it gives you lovely, creamy white cookies without little brown specks throughout! Like mine!  All I had on hand was ground anise seed.  There is something to be said for reading the ingredient list before beginning to mix up the dough!


Here they are!  My beautiful Springerle!  Not perfect and I will never be a threat to Martha - I know that!  But still - aren't they beautiful? And so much fun to make. (That is powdered sugar left over from molding that you see on the tops and it brushes right off once the cookies are dry.)

I don't even have to prepare a tutorial because House on the Hill has created this lovely video showing how to make the dough, use your molds to form the cookies and how to dry and bake your Springerle! 

Grab a cup of tea, sit back and relax for 10 minutes and watch this beautiful video! If nothing else, it will get you into the holiday spirit!


24 hours later - dry and ready for baking!


Making Springerle definitely takes care and time. Make the time, give it your attention and don't rush it. Let the process of making the cookies be a celebration of centuries old traditions of Christmas past.

Those are so beautiful. I

Those are so beautiful. I have been trying to find those molds somewhere. I think Martha Stewart does a lot with them from cookies to crafts.

Wow, great job Pam! I had no

Wow, great job Pam! I had no idea that these types of cookies had to be made so far ahead of time. How fun it will be for the lucky people who get to experience your cookies. What a wonderful tradition!

Dear Pam, My name is Katie

Dear Pam,
My name is Katie and I came to your blog from your daughter Diane's. These Springerle look wonderful! They remind me of some biscuits I tried recently in Switzerland, though those were almond-flavoured.
I've recently started to become interested in cooking foods that celebrate cultural traditions, so I've happily added your blog to my reader.
I'm looking forward to reading more!
xx Katie.

Ooh, they are indeed

Ooh, they are indeed beautiful and the idea of paper casting excites me too. Thanks for this post and the link, Pam! You're always doing something wonderful.

Pam, This is why I love your

This is why I love your blog (and you) so much! I think that preserving old world traditions is so important. You just happen to stick with the old world that my family is from which is just icing on the cake! ;)

I have never heard of these cookies before. It sounds like so much fun. I can't wait to hear how yours turn out after they have air dried.

I will now be going and checking their site for their tutorial. Those molds will go on my "someday list"!

As always, thanks for being so inspirational to me! You are amazing!

PS it was really funny reading this Christmas cookie post of yours right now because I have Christmas music playing right now. I play it year round (but not nonstop). Usually when I really need to get things done, I just turn on Christmas music and I get all energized (even when it is slow Christmas music) and can stay focused and get more done (mostly I need this when doing chores). Tonight I have TONS of homework, so I popped the Christmas music on. I'm taking a break by perusing your blog and the Christmas music was still playing. It totally put me in the perfect mood for your Christmas post! ;)

That was a beautiful video! I

That was a beautiful video! I have ever tasted a springerle cookie, but I am a big anise fan. Thank you, thank you for sharing!

Pam, this is the best. I

Pam, this is the best. I have never made anything with ammonium carbonate, but there was a recipe I was going to try that asked for it and I thought it was some exotic thing so I didn't get it. These cookies are definitely gorgeous and would put someone in the mood! I probably am under the 60-day period, but I have a baking appointment next week and I see no reason why I can't be prepared! I'm going to go get a mold and follow this recipe. Of course, I'll give you an update!

Thanks, my friend!


Hmmn, I wonder if that Bakers

Hmmn, I wonder if that Bakers Ammonia is what my MiL uses, that is called Hornsalt here in Norway. She uses it in all her cookie dough. And I had images of magic potions using ground horn of unicorn.... ;)

Hi Gil!  Yes!  You are

Hi Gil!  Yes!  You are absolutely right - it is horn of unicorn - er I mean "hornsalt" although it is referred to as Hartshorn at House on the Hill.

I also have several cookie recipes that call for it and it really does make a difference.

I have wanted to try these

I have wanted to try these cookies forever!!!
And I will be doing so this weekend....if I can find
Baker's Ammonia. Can you describe the taste/texture of the cookie once it has "cured" for 60 days.

Oh Nancy, I wish I could help

Oh Nancy, I wish I could help you!  But I still have most of those 60 days left to wait before finding out just what Springerly is like myself!!

I have never even tasted a Springerle!  This is a most excellent adventure for me all the way around!

Those are gorgeous cookies.

Those are gorgeous cookies. Too bad that I cannot afford the molds.

Yes Phyllis, the molds are

Yes Phyllis, the molds are not inexpensive to be sure - the main reason I do not have several and the reason I haven't tried making Springerle before this. I have been curious and wanted to give Springerle a try for most of my adult life.

There is a mold on the last page of the Christmas cookie mold pages that allows you to cut 8 small 1 1/2 x 2 cookies in one press.  I asked my sweetie to order that one as my Christmas gift. I see that as a better deal than paying a similar price for only one.  The designs are simpler but they get the job done! And I know I will prefer the cookie size - the tree is nearly the size of my hand!

The tree mold was my Birthday gift BTW.