For my final cookie contribution to the site for the year, I saved the best for last. These anise cookies are beyond delightful. They aren’t for the faint of heart though – you definitely have to like anise. The recipe (which my mom has been making for YEARS) is from the December 1977 issue of McCall’s magazine and is in such rough shape, it is barely legible. Without any further ado – Merry Christmas and Enjoy!
makes 5 dozen
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp anise extract
Grease and flour 3 baking sheets.
In a large bowl of an electric mixer at medium speed, beat eggs until very thick and light.
Gradually beat in sugar. Continue beating for 20 minutes longer.
At low speed, beat in flour, baking powder and salt; beat one minute. Add anise extract; beat just until blended.
Drop by teaspoonfuls, 1/2 inch apart on prepared cookie sheets. Swirl each to make a circle about 1 1/2 inch in diameter.
Let stand at room temperature uncovered, 8 hours (or overnight).
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bake cookies about 10 minutes or until smooth and firm when pressed with fingertips. Cool cookies on wire rack then store in an airtight container.
For a little history on these cookies and a variation to make pressed patterns in the cookies,
“The history of the Springerle cookie goes back to the early middle ages. It seems that the Schwabian region of southern Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Elsass in France are the birthplace of this unusual treat. In the early years of the cookie’s history each bakery had to carve their own wooden molds and so a ‘one of a kind’ variety of beautiful carved Springerle molds exists today. Traditionally these molds could be carved in any subject matter that the carver was thinking of or needed reaching from flower motives to animals to an endless variety of designs and occasions. The most elaborate and detailed carvings are highly sought collector items that now are exhibited in museums around the world. Even today families treasure their Springerle molds and pass them on from generation to generation. The themes underwent changes. In the 1400s religious scenes were preferred. In the 1700s the molds became smaller and corners were rounded off. The details were carved with delicate details. During the early 1800s molds presented a more dreamy style of happiness, friendship and romantic scenes. In the 1900s the designs of many of the family Springerle molds became fairly simple. Even today you can purchase new Springerle molds historically carved in wood. The usual mold is flat and square and has one, two, four, or eight hand carved pictures. The name Springerle may come from the way the cookie is baked and during the bakery process the dough will rise (spring) to almost double the heights. The Springerle is a charm for happiness. In the past it was custom to give Springerle cookies as gifts at Christmas and New Year. ”
history take from Much2dodada