Making Life Delicious Since 1983

Christmas Time means German Springerle Cookies


springerle cookie


Two hard-to-find ingredients are popular with our customers this time of year….Bakers Ammonia and Anise Oil (of course we stock it). They are the coveted ingredients for German Springerle Cookies. These cookies take a bit of a commitment to bake, but well worth the effort.

“Springerle are German anise-flavored cookies that go back at least 700 years in their rich tradition as special gifts during the holidays and other celebrations.  Delicately crispy-crunchy and a slightly chewy center, they’re made with simple ingredients and are easy to make but absolutely require that you follow some key steps to achieving the right look, texture and flavor.”


The Daring Gourmet has a great recipe and fabulous directions.

  • 3 large eggs , room temperature (the eggs must be large; if you are using medium add an additional egg)
  • 3 cups (350 grams) powdered sugar (confectioner’s sugar) (if using cups start with slightly less flour, 2-3 tablespoons, and add the rest as needed)
  • 1 teaspoon quality pure vanilla extract (or 2 packets of vanilla sugar)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon quality 1005 pure anise oil (not extract), how much you use depends on how strong of an anise flavor you want.
  • 3 cups (350 grams) all-purpose flour (if measuring in cups start with slightly less flour and add the rest as needed if the dough is too soft/sticky)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baker’s ammonia  *slightly less than 1/4 teaspoon (see blog post for explanation about baker’s ammonia)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • zest of one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons whole anise seeds
  • Combine the flour, baker’s ammonia and salt in a bowl.  Add HALF of the flour mixture to the wet mixture along with the lemon zest and beat it for a full 15 minutes, do not reduce the time (if the mixture is too dry for your whisk attachment, use the paddle attachment).

    Attach the paddle attachment, add the remaining flour and beat for another 5 minutes.

    The dough should be very soft but not wet and sticky. If the dough is too dry or stiff mix in a little more lightly beaten egg.

    Form the dough into a ball, flatten it to an inch-thick disk, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.

  • The next day roll out the cold dough to about 1/3 inch thick (1 cm) on a floured work surface.

    Use your molds or rolling pin to make the shapes and cut them out with sharp knife or pastry cutter.  If you’re using molds lightly dust them with flour to prevent the dough from sticking.

    Toast the whole anise seeds in a dry pan over medium-high heat until aromatic, being careful not to let them scorch.  Place the anise seeds on a lined cookie sheet, spreading them out evenly.

    Lay the Springerle on top of the anise seeds on the baking sheet.  Let them dry at room temperature for a full 24 hours, longer if you’re in a place with high humidity.   The outside of the Springerle should be dry.

  • After the cookies have dried for at least 24 hours, lay a damp towel on the counter and gently press the Springerle down onto it to very lightly and evenly moisten the bottoms.  Return the Springerle back to the cookie sheet.

    In an oven preheated to 300 degrees F with the rack positioned in the middle, bake the cookies for 20-30 minutes.  Do not let the cookies turn golden, they’re supposed to stay very pale, basically the same color as when you put them in the oven.

  • The Springerle should have risen evenly to create their characteristic “feet” or platform underneath.   Let the cookies cool off completely.  They will become very hard as they cool.

    Springerle are traditionally stored in airtight containers with half of an apple next to them inside the container to create a little bit of moisture to gradually soften the cookies over time.  Periodically change out the apple.  Once the Springerle have slightly softened you can remove the apple and then continue storing them in the airtight container waiting for the flavor to develop.

    Most Springerle bakers agree that waiting 3-4 weeks before eating them is best to allow the texture and flavor to develop.

    Enjoy these Springerle on their own or, as is tradition, enjoy them with a hot beverage and dip them.

    Makes about 34 Springerle depending on their size.

NOTE:  In order to avoid a dough that is too dry to mix or work with, it is IMPERATIVE that the steps are followed exactly as written.  No altering ingredients, no cutting down on the mixing time of each stage, no cutting corners.

A couple of our readers who emailed me to report very dry dough reported back that on their second attempt they measured the ingredients by weight and that solved the problem.

Another consideration is the humidity of your environment.  If you live in a very dry climate you may need to cut back a bit on the flour.  Start with a little less and you can always add more.

Credits: Recipe, photo and quote are from the Daring Gourmet

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