Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas baking at my house

This is not at all related to quilting or book publishing but…it’s the most interesting subject I could come up with now!

My husband is from Germany, where many of these traditions originated. For the holidays, he bakes several kinds of delicious cookies while I sit on the sofa.  A few years ago he and another German-American friend, Scott, started baking cookies together, or more specifically, springerle cookies!  Those are very difficult cookies to master and it is a two-day process. I thought I’d share a bit of it with you.

Here are the molds that you use to press into the dough to make the cookies. They are very beautiful with old world scenes and come in wood, resin and the metal ones.

IMG_2661 IMG_2662

You can get practically any motif on a springerle board nowadays….I even have a Chinese dragon one!

They first started doing this in Scott’s mom’s kitchen with her grandmother’s recipe. After that Scott brought his mixer over to our house but this year everyone…his 2 sisters, sister-in-law, a friend and my husband baked in their new kitchen!  It was wild because part of the recipe is to have the mixers going at full speed for ONE HOUR! Imagine that in the olden times, you took turns beating the dough by hand for an hour!

 IMG_2663 IMG_2671 IMG_2673

Here are all the mixing/work stations. The younger crowd was learning the techniques and ‘secrets’ too so it was lots of fun!

Here is what the men do when the mixers are going….


only German beer of course!

IMG_2675 After mixing, you roll out the dough to an even thickness.

IMG_2686 IMG_2680

Then, you press a mold onto the top of the dough and it looks like this.

IMG_2681 IMG_2683

Next a fluted wheel is used to cut the cookies apart/or you can use a knife.

IMG_2692 IMG_2684 IMG_2685

Then they sit on a tray in a dry,cool place overnight where the tops dry out so that when they are baked, you don’t lose the definition of the impression. There are anise seeds sprinkled on the tray.

When baked the next day, the underside of the cookies rise and spring ‘feet’. These are really white/ivory in color but the kitchen lighting came up more yellow.


Besides these cookies, my husband makes cinnamon stars, wasp’s nests, macaroons with chocolate drizzled on them, lebkuchen and our favorite…spitzbuben…a ground almond cookie sandwiched with currant jelly between and powdered sugar on top!

It’s a fabulous and fattening season!



  2. Is this a recipe you could share, or is it a family secret?