Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bees and Christmas Cookies

Tis The Season.

Years ago my Mother used to Springerle cookies a couple month before Christmas. These are anise flavored (most of the time), imprinted with graphics and can be made hard or soft. Mom's were the hard variety. She would hide them away somewhere and by Christmas they rock hard. They would last for months but were wonderful when dunked in coffee.

Last year I was reminded of them and contacted my sister trying to find the Springerle rolling pin Mom used. No luck, it had disappeared over time. I bought a rolling pin and surprised my brothers with a package from Mom for Christmas. (Mom is 95 and lives in a Senior residence).
These were good with a nice flavor but on the soft side. I needed to do better this year.
I could not find the recipe I used last year so I started to look for more on the web.
I have selected three to try and during my search I found The Springerle Baker full of good information including a link to International Trading Co. where I found some Springerle molds.
I selected a few.

A maiden sitting next to a skep.

A fine looking bee on comb

Mushrooms and pine combs visited by a nice little bee.

Two gentleman enjoying a pint. Got nothing to do with bees but maybe that is mead they are drinking.

Springerles take a while, it is a very stiff dough to work. Some recipes need to be chilled before they are rolled out and imprinted. After imprinting all need to sit at least 12 hours so the crust on the top can set up. Cooking is a snap, done in 12 minutes and then they should be stored away for at least a month.

Recipe #1 is from Aliens in This World blog. This was posted a couple years ago with a follow up this year. I used it for the first two batches. Needed a second one because with the first attempt I used the paddle instead of the wire whip for mixing the eggs which did not froth the eggs enough. Then I used jumbo eggs which required a lot more flour. So, #1-A, added 2.5 cups of flour and used bakers ammonia with 4 jumbo eggs.
#1-B, used two large eggs , two jumbo eggs and added a cup of flour with baking powder instead of bakers ammonia (hartshorn or ammonia carbonate).
#1-A is done and stowed.

More recipes to bake and pictures to take.
Here's hoping the imprints get better but we have bees.

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