Springerle Experiment the Third
I decided to try yet another Springerle recipe last weekend. I really enjoyed the tutorial videos at SpringerleJoy.com. You can view the individual videos here. I didn’t use the recipe they have on the website, but the four ingredient recipe she used in the “making the dough” tutorial. Also, I really really need a stand mixer for me to make any batches larger than this one. I also picked up some new tools, a pasta wheel and a pastry brush.
One of the things which was important from her video was beating the eggs for 10 minutes, until they were this really thick consistency. Since this dough doesn’t have any sort of baking soda or hartshorn, it’s all based on getting this eggs whipped correctly. At least, that’s what my chemistry brain is telling me. Thankfully, I had planned accordingly for how much time it would take, and was wearing thick socks on my feet instead of my usual barefoot in the kitchen routine. I know. Don’t go there. Anyway, the eggs got thoroughly beat up. Pardon the terrible picture. I’m holding the spatula and the camera at the same time.
I used the SpringerleJoy’s suggestion of just using a whisk to mix up the powdered sugar and flour instead sifting. It worked splendidly without having the mess and measurement issues of sifting. I made quite the mess in Experiment #2. I ignored her suggestion of a whole teaspoon of almond oil. It’s so SUPER concentrated, so I stuck with 1/8 of a teaspoon. The rest of the recipe came together just fine. I let the dough sit, covered with a towl, for 20 minutes before I started working it. This gives the flour time to work.
After the 20 minutes was up, I pulled out a small amount of the dough. Note, it’s still very sticky at that point. I sprinkled quite a bit of flour on the pastry mat, and worked it into the dough. When it felt right, I used my new brush to dust the top of the rolled out dough and to dust the cookie mold. The cat mold is pretty deep, so I make sure to press down a bit harder when using it.
I know, another blurry one. It’s difficult to try to take a picture as your holding down the mold properly. Last time I made these, I used powdered sugar on the dough and the cookie mold. However, I found it too sweet, as there is already a lot of sugar in the dough. I switched back to flour. I quickly went through each batch of the sticky dough, trying different thicknesses of dough, and playing with the new pasta roller thingy. For straight up cut outs, I used a dough scraper. With the cat mold, I used a doughnut cutter to make round shapes. The cat pattern was the easiest to work with. I really liked how the circles looked when cut out.
Of course, the most difficult mold to work with is the heart one. There is a lot of detail in this mold, and you have to be very careful while cutting this one out. If you pull the dough too hard when cutting it out, you’ll pull the design out of shape. If you didn’t use enough flour on the dough or the mold, it will get caught in tiny crevices. Much harder to work with. You can work edges back in shape a bit with your fingers, but the heart is the hardest one for that type of manipulation. See the detail?
I let this batch of Springerle sit about 16 hour to dry out. The weather was cold, but not humid. The texture of cookie was perfect; it should have a dried crust feel to it. Per the video instructions, I left them in for 6 minutes and then checked up on them 2 minutes later. Since ovens and weather can affect how they turn out, it’s a good way to tell how things are going. They’re supposed to be only slightly brown on the bottom and NOT at all at the time. I think that by putting these on the bottom rack of the oven, it gave me the desired effect.
The second sheet of cookies had some thicker cookies on it, so I checked it at 6 minutes and gave it another 3 minutes. This seems to be the perfect time/size for my oven. I even managed to get the “foot” that these cookies are supposed to have, as they rise instead of spreading out.
As you can see, I’ve got the texture, the color, and the entire feel for this cookie. I”m going to stick with this recipe for now, but try different flavors and textures. I found recipes for Green Tea Springerle, Chocolate Springerle, and all sorts of other flavors. I also want to make the “proper” flavor, which is the Anise cookie. I have other ideas for savory versions down the road. I’ve started a ‘beta” program with the cookies, foisting them off on co-workers and loved ones. Once I get a stand mixer, I can whip these up quicker with less mess. I love being a Springerle nerd.