Seeking non-traditional recipe for hand-carved springerle mold

As my avatar suggests, I am fond of a mold that functions as wall decoration. I'd love to make use of it for cookies, but shy away from traditional recipes that require mounds of confectioner's sugar. Ideal for me would be the sort of thing one might find in Alice Medrich's PURE DESSERTS: elegant, delicious and somewhat wholesome. Any FOOD52 readers out there who have faced this challenge and developed alternatives they'd recommend?

  • Posted by: Eliz.
  • December 10, 2013


Maedl December 11, 2013
I just looked at the Springerle in your saved recipes--they are lovely. I especially like the idea of using ‘paint’ made from turmeric, red cabbage and other edibles. The recipe is interesting too--a lot going on in addition to the anise/fennel flavoring. Although perhaps because these Springerle are intended for more decoration than eating, I don’t think they have risen properly. They should have little ‘feet’ or pedestals--the top design should pop up, and rest on the base, kind of like a mushroom--it’s hard to explain. Have you tried this recipe?
Maedl December 11, 2013
I’ve never seen carved wooden ones at Sur la Table--I have seen the resin forms that are made in Switzerland there, though. I have several of those, plus some antique forms carved in pear wood I have found here in Germany as well as some new forms. I also have my great-grandmother’s Springerle rolling pin.

I’ll check out the links you mention. There is a woman in Munich who holds sessions ever so often on how to paint Springerle--I think she also uses gold foil. The idea intrigues me, but I haven’t been able to take one of her classes yet. I also found a carver in Württemberg who will custom-carve designs. One of these years, I want to get a form depicting the Frauenkirche in Munich. More Springerle sources--that’s all I need!
Eliz. December 11, 2013
Maedl, if you are still in DC, you might visit the Sur La Table on Wisconsin Ave. NW, close to the Friendship Hts. Metro station to see if the store continues to stock the molds as they did years ago when I made my purchase. Do know that there even better prices (30% less) for the same item online and a few Web sites that stand out. Start with (Ken Hamilton, South Carolina) who offers also text auf Deutsche. His site includes links I find valuable. You should see two lovely recipes for decorating the traditional cookie by sagegreen (? check out my recipe collection entitled "Bakery") who seems a kindred spirit.

Ever since my introduction to roasted cauliflower in The NYTs, I've trusted Amanda Hesser, so I am eager to test her recipe first. I am not crazy about confectioner's sugar in even modest amounts, but I will keep your comparative weights and recommendations in mind, especially tip about drying out the dough the stamped dough in advance of baking!
Maedl December 11, 2013
Another thought: powdered sugar has almost twice the volume as granulated sugar, so don’t be deceived by the “mounds” of powdered sugar required. One cup of powdered sugar weighs 4.4 ounces; one cup of granulated sugar weighs 7.05 ounces--thus accounting for what seems like a much greater amount of sugar. Baking Springerle is a real art--and takes a lot of practice. And you don’t make them that often, so go ahead and try a proper recipe!
Maedl December 11, 2013
Where did you get the mold? I am Springerle-obsessed and am accumulating quite a few molds! To help guide you in recipe choices, when you make a molded cookie, you need a recipe that has enough flour in it to make the dough hold its shape when it is baked. In addition, you should roll and form the molded cookies at least a day before you bake them--sometimes two or three days. Let them sit on cookie sheets in a cool, dry room. This allows the dough to dry out and hold the shape of the design when it is baked.
Eliz. December 10, 2013
Good point, Maedl. The mold makes a dozen cookies, each with a different motif; my avatar is a detail of one of the twelve compositions. I see that the design I own is still being sold for baking Springerle, but I don't see why it wouldn't work for Spekulatius.
Maedl December 10, 2013
Are you sure that is a Springerle mold? It looks like it might be for Spekulatius--at any rate, you could probably use it for either cookie.
Eliz. December 10, 2013
Lindsay-Jean, thank you so much for drawing my attention to a perfect recipe that escaped my attention! My principal concern was 3 to 6 cups of confectioner's sugar in lists of ingredients I scoured. I am fine with AP flour, though I might experiment with some other flours and flavors.
Lindsay-Jean H. December 10, 2013
I love Amanda's recipe: Maybe you could swap in a different flour for part of the all-purpose.
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