House On The Hill
Cookie Mold Recipes
Please enjoy these tested recipes from House on the Hill.
Molded cookies require specially created recipes to hold the imprint.
General Baking Directions for Printing Cookies
Size and liquidity of eggs, flour, and weather can affect your dough. Use your senses to decide if the dough will print well without sticking. You may need to use less or more flour than the recipe states.
Brush flour or confectioner's sugar (use flour for cookies and confectioner’s sugar for candy) over mold with a clean, dry pastry brush to prevent sticking.
Most printed cookies are dried 2-24 hours before baking (depending on the recipe, your schedule, humidity, etc.) Drying preserves the image during baking. Test bake one cookie first! It saves grief!
Ovens vary widely! If your test cookie “over puffs” or tilts, reduce heat, put an empty cookie sheet on bottom oven shelf, or prop the oven door slightly ajar with handle of a wooden spoon to wick off heat. For tiny cookies, you may need the temperature set as low as 200 degrees. In general, the smaller the cookie, the lower the temperature. The larger the cookie the longer the baking time.
Method #1 – For most cookies...
Dough will be rolled approximately 3/8” to 5/8” thick with a plain rolling pin (deeper molds need thicker dough). Brush flour or confectioner’s sugar on the mold image, then imprint with your press (mold), cut out shape with knife, shaped cutter or pastry wheel, then dry and bake. Remember to “press and cut, press and cut” so that adjacent images are not distorted.
Method #2 – For very deep or large cookies...
Roll out dough to desired thickness and, using a dry, clean pastry brush, apply flour or sugar and cut a piece of dough the approximate size needed for the mold. Press dough into the mold with fingers, working from center outward. You may lightly roll the back side of the cookie to smooth before turning out of the mold. Trim, dry and bake. To check your print, use light from the side – daylight or light from a floor lamp – so the shadows let you see if your prints are good.
Flat areas of larger cookies are vulnerable to “bubbles” while baking. Simply press them down manually and finish baking.
Hartshorn (Ammonium Carbonate Or Baker’s Ammonia)
Hartshorn is an old-time leavening unexcelled for any cookies and produces an especially light, delicate texture. Hartshorn is the traditional leavening for Springerle cookies. Hartshorn can be substituted for baking powder proportionately one-to-one in cookie or cracker recipes. Hartshorn is not affected by age, but it will evaporate.
Doughs made with hartshorn store well, as its leavening action is only triggered by heat, not moisture. There will be an ammonia smell during baking, but it will be baked out of your cookies. (It used to come in a form like rock salt, so old recipes instructed “crush with a rolling pin” then dissolve in liquid.)
Do not eat the raw dough. You must bake out the ammonia. Don't use hartshorn for cakes and breads. Use only for cookies and crackers when you know that the ammonia will be completely baked out.
Flavoring oils are very strong and pure in flavor. I highly recommend their use in Springerle cookies.
Don’t be alarmed if anise oil crystallizes or congeals. Place the bottle in warm water until it is liquefied and shake.
SPRINGERLE IDEAS and myths FOR BEGINNERS
Owner of House on the Hill Cookie Molds
Anise is NOT your only flavor choice. Try some other flavors. (Orange is my favorite)
All ingredients need to be at room temperature!
(IF you keep your flour in the refrigerator/freezer set it out when you set out your butter and eggs.)
Think of Springerle dough like playdough. It should be about the same stiffness. IF it is sticky to your hands add more flour and knead it into the dough. (Most folks don't use enough flour)
If you can roll out playdough you can roll out Springerle! Kids are less intimidated than adults. Ha ! Ha !
For a beginner - Use a simple but deep design. Some suggestions from House on the Hill Cookie Molds.
M5787 Small Santa
M6013 Pine Cone
These will turn out well - and they will even give you a decent imprint on a firm sugar cookie dough. BUT not with the detail that you get from the Springerle dough.
This is a Meringue type cookie- LOTS of eggs - not much butter. The type of cookie we are familiar with is the opposite; using lots of butter, making a soft gooey cookie. Put those eggs in the mixer and let them whip 10-15 minutes!
My personal opinion is that the most important kitchen necessity along with a stove and refrigerator is a good mixer. My mixer stays on the counter as I use it regularly!
The recipe from House on the Hill uses “hartshorn” to leaven the cookies. In Europe a deer is also called a Hart. So they really used ground up deer horn to leaven the cookies! Now some nice person in a lab makes Bakers Ammonia aka. Hartshorn.
You don’t have to run out to the woods and obtain some deer horn. Whew! You put this type of leavening in a small amount of liquid (milk) in a GLASS cup to dissolve before you mix it in the cookie dough.
You can make your dough ahead of time and refrigerate. I think it rolls a little easier if refrigerated. But using these simple molds you can mix the dough and make the cookies right away.
When I use the round cookie presses, I just roll balls of Springerle dough and put them on my parchment paper lined cookie sheets like you would put drop cookies on a cookie sheet. Smoosh the balls a little with your hand. Then lightly brush the molds with flour and press all the cookies, then trim with a round cutter. Collect the trimmings and roll into more cookies. If your cookies seem to have too much flour on the tops- leave it. After you bake the cookies you can easily brush the flour right off.
For the square type presses, I found some plastic “Dough Sticks” to roll the dough to a uniform thickness. And I roll my dough in a long length about the size of the cookie press. Then I press and cut a row of the cookies. I use a pastry dough scraper to trim the cookie square or a pancake spatula to scoop up my cookies and slide onto the cookie sheet.
Don’t FORGET – You want the cookie tops to dry overnight. That is a big key to the pretty designs. You don’t have to do anything to them, just let them sit. It looks like you could bake them right away- and I have tried it- but the cookie images fade. ~~~At one festival where I was explaining how to make Springerle, there was a gentleman in the crowd who exclaimed. “You let them dry over night before you bake them?!” I responded, “Yes that is what helps keep the pretty designs.” He then told how for years they begged their German neighbor to share her Springerle recipe with them. He said even after they used her recipe, their cookies never looked as good as hers. BUT she never told them to let the cookies sit overnight to dry before baking! ~~~
This onery little old German lady was not going to give away her baking secrets !
Sometimes the top of the cookies will get a little puffy air bubble. While the cookies are still warm, lightly press the bubble to the cookie. (It can be a little hot on your finger, be careful.) The bubble will stick flat to the cookie, and no one will ever know there was a bubble.
If you have chocolate lovers in your family. Use some mint in the cookie dough.
AND AFTER baking the cookies and they have cooled a little, melt some chocolate chips and ice the backs with the chocolate, dip the chocolate in granulated sugar, and set them upside down to firm. This is a family favorite!
Connie the previous owner of House on the Hill has a you tube lesson on how to make Springerle. It is a good help.
There is a Facebook page called “The Springerle Appreciation Page” It is useful for information, and if you are new a making Springerle they will offer suggestions and help. But if your cookies are a little cracked on one side, or they don’t have a “foot”, it is not the end of the world. My favorite flavor, orange will please just about everyone for a great taste. You can eat the not perfect ones and save the best ones to show your friends.
Best Wishes for Your Cookie Baking!